Gross Anatomy

Dispatches from the Front (and Back)
Narrated by: Mara Altman
Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (91 ratings)

Audible membership

$14.95 a month

Free with a 30-day trial
1 audiobook of your choice.
A monthly selection of Audible Originals.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $28.00

Buy for $28.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

An honest, funny, neurotic, and totally gross love child of Mindy Kaling and Mary Roach.

Mara Altman's volatile and apprehensive relationship with her body has led her to wonder about a lot of stuff over the years. Like, who decided that women shouldn't have body hair? And how sweaty is too sweaty? Also, why is breast cleavage sexy but camel toe revolting? Isn't it all just cleavage? These questions and others like them have led to the comforting and sometimes smelly revelations that constitute Gross Anatomy, an essay collection about what it's like to operate the bags of meat we call our bodies. 

Divided into two sections, "The Top Half" and "The Bottom Half", with cartoons scattered throughout, Altman's book takes the listener on a wild and relatable journey from head to toe - as she attempts to strike up a peace accord with our grody bits. 

With a combination of personal anecdotes and fascinating research, Gross Anatomy holds up a magnifying glass to our beliefs, practices, biases, and body parts and shows us the naked truth: that there is greatness in our grossness.

©2018 Mara Altman (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“It's an honest, often hilarious look at women's bodies, how we think of them, our practices, questions, embarrassments. It's all on display, and Mara Altman is not shy about any of it.” (NPR’s All Things Considered)

“Delightfully crass...[Altman’s] level of research coupled with her unique shade of humor sets her series of essays apart.” (Publishers Weekly

“An endearingly outrageous attempt to demystify the female body while shedding light on the causes of female corporeal insecurities. A simultaneously funny and informative memoir about the wonder of the human body.” (Kirkus Reviews

What listeners say about Gross Anatomy

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    54
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    56
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    48
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Frank, Honest, and Humorous Look at Our Bodies

It is a fun ride alongside the author who openly and humorously discusses all the taboos and fears associated with our bodies that women everywhere share. This book seeks to answer such questions as "Why does my dog like my crotch?" or "Is my nipple hair normal?" Mara is like the friend you openly talk about everything with, but she goes one step further. She hunts down experts in such niche topics as medieval vagina historians, and gets their opinions as to her big questions.

It is an enjoyable listen while learning some new information and being able to feel less self conscious about your own insecurities.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Honest and thoughtful

Wow. Mara has brought up all the strange body subjects I have always thought made me weird and uncomfortable in such an informative matter that made me realize that they are where my power lies, and truthfully, are a completely normal part of being a woman. Thank you so much!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!

I'm so glad I stumbled on this well-researched, engaging book. I highly recommend it for interesting information and a fun listen.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Such a funny attestation to the plight of women

Loved the whole thing. This is the book I'm getting my friends and family for Christmas.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Quirky, Cringe-Worthy & Informative!!

I guess you would say, Everything-You-Wanted -To-Know but definitely afraid to ask. Mara's book was actually very informative despite being a potential stand-up act of self deprecating humor!! She is fun and quirky telling us all kinds of stuff about out bodies that we've wondered about. Yes, there were times driving that I gasped out loud and did get majorly grossed out. I'm sure passing cars were thinking I was having a spell of some kind! While there were some topics I would have liked to hear or to go on other tangents of her topics, I realized that this was her story not mine! There is probably endless material on this to have a series of books. It was a fun ride!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Let's talk about this some more, please!

Society has created this weird set of rules for women, that despite having come so far - we comply, we adopt and we believe - in. Altman takes us down several rabbit holes to understand where societal norms, such as hairless pits and vaginas come from. She explores rogue nipple hairs, flappy buttholes and camel toe - and so much is formulated around this underlying need to shame women's bodies to keep us in our place. She also reclaims the word, 'pussy', making even me feel comfortable with it....actually, by making me feel more comfortable with the weirdness of my entire body. I too suffer Yeti hair syndrome. Bravo Mara of the fantastic Eastern European eyebrows!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ds
  • 04-05-19

So many facts

Well-researched and so interesting. We have all felt some of the author's insecurities. Nice to hear someone think out loud.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Very vain...very boring story

I heard this author in an NPR interview and thought the book would be scientific, explanations on why our body does anything. Three chapters in and all I hear is vanity, narcism and self hate. I would never let a kid read this book. It is extremely obsessive about culture, sexism and modern feminism but at the same time, all she does is explain shallowly racism in cultures around the world, sexism blamed for this woman's self hatred of her hair, face, body, etc, and modern feminism as if it's some kind of blanket to wrap yourself in for all the years of her own hatred.

She really...needs help. I cannot finish this book. It's too much. Absolutely ridiculous.

1 person found this helpful