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Gulp Audiobook

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, April 2013 - Mary Roach is willing to “go there” in the name of Science. She has tackled sexual physiology in Bonk, the life of cadavers in Stiff, and now takes on the (not-so-hot) topic of the digestive system in Gulp. This journey begins at the top and ends at the bottom of the legendary alimentary canal, but Roach does not take us there in a straight line. There are side excursions to visit experts in the field of morning breathe and pet-food engineers. We explore the power of salvia and the origin of mythical fire-breathing serpents. By asking seemingly ridiculous questions like, “Does noxious flatus do more than clear a room?” Roach manages to dismiss those common misconceptions we all seem to have but never question out loud. In Gulp she serves-up Science just the way I like it: Well-researched, relevant, offbeat, and hilarious. —Tricia, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside. Roach takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour.

The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: The questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis?

In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of - or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach as our guide, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists - who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts. Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.

©2013 Mary Roach (P)2013 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2830 )
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  •  
    Krispian 04-05-13
    Krispian 04-05-13 Member Since 2013

    The more you love books... the more books you love!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love Mary Roach!"

    This book takes you on an end-to-end tour of the alimentary canal, and it's a very satisfying read. I'm a big fan of Mary Roach's work, and her latest book does not disappoint. I love facts about science, and Mary Roach's inquiries go where standard science writers fear to tread!

    The narrator also does a fabulous job. Her wry, bubbly style matches the tone of the book perfectly.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tricia - Audible NJ, United States 05-03-13
    Tricia - Audible NJ, United States 05-03-13 Member Since 2010

    Audible Editor constantly in search of my next great listen.

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    "Making Science More Palatable"

    Mary Roach is willing to "go there" in the name of Science. She has tackled sexual physiology in Bonk, the life of cadavers in Stiff, and now takes on the (not-so-hot) topic of the digestive system in Gulp. This journey begins at the top and ends at the bottom of the legendary alimentary canal, but Roach does not take us there in a straight line. There are side excursions to visit experts in the field of morning breathe and pet-food engineers. We explore the power of salvia and the origin of mythical fire-breathing serpents. By asking seemingly ridiculous questions like, "Does noxious flatus do more than clear a room?" Roach manages to dismiss those common misconceptions we all seem to have but never question out loud. In Gulp she serves-up Science just the way I like it: Well-researched, relevant, offbeat, and hilarious.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jasmine 10-11-13
    Jasmine 10-11-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Gulp=Gross"

    This book was sooo nasty. Warning: Do not read while eating! I would listen to this on the way to work, while eating of course, and I would just feel so repulsed afterwards. The author leaves nothing out - she discusses spit, the colon, defecating...it's disgusting. However, it will leave you with a nice appreciation of your body. In all seriousness, a lot of the anecdotes were interesting - albeit gross - but the storyline dragged some. It is hard to listen to someone talk about spit for 30 minutes - unless you're into that kind of thing.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Tom Zephyrhills, FL USA 08-21-17
    Kindle Tom Zephyrhills, FL USA 08-21-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Foods journey from one-end to the other-end"
    Would you listen to Gulp again? Why?

    Sometime after listening to her book Stiff; Mary Roach's presentations are an appealing blend of facts, science, human-response and humor that kept me listening, thinking and smiling.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The fart pants because of the initial mental image they provoked


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The man with a hole in his stomach. The doctor who didn't want to heal him and stop his research. And their long history of broken promises


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The fact that dogs have a major difference in food tastes than humans and what the dog-food companies do with this fact. Next time I hear someone tell their dog how good the dog-food tastes, I will be smiling from ear to ear.


    Any additional comments?

    I plan to watch more closely for results from stool medical exchanges and the government's acknowledgement of this practice for health and well being..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Devon11 07-28-17
    Devon11 07-28-17
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    "Great Read"

    I love how Mary Roach can make even the most disgusting things delightfully fascinating. I have enjoyed both Gulp and Stiff. It was Stiff, which I read in a Creative Non-Fiction class that first got me interested in the genre. Roach slyly blends story, information, and humor together into an incredibly readable (listenable) book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judijo So. Cal. 06-24-17
    Judijo So. Cal. 06-24-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Great Science!"

    the voice talent tends to act out quotes, I assume to differentiate between the author and her interviewees. I am finding this very distracting and the voice seems to sound almost mocking.

    I expect this acting in dictating fiction. I wish I could hear this without the changes in tone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy R. 06-21-17
    Randy R. 06-21-17
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    "not for everyone"

    it had interesting moments. Mary has a dry humour that helped the topic. mostly the topic is dry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon Natchitoches, LA, United States 06-14-17
    Brandon Natchitoches, LA, United States 06-14-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Great narration, great writing, poor audio quality"

    This was my first Mary roach book and it will not be my last. Her style is very accessible and fun. I feel like I got a lot out of the book, there were a lot of cool stories and she had a fun way of taking you on a journey through your body. This is a book I will listen to again and probably soon too. The narrator had the perfect voice for the writing, but man was the audio quality bad for such a new book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    krystal 05-27-17
    krystal 05-27-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Interesting"

    I loved this book Ive read her books before and enjoy the format she uses. I always feel ive learned something at the end of each chapter. The writing was engaging and i found myself listning to it far more often than i expected.
    the naration was unimposung and i did not struggle to hear what she was saying at any point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mustard the Bear Bisbee Open Asylum 05-21-17
    Mustard the Bear Bisbee Open Asylum 05-21-17 Member Since 2016

    Joshua "Bear" Jordan

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    "Wow, who knew?"

    This book should be named, "The amazing, engaging, educational guide to the alimentary canal and then some." Tagline- "Read/Listen whilst in the John."
    This has been truly the most fun I've had learning in many years. And I'm an educator myself. Different subject but still it's great to see someone research and know their sh*t. (Sorry but how could I not?)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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