Gulp: Adventures On The Alimentary Canal by Mary RoachGulp: Adventures On The Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach

Gulp: Adventures On The Alimentary Canal

byMary Roach

Hardcover | April 2, 2013

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“America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) 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 at our side, 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.

Mary Roach is the author of Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Her writing has appeared in Outside, Wired, National Geographic, and the...
Title:Gulp: Adventures On The Alimentary CanalFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.5 × 5.8 × 1.09 inPublished:April 2, 2013Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393081575

ISBN - 13:9780393081572

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not her best Roach's high water mark seem to be "Stiff" and "Spook". Since then her books have become more disjointed and corny. Gulp jumps all over the place with no logic and often gives the science part short shift in favour of a cheap laugh. Yes there were lots of neat nuggets which I could find using Google too but where is the unifying tone or opinion that would make this more than a grab bag? I get the sense that Roach has been coasting over her last few books and for now she will be a borrow instead of buy until she returns to form.
Date published: 2014-08-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Gulp Weird as she always is.
Date published: 2014-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gulp Mary Roach once again demonstrates her astonishing ability as a scientific writer, taking the reader along a series of interviews and all sorts of encounters with scientists that work in the food industry. You will not only learn a whole lot of facts to impress dinner guests but also the amazingly complex way our digestive system works. Ok, maybe "Gulp" isn't a good conversation topic for dinner time. Beautifully crafted and told, this is yet another proof of Roach's outstanding fact-based storytelling.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gulp - by Mary Roach A wonderful romp through the Alimentary canal. Very informative . We are basically earthworms with a little more added gear !
Date published: 2013-08-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating and entertaining Not for the squeamish, a trip through time and the human digestive tract...from start( nose) to finish ( your bottom). Very informative with numerous studies and anecdotes.
Date published: 2013-06-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Gulp Very informative, enjoyable read.
Date published: 2013-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fascinating trip down the digestive canal So if you're ever mildly interested in things that most people think are "gross", this book may well be for you. I learned so many interesting little anecdotes and mind-boggling facts (Elvis died from complications related to his MEGACOLON!) and yes, I came away with a much greater appreciation for all things digestive. To top it all off, it's written in a casual, humourous and engaging style. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2013-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant. Knew it would be great.
Date published: 2013-04-18

Editorial Reviews

There is much to enjoy about Mary Roach—her infectious aw for quirky science and its nerdy adherents, her one-liners... She is beloved, and justifiably so. — Jon Ronson (New York Times Book Review)As engrossing as it is gross. — Entertainment WeeklyFar and away her funniest and most sparkling book, bringing Ms. Roach’s love of weird science to material that could not have more everyday relevance. . . . Never has Ms. Roach’s affinity for the comedic and bizarre been put to better use. . . . “Gulp” is structured as a vastly entertaining pilgrimage down the digestive tract, with Ms. Roach as the wittiest, most valuable tour guide imaginable. — Janet Maslin (New York Times)A delicious read and, dare I say it, a total gas. — Kate Tuttle (Boston Globe)With the same eager curiosity that she previously brought to the subjects of cadavers, space, and sex, the author explores the digestive system, from mouth to colon. — New Yorker[A] merry foray into the digestive sciences….Inexorably draws the reader along with peristaltic waves of history and vividly described science. — Brian Switek (Wall Street Journal)You’ll come away from this well-researched book with enough weird digestive trivia to make you the most interesting guest at a certain kind of cocktail party…Go ahead and put this one in your carry-on. You won’t regret it. — Amy Stewart (Washington Post)Gulp is about revelling in the extraordinary complexities and magnificence of human digestion. — The EconomistA witty, woving romp of a book… Roach…is a thoroughly unflappable, utterly intrepid investigator of the icky. — Chloe Schama (Smithsonian)Relentlessly fun to read. — Bee Wilson (The New Republic)Never before has the process of eating been so very interesting…. After digesting her book, you can’t help but think about what that really means. — Micki Myers (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)One of my top criteria for pronouncing a book worthwhile is the number of times you snort helplessly with laughter and say, “Wow! Did you know that ... ” before your long-suffering spouse throws a book at you from across the room. My personal spouse says that, in this department, “Gulp” takes the cake. — Adam Woog (Seattle Times)Letting this brilliantly mischievous writer, for whom no pun is ouch and no cow sacred, dip her pen into the font of all potty humor must have seemed even riskier than her previous excursions into corpses (Stiff), the afterlife (Spook), sex (Bonk) and outer space (Packing for Mars). But dip she did—at one point she put her whole arm into a cow’s belly—and came up with another quirkily informative pop-science entertainment in Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal. — Jeffrey Burke (Bloomberg)Once again Roach boldly goes where no author has gone before, into the sciences of the taboo, the macabre, the icky, and the just plain weird. And she conveys it all with a perfect touch: warm, lucid, wry, sharing the unavoidable amusement without ever resorting to the cheap or the obvious. Yum! — Steven Pinker, author of How the Mind Works and The Better Angels of Our NatureAs probing as an endoscopy, Gulp is quintessential Mary Roach: supremely wide-ranging, endlessly curious, always surprising, and, yes, gut-wrenchingly funny. — Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)