The irresistible, ever-curious, and always best-selling Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside.
“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.
Roach (Stiff) once again goes boldly into the fields of strange science. In the case of her newest, some may hesitate to follow it s about the human digestive system, and it s as gross as one might expect. But it s also enthralling. From mouth to gut to butt, Roach is unflinching as she charts every crevice and quirk of the alimentary canal a voyage she cheerily likens to a cruise along the Rhine. En route, she comments on everything from the microbial wisdom of ancient China, to the tactics employed by prisoners when smuggling contraband in their alimentary vaults, the surprising success rate of fecal transplants, how conducting a colonoscopy is a little like playing an accordion, and a perhaps too-good-to-be-true tale in the New York Times in 1896 of a real-life Jonah surviving a 36-hour stint in the belly of a sperm whale. Roach s approach is grounded in science, but the virtuosic author rarely resists a pun, and it s clear she revels in giving readers a thrill even if it is a queasy one. Adventurous kids and doctors alike will appreciate this fascinating and sometimes ghastly tour of the gastrointestinal system. 18 illus.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Because I enjoyed all of your previous books, I read Gulp. All of your books are informative and full of humor...but this was your best to date! I cannot wait for your next book!
Down the hatch!
If you want to know more about how your body works, and you're not too squeamish, this is the book for you. Entertaining and fascinating. Get it right now! You will love it.
another great book