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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Blossom, 15 Dec. 2011
This review is from: The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste (Paperback)
Even after more than three decades I can still feel white hot anger when I recall the criticisms I endured (from the idiot brigade) for lecturing, in a prestigious School of Architecture, about Lavatory Design and Attitudes towards Human Excretions. Like Death and Taxes, Human Excreta are an inescapable part of Life. I would entreat those that think otherwise to get over it and engage sensibly with the issues. Read this book.

Rose George has written a long-overdue book which provides a wide ranging, detailed, well referenced, well written account of the whole subject - accessible to both the professional and general reader. She is to be highly commended. This book should be on the reading list of any educational programme (from schools upwards) which purports to deal with sustainable Human Habitats.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dirty Secret, 19 Sept. 2008
By 
L. Mello - See all my reviews
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I never thought I'd enjoy a book about human waste - but this book has proven that a good author can tell a fascinating story about anything. I think Rose George is very brave for addressing a very unsexy subject -- and the facts are powerful: what good is clean drinking water if 2.6 billion people in this world live in contaminated environments due to their own lack of toilets? This is thought-provoking stuff which - if taken seriously and acted upon - could change the lives of billions...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real Environmentalism, 18 Sept. 2008
By 
J. Swain - See all my reviews
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Almost as entertaining as it is fascinating. I say almost as I read most of the book in one session whilst stranded on an airport runway for 3 hours. In one sitting (pun intended) the topic does have the unfortunate effect of making one feel slightly nauseous at times.

If only there were more of this kind of reporting/writing about environmental issues, I would take more of an interest. This book puts into context how really serious issues are never dealt with when a nice picture of a poor fluffy polar bear and a "carbon footprint" calculator will do instead.

One can feel the sense of frustration of Rose and the people in the book at just how hard it is to make progress on such an important issue.

Ultimately I am not sure if I am optimistic that work like this will help in finding solutions or whether the book is just a testament to human natures ability to look the other way if problems don't affect them directly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is a brilliant book. I would recommend it to anyone, 26 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste (Paperback)
I bought this book to help my daughter with a project she was doing and ended up reading it myself. It is a brilliant book. I would recommend it to anyone. It is well written, amusing and powerful. It is also hugely informative and shines a much needed light on the desperate sanitation situation that currently exists in many parts of the world. It also offers information on what goes on under our feet and the challenges that will be facing those who take good sanitation and flushing toilets for granted if things continue as they are.
Please buy and read this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read, 7 April 2009
This book is informative, often funny and you cannot help but be impressed by the efforts that many people have to make simply to carry out this most basic human function and deal with the results. The politics of poo are unbelievable. In the twenty first century, the fact that there are women who risk their lives in parts of the world when they leave home in the dark to find somewhere private to poo is unbelievable, as is the incredibly toxic effect of untreated sewage in drinking water. What is needed globally and this book tells us why, is efficient sanitation but no one wants to tell you that because no one wants to talk about poo. As Ms. George implies in her book its a lot more appealing to be asking for money for clean water than for toilets. This is a fantastic book and Rose George should get a medal for bringing the subject to our attention, in a way that is both illuminating and entertaining. Particularly liked the story about the Japanese toilet, The Toto, the research that went into that was something.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talking poop!, 10 April 2013
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This review is from: The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste (Paperback)
Good read - really opens your eyes to what happens (or doesn't happen) to that one most natural thing we all produce, and the huge and devastating effect it has on our health - not just in the less developed parts of the world but in our own towns and cities.

Written with humour, pragmatism and a real passion to reduce the deaths and serious illness caused by poor sanitation

Well worth a read!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for thought....., 18 Sept. 2008
By 
S. Faulkner (LONDON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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The 'BIG NECESSITY' by Rose George, fearlessly tackles one of the worlds least talked about, yet one of its most important environmental and health issues. The 'BIG NECESSITY' is a journey through the world of human waste where she endeavours to quantify, rationalise and make sense of, how we across the planet choose to dispose of, that which we don't like to talk about. This intelligent, smart and sometimes witty book tackles its subject matter full on and I would 'highly recommend' it to anyone who has a genuine interest in the environment, health and of course public sanitation... a must read !!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lots of 4 letter material, 10 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste (Paperback)
A very interesting book of how we dispose of s**** in different countries and the impact on people's lives. Thoughtful
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5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating, quirky and neccessary, 17 Dec. 2014
By 
John Guy (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This is a fascinating book. It looks into a world we prefer to ignore and tells us things we knew but pretend we didn't. Clean toilets are lifesavers, so why do we spend so much on food and water aid but not enough on getting people to build and use toilets? Rose George's travels in the world of toilets immerse you, I choose the word carefully, in a world of s***. More understanding of which would make the world a better place. At the same time the book is quirky and amusing, and for a regualr global traveller, it brings back some real experiences.
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5.0 out of 5 stars and written in much much better language than most literary novels, 13 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste (Paperback)
Stunningly well-written
A non-fiction book on poo, and written in much much better language than most literary novels. A stunning achievement. I found myself swinging between admiring the writing, and in the same moment being appalled at the massive problems (and bog-ups - pun intended) that humans the world over have made (and keep making) with our excrement. A phenomenal amount of research that covers vast tracts of the world, and yet stitches it together superbly. This is a must-read.
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The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste
The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste by Rose George (Paperback - 6 July 2009)
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