Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal Library Binding – 1 Apr 2014
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|Library Binding, 1 Apr 2014||
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‘The best kind of lavatory reading.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Sassy sensibility and good-humoured gusto.’ The Times
‘Witty, illuminating and at times astonishing.’ Mail on Sunday
‘Gulp is an unalloyed pleasure.’ Fortean Times
‘No human organ goes unprodded in this epic quest for eupeptic enlightenment.’ The Economist
‘This is a wonderful read, with insight and anecdotes that make for great dinner party discussions or an absorbing read on the toilet. Which is appropriate enough.’ BBC Focus
‘The funniest [science book this year] by far… almost every page made me laugh out loud.’ Sunday Times
‘Gulp is far and away her funniest and most sparkling book… A vastly entertaining pilgrimage down the digestive tract, with Roach as the wittiest, most valuable tour guide imaginable.’ New York Times
‘Insightful, sharp science writing that will have you snorting with laughter is Mary Roach’s speciality.’ New Scientist
‘Diverting and witty.’ The Lady
‘Anyone who can’t cope with being reduced to helpless fits of laughter in public should read it only in the privacy of their own home. Roach’s writing is quirky, lucid, faultlessly re¬searched and outrageously funny… such a pleasure to read.’ Sunday Business Post (Ireland)
‘Joyously funny and intrepidly smart.’ Saga
‘[Roach] writes clearly, with gallows humour… compelling.’ Evening Standard
‘Fabulous, illuminating and nauseously graphic.’ Bookseller -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.
About the Author
Mary Roach is the bestselling author of several popular science books. She has written for the Guardian, Wired, BBC Focus, GQ and Vogue and many other publications. She lives in California.-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.
Top customer reviews
Air swallowing (aerophagia) or overeating producing burps , belching and heartburn are explained, as are stomach rupture and competitive eating with startling revelations. The small bowel is not given much detail (it absorbs digested food) although stories of 'tummy' rumbles due to gas (borborygmi) led patients to believe they had snakes, frogs or newts inside them sometimes resulting in needless surgery, in the 1800's. The large bowel (colon) and beyond are more interesting to the author. Smuggling drugs, mobile phones, razor blades, but not explosives, either by swallowing or rectal insertion (hooping) are covered. Flatus and it's many properties are discussed in detail with anecdotes of the dangers of its flammability. Megacolons (both grossly increased in length and diameter) are linked to constipation and death. Elvis Presley is subjected to lengthy speculation concerning the role of his large bowel in the cause of his demise. The colon is a drying machine with the products stored in the rectum before passage to the sensitive anus ('it has to know what's knocking on it's back door') before defaecation. The use of per anum (via the anus) is amusingly confused with per annum (yearly). Hence the Sri Lankan importer who needed 3,600 metric tons of garlic per anum and someone who questioned how many people died from horse riding per anum?
Mary Roach has given a humorous well-researched account of the subject in her inimitable style. As a doctor I am familiar with the digestive tract and particularly enjoyed the history, bizarre facts and presentation from a completely different perspective. Recommended as a funny and educational read without laying the science on too thickly.
The book is a bit of a mixture and dots around from topic to topic whilst keeping in the same area of the body. What is included seems to be at the author's whim rather than anything systematic so you learn more science about one part of the body and more anecdotes about others. I liked the eclectic nature of the content and found the stories and science equally fascinating.
The author has a particular writing style which involves humorous quips as asides and footnotes. This is quite amusing to start with but rather grates by the end - a little too much of a good thing. She is also rather obsessed with what her interviewees are wearing.
I wouldn't say that the book was gruesome but it is dealing with bodily functions (you can work out which ones) and thus is quite graphic in places. Some of the anomalies people have had in their digestive systems are described with a certain amount of glee and there is also some description of some disturbing animal experiments (in the past). I didn't have an issue with any of this because it all added to the book and the story that the author was telling but if you get a bit queasy you might want to avoid some of the pages.
I was pleased I had read this book - I was entertained and informed.
Mary Roach not only follows the food we eat through our digestive tract but recounts past medical oddities, digestion habits of various animals and what Elvis really died of.
It is a fascinating if sometimes slightly repulsive look into our inner workings.
Roach makes information quite accessible to those who have not considered digestion (except when it pains us) and is quite amusing and light-hearted about her research.
I did, at one stage sit down to eat lunch while reading this but found this was not a good idea at all.
An interesting book.
At times, I found the humorous asides a rather intrusive and she was sometimes a bit too flippant about the manner of death of people who had died quite recently. However, these are small irritations and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and will definitely read more in the series.
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