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Gulp Paperback – 6 Mar 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications; 2 edition (6 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780743912
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780743912
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘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

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.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a clever idea and mostly I found it fascinating. It is the story of our digestive system from the mouth (saliva, taste, tongue, etc.) all the way through the body to the end ... The author tells us some science about it, some anecdotes about strange anomalies that people have had, and how scientists have discovered the facts about our body as well as some of the inaccurate ideas that they had in the past.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish I could say I devoured this book at one sitting, but it's quite long and the footnotes are set in microscopic type. It's an eye opening, sometimes eye watering, journey through the alimentary canal from discussion of the causes of bad breath, the history of diet fads, all the way to the other end. Our gondolier (singing a buttock clenching version of Ah sole mio, perhaps?) is Mary Roach, a writer who leaves no double entendre unused and very little to the imagination. Hilarious consequences ensue, as it says on some blurbs.

The first half concerns itself with taste, food choice, cultural shibboleths and so forth. The second discusses faeces, mostly. The longest part of the gut, the small intestine which does most of the grunt work, barely gets a look in on the guided tour. Blink and you'll fall straight through the ileocecal valve. This lock gate in the canal, Roach reports, proves that you can't get nutrition from enemas, though you can get vitamins. The Vatican explored this issue in 1600, with respect to fasting nuns during Lent. I am left wondering if you can absorb electrolytes through enemas, and whether some learned Imam is right now delivering a fatwa about what is permitted during Ramadan, when nothing must pass your lips in the day. The colon is also used for smuggling and consuming drugs. But while it's not capacious enough for a suicide bomb (only the bomber will die, even on a plane) it is capable of taking in an iphone, though maybe not a tablet.

Roach is an assiduous researcher and though her writing style is easy to parody I greatly enjoyed this book. I am extremely grateful for it in fact; I dread to think of what ads pop up on the Roach family computer, I'm just glad they don't appear on mine. Perhaps she has permanently disabled cookies.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The bodily functions of the gut discussed in all their wondrous glory from the mouth to the bumhole. I found this a really interesting read and there aren't that many books on this subject as it's always been such a taboo to discuss such things. Mary's humorous prose and collection of anecdotes fascinated me from start to finish. Elvis has my utmost sympathy. I highly recommend this book and will look out for more of this author's work
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
However disgusting it gets, it's impossible not to keep on reading. Immense fun, and the knowledge slips down easily. The digester's read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gulp tells you all, and much much more than you needed to know about the act of eating, tasting, digesting and excreting all that we take into our mouths.
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I expected a systematic journey through the alimentary canal but what I got was much more eclectic and much more entertaining. Mary Roach has a journalist's instinct for a good story and although the focus is on science there are elements of history and anthropology in this book. She covers topics as diverse as Jonah and the whale, flatulence, market research for pet foods and smuggling inside prisons, all told with obvious enthusiasm.

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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