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Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal (2013)

by Mary Roach

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,2441575,860 (3.94)202
Few of us realize what strange wet miracles of science operate inside us after every meal. In her trademark style, Mary Roach investigates the beginning, and end, of our food, addressing such questions as why crunchy food is so appealing, how much we can eat before our stomachs burst, and whether constipation killed Elvis.… (more)
  1. 00
    Vitamania: Our Obsessive Quest For Nutritional Perfection by Catherine Price (themulhern)
    themulhern: Catherine Price is like a slightly more serious Mary Roach.

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» See also 202 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
Second Mary Roach! I didn't enjoy this one as much as I did Stiff, though it was still very fun and informative. Maybe it was the subject area: I just don't find digestive systems nearly as fascinating as corpses.

There is a bit of a macabre sense of fascination, though, through much of this book. Particularly the sections towards the *ahem* lower parts of the digestive tract. ( )
  wisemetis | Sep 17, 2022 |
All of what previous readers have said and more! Interesting parts on Mary researching her subject and conversing with the researchers about their studies
  nancynova | Jul 17, 2022 |
This book is gross. Interesting, informative, fun, but gross. Mary Roach delights once again in her well researched and entertaining book all about your gob. I love every book of Roach's simply because she approaches her subjects with genuine curiosity and a sound research method. She asks, without hesitation, all the nasty questions we are all wondering about and gets answers. This book is great, just don't read it while you're eating. ( )
  Carmentalie | Jun 4, 2022 |
Gulp by Mary Roach (4 stars)
Gulp, Adventures Down the Alimentary canal- I’ve not been disappointed by the science books written by this author, Stiff, Spook, Packing for Mars…She is one curious individual, and she shares her curiosity and what she finds out with the reader, basing the information given on facts, studies, and copious footnotes in the book. She is brave enough to ask the questions that nobody else will. She is drawn to subjects that we are all curious about but too polite to ask after because they are not considered polite dinner table conversation. As a person who has spent many years working in a medical laboratory, with specimens such as blood, urine, stool, bits of surgically removed toes, and sputum (worse than stool- yes, really), I am no stranger to these kinds of subjects, so these books fit right into areas that catch my interest. Not for the particularly squeamish, but interesting none the less. ( )
  kaida46 | May 27, 2022 |
Mary Roach is the most entertaining author of factual books. ( )
1 vote NancyinA2 | Feb 3, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roach, Maryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Babcock, MaryCopy editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidd, ChipCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Staggnitto, JudithDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zeller, Emily WooNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For Lily and Phoebe, and my brother Rip
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In 1968, on the Berkeley campus of the University of California, six young men undertook an irregular and unprecedented act.
The sensory analyst rides a Harley.
"The human digestive tract is like the Amtrak line from Seattle to Los Angeles: transit time is about thirty hours, and the scenery on the last leg is pretty monotonous."
RodentPro gift certificates are available.   Because nothing says "I love you" like $100 of dead rodents delivered to the doorstep. (Chap. 12)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Few of us realize what strange wet miracles of science operate inside us after every meal. In her trademark style, Mary Roach investigates the beginning, and end, of our food, addressing such questions as why crunchy food is so appealing, how much we can eat before our stomachs burst, and whether constipation killed Elvis.

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Book description
Best-selling author Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside. Roach 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 as our guide, 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.

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Average: (3.94)
1 5
2 27
2.5 4
3 113
3.5 50
4 275
4.5 37
5 154

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An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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