HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal (2013)

by Mary Roach

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,5151685,816 (3.94)207
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.… (more)
  1. 00
    Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food by Catherine Price (themulhern)
    themulhern: Catherine Price is like a slightly more serious Mary Roach.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 207 mentions

English (167)  Spanish (1)  All languages (168)
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
This is a tough one to rate. I like Roach's style of nerdy investigation and humor and I have loved most of her books. I had a hard time with this one though because its really, really gross.

My habit of reading while eating lunch did not work with this subject matter but frankly, I'm not sure it would ever be pleasant to read.

So so didn't dislike it but I didn't enjoy it either. I'm going with 3 stars. If you like her other work you will like this one and your enjoyment will depend on your individual tolerance for nasty stuff. ( )
  hmonkeyreads | Jan 25, 2024 |
I really liked some sections of the book but others not so much. Still worth reading. She is a great science writer. ( )
  cdaley | Nov 2, 2023 |
This is a nice, contained topic for a Mary Roach book, which helps it enormously. You learn a little about each portion of the digestive tract and the enthusiastic scientists who study them. Very fun. ( )
  KallieGrace | Oct 27, 2023 |
This is Mary Roach at her best, with all of her classic points: a one-word, evocative, title a subject matter dancing just on the edge of the taboo line, dealt with in one part investigative journalism, one part completely unsquashable curiosity and one part a mix of stream-of-consciousness and "I just can't help but share" anecdotes.

Those who disliked Roach's previous works will hate Gulp, and those who liked her previous works will love it. The dislike largely stems from her highly present narration, and that is out in full force here. Doctors that she has known with hilariously apropos names, completely tangential stuff she found while doing research, boilerplate responses from Oster regarding an e-mail inquiry about their blenders being used for fecal transplate and much, much more abound in the frequent footnotes (average density seems to be about 1.5 footnotes/page.) New sections are usually introduced with commentary about what made Roach reach out to this particular person and how she feels on meeting them. The narration in fact is so present in Gulp, even compared to her previous works, that honestly, it skirts memoir territory. I consider that a win, your mileage may vary, as they say.

Meanwhile, Roach again makes the lowest of lowbrow topics palatable (sorry -- couldn't resist!) if not downright classy. For a book with an entire chapter on flatulence, it's entertaining, funny and interesting even to those of us who wouldn't dream of laughing at a fart joke. You didn't know that you wanted to know why some animals eat their own feces, the history of gastrocutaneous fistulas, the science of the chemical composition of farts, or what human tasters think of cat food and why, but Roach's curiosity is contagious and she can make any subject matter fascinating. ( )
  settingshadow | Aug 19, 2023 |
That was amazing, funny, disturbing, cringe inducing, fascinating, educational, and seriously, just all the things. ( )
  beentsy | Aug 12, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» 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

Belongs to Publisher Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
For Lily and Phoebe, and my brother Rip
First words
Introduction
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.
Quotations
"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)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC
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.

No library descriptions found.

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.

Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.94)
0.5
1 5
1.5
2 30
2.5 4
3 126
3.5 52
4 297
4.5 36
5 175

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 202,137,446 books! | Top bar: Always visible