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Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

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Emily Woo Zeller

9 Hours 0 Minutes

Tantor Media

April 2013

Audio Book Summary

'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.

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Reviews

  • Anonymous

    Mary Roach continues to disappoint. This is the second of her books I've read: 1 - She chooses to focus on the bizarre rather than the factual. Don't expect to learn much about currently accepted views. 2 - She continues to insert phrases to show the read how "clever" she is. The result is anything but becoming. I'd recommend avoiding her work

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