Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

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W. W. Norton & Company, Apr 1, 2013 - Science - 348 pages
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The irresistible, ever-curious, and always best-selling Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside.

“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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Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

User Review  - Barbara Hoffert - Book Verdict

Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife. Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Roach ... Read full review

Review: Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

User Review  - Margaret - Goodreads

I waited to review this because at first I was amused by it, but thought Roach was being a little too cute. In the week-ish since I finished, I find myself thinking about it all the time. In yoga, I ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
13
2
41
3
61
lower the national debt?
79
Someone ought to bottle
107
How to survive being swallowed alive
149
The alimentary canal as criminal
197
and methane
223
than clear a room?
243
twoway street?
269
and other ruminations on death by constipation
289
just one thing
311
Acknowledgments
329
4
335
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Mary Roach is the author of four previous books: Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Her writing has appeared in Outside, Wired, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine, among others. She lives in Oakland, California.

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