Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

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W. W. Norton & Company, Apr 1, 2013 - Science - 336 pages
60 Reviews

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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - UberButter - LibraryThing

Gulp: The Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach 348 pages ★★★★ It seems like Mary Roach has the ability of turning any boring subject and turning it into something fun and interesting ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

Audio book narrated by Emily Woo Zeller 3.5*** Science writer Mary Roach tackles the human digestive system in this work of nonfiction. Starting with the nose (Chapter title: Tasting Has Little To Do ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
13
Tasting has little to do with taste
23
Yourpet is not likeyou
41
Why we eat what we eat and despise the rest
61
Can thorough chewing lower the national debt?
79
The acid relationship of William Beaumont andAlexis St Martin
93
Someone ought to bottle the stuff
107
Life at the oralprocessing lab
131
Can the eaten eat back?
167
The science ofeatingyourselfto death
185
Fun with hydrogen
223
Does noxiousflatus do more
243
Is the digestive tract
269
and other ruminations on death by constipation
289
We can cureyou but theres
311
Acknowledgments
329

How to survive being swallowed alive
149

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About the author (2013)

Mary Roach is the author of Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, 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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