Gulp

by | Read by Emily Woo Zeller

Published by Tantor Audio

"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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AudioFile Review

Gulp

What an amazing science writer and explorer Mary Roach, the author of STIFF, has become! Here she fearlessly delves into more taboo terrain, turning the topics of chewing, swallowing, digestion, and elimination into a fascinating biological adventure. Narrator Emily Woo Zeller complements Roach's bizarre details, witty style, and humorous attitude word by word. Zeller is undeterred by the detailed account of the alimentary canal—including its ins and outs—embracing the subject with aplomb and audible appreciation of the author's puns and jests. This appealing nonfiction work yields as much intrigue as any fictional thriller, all amid a foundation of well-researched medical facts. The listener continually learns how little we know about our bodies, nutrition, and the customs and biases of food consumption—global and historical. A.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine


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