Have You Heard About... Gulp

… the glorious workings of the human digestive system? Mary Roach scores again with her latest offbeat foray into the world of science - Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal.

As usual, Mary Roach tackles the surprising, taboo, and slightly disgusting aspects of human life with surprising humor and undisguised glee. And having learned my lesson from reading Stiff, I made sure not to read this book while eating…the life of the human digestive system does not make for pleasant mealtime reading.

Among the topics covered are: the appeal of crunchy foods, why the stomach does not digest itself, how much you can eat before your stomach bursts, and whether or not constipation actually killed Elvis. In fact, there’s a significant amount of writing dedicated to the size of Elvis’s colon, much more than I ever thought there could be on that particular subject.

The amount of research that Mary Roach does in preparation for this book is staggering and quite frankly, a little frightening. You’ll have to read the book yourself to find out exactly what she does in the name of science and where she draws the research line in order to avoid frightening her colleagues. That, my friends, is dedication and I sincerely hope she had as much fun writing this book as I did reading it!

 

Reviewed by Katie (staff)