Book Reviews

Gulp by Mary Roach

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List Price: £8.99


Paperback: 352 Pages.

Published: 06 March 2014 by Oneworld Publications

Edition: 2

ISBN: 1780743912

EAN: 9781780743912

In this international bestseller, Mary Roach breaks bread with spit connoisseurs, beer and pet-food tasters, stomach slugs, potato crisp engineers, enema exorcists, rectum-examining prison guards, competitive hot dog eaters, Elvis' doctor, and many more as she investigates the beginning, and the end, of our food.


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Anne

A fascinating look at some things you don't always think about

This book is a clever idea and mostly I found it fascinating. It is the story of our digestive system from the mouth (saliva, taste, tongue, etc.) all the way through the body to the end ... The author tells us some science about it, some anecdotes about strange anomalies that people have had, and how scientists have discovered the facts about our body as well as some of the inaccurate ideas that they had in the past.

The book is a bit of a mixture and dots around from topic to topic whilst keeping in the same area of the body. What is included seems to be at the author's whim rather than anything systematic so you learn more science about one part of the body and more anecdotes about others. I liked the eclectic nature of the content and found the stories and science equally fascinating. The author has a particular writing style which involves humorous quips as asides and footnotes. This is quite amusing to start with but rather grates by the end - a little too much of a good thing. She is also rather obsessed with what her interviewees are wearing.

I wouldn't say that the book was gruesome but it is dealing with bodily functions (you can work out which ones) and thus is quite graphic in places. Some of the anomalies people have had in their digestive systems are described with a certain amount of glee and there is also some description of some disturbing animal experiments (in the past). I didn't have an issue with any of this because it all added to the book and the story that the author was telling but if you get a bit queasy you might want to avoid some of the pages.

I was pleased I had read this book - I was entertained and informed.

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