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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.


Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
Average rating
4.5 / 5
February 15th, 2014
Weird as she always is.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Mary Roach once again demonstrates her astonishing ability as a scientific writer, taking the reader along a series of interviews and all sorts of encounters with scientists that work in the food industry. You will not only learn a whole lot of facts to impress dinner guests but also the amazingly complex way our digestive system works. Ok, maybe "Gulp" isn't a good conversation topic for dinner time. Beautifully crafted and told, this is yet another proof of Roach's outstanding fact-based storytelling.
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1 review
Gulp - by Mary Roach
August 25th, 2013
A wonderful romp through the Alimentary canal. Very informative . We are basically earthworms with a little more added gear !
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1 review
Fascinating and entertaining
June 16th, 2013
Not for the squeamish, a trip through time and the human digestive tract...from start( nose) to finish ( your bottom). Very informative with numerous studies and anecdotes.
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1 review
May 25th, 2013
Very informative, enjoyable read.
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1 review
April 18th, 2013
Knew it would be great.
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1 review

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