Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

Book - 2013
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Few of us realize what strange wet miracles of science operate inside us after every meal. In her trademark style, Mary Roach investigates the beginning, and end, of our food.
Publisher: New York :, W.W. Norton & Company,, [2013]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393081572
Branch Call Number: 612.3 Roach 2013
Characteristics: 348 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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RCL_AnnaS Apr 23, 2020

A fun, funny, and at times super gross adventure through the human digestive tract.

IndyPL_SteveB Aug 28, 2019

A fascinating, funny, intelligent, informative, and – if you are inclined that way – possibly disgusting examination of what goes on inside the mouth, stomach, small intestine, and colon. Mary Roach is one of my favorite non-fiction writers. She knows how to take a complex subject, break it into manageable chunks, explain it clearly, laugh crazily at all the weird stuff involved with it, and then leave you a lot smarter than you were before.

Some of the topics include the amazing characteristics of saliva; Alexis St. Martin, “The Man with a Hole in his Stomach” and his employer/torturer, Dr. William Beaumont; whether you can rupture your stomach by overeating (yes, but it is incredibly hard to do); and the possible benefits of fecal transplant therapy. There were two chapters especially fascinating to me: one on Horace Fletcher, the quack doctor who said that chewing each bite of food *hundreds* of times would give people twice the nourishment; and an interview with Elvis Presley’s doctor on the intestinal birth defect that contributed to Presley’s early death.

Mar 07, 2018

Funny, easy to read, nothing like what you would expect a book about the digestive system to be...Surprising!

ArapahoeJillK Jan 23, 2018

This author brings gross science to life with a keen interest and an abundance of humor.

Jan 08, 2018

2018 Deschutes Public Library Author! Author! author for January 2018

It was good for this genre but I have firmly decided I can hardly stand this genre of "science(y) writing." Descriptions of the people you consult: what they wear, their eye color, etc. Who gives the slightest? This is science. None of that matters even remotely. It also simply adds fluff and removes word count from the actual topic.

Her humor is generally quite sophomoric and just too much with the focus on "apropos" names and such.

I doubt I will be reading any more Roach books and hope to avoid many more books like it as I have already encountered way too many.

HCL_staff_reviews Oct 27, 2017

Science writer Mary Roach takes the most taboo subjects, and delivers irreverent comic writing that informs you while making you laugh out loud. In <i>Gulp</i>, she seeks answers to questions most wouldn't even ask their doctor after a few cocktails. If you have ever wondered why so many people hate liver, if chewing your food longer will really make you lose weight, why certain smells are so offensive to us, or if any of the rumors about the manner of Elvis' death are true, this book is for you.
Also available as audiobook on CD. — Jennifer W., Westonka Library

Aug 07, 2017

Not my favourite of Mary Roach's books (that would be Stiff, followed by Bonk), because the information contained is fairly well known and mundane; most of the chapters come across as slightly kooky, first person science articles. In fairness, the impacted colon chapter gave me shameful joy.

Jun 08, 2017

She's done it again!

May 08, 2017

It takes a CD to it really get into it but it's worth it. As time goes by I'm constantly surprise about how much relevant info I learned from this one Audio CD! I searched it out because Lorelei King narrated it and was happy I found it,

BostonPL_LauraB Mar 21, 2017

Roach always gives a fascinating, hilarious, and sometimes disgusting look at science and I always eat it right up - hmm, maybe not the best choices of words for this one. This was my first time listening to one of her books instead of reading it, and I'll say that although the experience wasn't bad, I prefer reading the books. I felt that if I zoned out even for a tiny bit, I missed some weird and crazy fact that I normally would have loved to dispense to friends later. Overall, not as good as Stiff or Grunt, but still a great read!

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