Monday, December 30, 2013


Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
By Mary Roach
W. W. Norton & Company, 2013.  348 pgs. Nonfiction

From corpses to space exploration, Mary Roach has already provided us with fascinating adventures into places we never knew we wanted to go. And in her new book, "Gulp," she takes us on another such journey.  I  certainly have never longed to study my digestive tract in any great detail. But Roach has shown me the light. As I turned the last page, I was almost as entranced by the miracles of what happens inside each of us as she was. (Her fascination was proven when she had a colonoscopy without sedation. My enthusiasm fell short of that, but still.)

Roach is always funny, never dull, and often irreverent. She dares to ask the questions no one else seems able to and then reports her fascinating findings back to her readers. She spares few details, which is great since the details are often the best parts.  You will find yourself equally disgusted and intrigued and, if you're like me, unable to pull yourself away. "Gulp" is another masterpiece of science writing to add to an already impressive backlist.


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