Gulp by Mary Roach – Review


Mary Roach is kind of fantastic. I had previously read two of her books, Stiff (what happens to human cadavers), and Packing for Mars (space travel and all it’s weirdness) and loved them. Although these titles might sound simply like quirky non-fiction, they are actually one step better than that, they are really freaking funny, quirky non-fiction.

So, when I came across Gulp,  I was ready for this to be a complete delight. I believe that it is quite possible that somewhere in my heart will forever live a 12 year old boy, as the mere thought of Mary tackling digestion filled me with glee, and to that end (heh heh), I wasn’t disappointed. However, toilet humour aside, this was a very palatable read full of interesting bits and bites. Not only will you undoubtedly learn a bazillion new things, you will probably also learn some great new words (like annum and anum are really not interchangeable different spellings of the same word despite their usage as such on some internet sites and inflammable might not mean what you think…). Mary finds a way to dig into the most interesting of vittles and includes footnotes aplenty, but don’t let these asides from the main topic fool you, they are just as informative and hilarious so you don’t want to skip them!


So, what kind of stuff can you expect sandwiched within these pages? Want to tantalize your reading taste buds and perhaps learn a few new words? Could there be a digestive  backstory to the fire breathing dragon legend?  How accurate is our sense of smell? Was Elvis’s death related to digestive issues? Did people really believe that snakes, frogs and snails lived in their stomachs? What exactly is “dung lung”? Find out the answers to these any many, many other of your deep burning biology questions (then go get that burning checked out)!

If you are interested in health, science, human digestion and all things weird and wonderful, served with a side of funny, you might just need to devour this treat for your encephalon. Mary really does make science fun!


And for this weeks challenge update:

  • Blog post 13/52 – check
  • Writing in the screenplay – check – word count up 985
  • Drawing – check!
  • Feet writing & drawing – check.

Until next time…