Download Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War Audiobook

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War Audiobook, by Mary Roach Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Mary Roach Narrator: Abby Elvidge Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781511367905
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Bestselling author Mary Roach explores the science of keeping human beings intact, awake, sane, uninfected, and uninfested in the bizarre and extreme circumstances of war.

Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier’s most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in east Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Roach samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee. She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you’ll never see our nation’s defenders in the same way again.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An examination of the science behind war. Even the tiniest minutiae count on the battlefield, and Roach leads us through her discoveries in her inimitable style.”


  • “[Roach] takes on the challenges the military faces to keep its fighters safe and healthy with her trademark flair (and zingy footnotes).”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Roach is a tenacious investigative journalist with an appetite for the unappetizing.”

    USA Today

  • “A mirthful, informative peek behind the curtain of military science.”

    Washington Post

  • “[Roach] writes exquisitely about the excruciating….wildly informative and vividly written.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Roach has done a fascinating job of portraying unexpected, creative sides of military science.”

    New York Post

  • Grunt is certain to arouse a more than passing interest in the tax dollars at work on these secret government research projects.”

    Shelf Awareness (starred review)

  • “Roach is exuberantly and imaginatively informative and irreverently funny, but she is also in awe of the accomplished and committed military people she meets.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Roach’s enjoyable audiobook applies her penchant for geeky technical detail and juvenile humor to the science of military training, supply, and medical care. Abby Elvidge’s…voice, though a bit scratchy, is clear and conveys Roach’s silly and snarky humor.”


  • A June 2016 LibraryReads Pick
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for June 2016
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2016 GoodReads Readers’ Choice Best Science & Technology Book Award Nominee

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About the Author

Mary Roach is the author of several books, including Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary CanalPacking for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Her writing has appeared in Outside, Wired, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine, among other publications. She lives in Oakland, California.

About the Narrator

Abby Elvidge grew up in Normal, Illinois and studied theatre at Columbia College in Chicago. While in Chicago she played Carter in Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein, Viola in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Cassandra in Euripides’ The Trojan Women, and Lydie in the original production of John Guare’s Lydie Breeze. After several years of working as a paleobotanist at The Desert Research Institute, she returned to the field of acting as a voiceover artist, specializing in character work for games and animation, and developing an intense passion for audiobook narration.