Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal Audiobook, by Mary Roach Play Audiobook Sample

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal Audiobook

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal Audiobook, by Mary Roach Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Emily Woo Zeller Publisher: Tantor Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.50 hours at 1.5x Speed 4.13 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: April 2013 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9781452683423

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

41:55 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

13:22 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

27:50 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Mary Roach: > View All...

Plot Summary

It is a vital part of our bodies from cradle to grave. Entire industries are built around what we put into our bodies, and civilization is marked by the ability to sanitarily dispose of what comes out. This bodily function is a daily part of our lives, and yet so much of it remains a mystery to the general public. Why is describing tastes so difficult? Indeed, try describing what "gamey" tastes like. Why doesn't the stomach digest itself? Is there really such a thing as "rectal feeding?"

All this and more is covered in "Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal", as author Mary Roach takes us on a journey from the tip of our tongues to the bottom of our, well, bottoms. Do not expect, however, a dry conversation as you might expect from your high school biology class. Roach makes sure to keep wit and humor on high as she discusses even the most taboo of subjects. Even when the book becomes, as Roach herself puts it, "icky," Roach maintains a sense of humor that will keep you interested in learning about the mysteries of our own body.

As Roach noted herself, "Good science writing peels away the blindness, generates wonder, and brings the open palm to the forehead: 'Oh! Now I get it!'" Roach has made quite the name for herself for presenting scientific subjects in a way that's easily digested (pardon the pun) by the non-science mind. Along with writing numerous science articles for major publications, she has written several books; Gulp is her fifth book, following bestsellers Stiff, Spook, Bonk, and Packing for Mars. When she's not traveling the world for research (she has visited all seven continents at least twice), she lives in Oakland CA with her husband and two step-daughters.

Roach once again goes boldly into the fields of strange science. In the case of her newest, some may hesitate to follow it's about the human digestive system, and it's as gross as one might expect. . . . Adventurous kids and doctors alike will appreciate this fascinating and sometimes ghastly tour of the gastrointestinal system.

— Publishers Weekly Starred Review 

Publisher Summary

"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.

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About Mary Roach

Mary Roach is the author of several works of nonfiction, including three New York Times bestsellers. Her writing has appeared in Outside, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine, among other publications.

About Emily Woo Zeller

Emily Woo Zeller is an artist, actor, dancer, choreographer, and voice artist who has won Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in 2018. She began her voice-over career by voicing animation in Asia. AudioFile magazine named her one of the Best Voices of 2013 for her work in Gulp. Other awards include the 2009 Tristen Award for Best Actress as Sally Bowles in Cabaret and the 2006 Roselyn E. Schneider Prize for Creative Achievement.