Oh Mary Roach, making science and disgusting things be interesting and fun. Her book "Gulp" takes us on an adventure "through the Alimentary Canal", which means we are talking a bout everything from the saliva in your mouth to the waste that comes out of your body. In typical Mary Roach fashion, she takes kind of a broad topic and then does several chapters about different aspects of that main topic.
This might be a good time to say that if you are eating a meal right now, or want to be eating a meal in the next 30 minutes or so, maybe you should save this review for another time. Really, it's in your gag reflexes' best interest.
I'm just going to give a couple of factoids that I thought were great from different chapters and hope that that intrigues you enough to pick up this book for yourself.!
There's a chapter about saliva. Did you know that excessive salivation might be a symptom of mercury poisoning?
There's a chapter about chewing. Each person's chewing style is completely unique to them, it's almost like a fingerprint. I was thinking, "uh really? I don't know about you but generally my jaw only goes one way". But the more I read the more I learned. Some people are up and down, some are more side to side, some people chew their food into mush before they swallow, some people barely chew it enough so they don't choke!
Of course there's talk about rectum and poop, so here's that info:
A prison slang term for rectums is "prison wallet". So. Yep. Bust out that fact around your grandma and the potato salad at the next summer get together.
Here is my favorite quote of the book. Mary asks an expert (I forget in what) what would happen if a terrorist tried to take down a plane by smuggling a bomb on board using his "prison wallet".
"Crump says a rectal bomb wouldn't bring down a plane. At the most you'd just blow the seat apart".
As a person who worries about literally everything when she's flying, that gave me some relief.
As far as Mary Roach books go, it's not my favorite. (I think Stiff will always be my favorite), but I liked it more than Spook. If you're a science/health/nutrionist or something of the like I bet you would get an especially good kick out of it, but I think it's still a fun read for anyone in general. (Provided they don't mind some talk about poop!) I give it 3 out of 5 stars!