Monday, April 9, 2018

On the Coffee Table: Mary Roach

Title: Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
Author: Mary Roach
This book is my second experience with the work of Mary Roach (see previous post here).  While Bonk explores sex, Gulp follows the human digestion process from input to output.  I will admit to apprehension as I approached this book.  My wife warned me it was gross.  As she put it, "Don't go thinking it will get easier in the next chapter, because it won't!"

That said, it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting.  I am a wimp with gross, too, so I don't say that lightly.  There were definitely some chapters that were tough.  For instance, I now know more about constipation than I could possibly have wanted.  But for the most part, Gulp is both enlightening and entertaining.  Roach is nothing if not funny.

I have no quarrel with Roach over her unusual book topics.  I applaud her thorough and fearless research.  However, I am occasionally put off by the self-aware voice in her writing, not unlike that of French author Laurent Binet (see here).  For the most part, I enjoy your style, Ms. Roach.  But I can't say I care that you think Palatine Uvula would make a great pen name for a romance author.


  1. Probably not one I'm ever going to pick up.

    1. I hesitate to go so far as to recommend it but it is genuinely amusing and informative.

  2. ummmmmm not on my reading list.

    cheers, parsnip