Automotive Holiday Deals Up to 50% Off Select Books Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Black Friday egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Get Ready for the Winter Gifts Under $50 Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Black Friday Deals Outdoor Deals on DOTD
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal First Edition Edition

918 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393081572
ISBN-10: 0393081575
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$5.97 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$16.99 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
85 New from $3.58 159 Used from $0.01 13 Collectible from $14.00
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Get Up to 80% Back Rent Textbooks
$16.99 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
  • +
  • Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
  • +
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Total price: $51.95
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more

Editorial Reviews Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013: Mary Roach’s investigations into weird body science were inspired by a plastic torso with removable organs in her fifth-grade class, “the point at which curiosity began to push aside disgust or fear or whatever it is that so reliably deflects mind from body.” Since then, she’s investigated death (Stiff), sex (Bonk), life after death (Spooked), and life in zero-gravity (Packing for Mars). Now, she cruises down the alimentary canal with Gulp. As you’d expect with Roach, this isn’t a methodical top-to-bottom tour. It’s more delightful and memorable than that. She’s a gorgeous writer, a master of sly asides, puns, and the bizarre but ultimately relevant story, sounding at times like an absurdly well-informed comedian (her footnotes are must-reads). And her evocative portraits of experts obsessed with their piece of the digestive puzzle--the surprising properties of saliva, nuances of chewing and digesting, and, yes, the incredible control of the colon--coaxes her readers beyond the gag reflex, inspiring awe for the world inside ourselves. --Mari Malcolm

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In her latest rollicking foray into taboo, icky, and underappreciated aspects of the human body, best-selling science writer Roach takes readers on a wild ride down the alimentary canal. Not that the author of Stiff (2003), Bonk (2008), and Packing for Mars (2010) ever takes a direct route anywhere. No, voraciously curious and intrepid Roach zips off in whatever direction her ardor for research and irrepressible instinct for the wonderfully weird lead her. She begins this hilarious, mind-expanding inquiry into eating, digestion, and elimination with the symbiosis between smell and taste, guided by an olfactorily gifted “sensory analyst,” then profiles Horace Fletcher, proponent of a rigorous chewing routine known as “Fletcherizing” practiced by Henry James and Franz Kafka. We learn more than one can imagine about saliva and our passion for crispy and crunchy foods. Given Roach’s fascination with what we find disgusting, scientific obsessions and bizarre experiments, and horrifying things we do to ourselves, the stories get stranger as she proceeds down the body. Roach interviews a prison inmate about “rectal smuggling” (including cell phones), tells tales of flatulence, and reveals the truth about Elvis Presley’s fatal megacolon. For all her irreverence, Roach marvels over the fine-tuned workings and “wisdom” of the human body, and readers will delight in her exuberant energy, audacity, and wit. --Donna Seaman

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition edition (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393081575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393081572
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (918 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

MARY ROACH is the author of "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers," "Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife," "Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex," and "Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void." She lives in Oakland, California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

230 of 233 people found the following review helpful By sb-lynn TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mary Roach is one of my favorite science writers and I always buy her books and read them when they first come out.

This book - Gulp - is all about the alimentary canal; that part of the body that begins at the point where food is consumed and ends where solid waste is expelled. Starting with taste and the mouth, she follows our digestive system all the way down. As with her other books, this one is replete with interesting and often bizarre facts and tales of eccentrics and misguided scientists and experiments gone awry. The author covers all sorts of "taboo" and sensitive subjects and both educates us and makes us laugh.

At the start, we learn about the importance of our nose (our ability to smell) and what that has to do with taste. She also compares our tastebuds with those of cats and dogs - showing how we often assume that they will like what we will. Well, it turns out that's really wrong. We learn how different cultures throughout history have found different things palatable and that the foods consumed by the most privileged may not be the healthiest. She also goes on later on to compare the anatomy of man to those of various other animals and points out how we are the same and how we differ. We learn about the problems and benefits associated with our digestive system and the various theories and treatments over time for various intestinal ailments.

In typical Mary Roach style, she candidly discusses such "taboo" topics as intestinal gas and our bowel habits. We read about the dangers of prisoners secreting contraband in their stomachs or their anal cavities and go from there to learning about the digestive systems of competitive eaters.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So starting a book about the alimentary canal, we are taken on a tour of what people consider palatable. It doesn't have much to do wih nutrition. For example, organ meats and byproducts have enough vitamins to prevent scurvy, but most people really do not care to eat them. Mary Roach has noted that "some degree of obsession is a requisite for good science, and certainly for scientific breakthrough." I am not sure if she includes herself in this judgment but she certainly does spend a lot of time with strange specialists for her books. While this book would likely be called popular science, she doesn't skimp on source interviews and extensive research. In this case she is following the route of food which "like the Amtrak line from Seattle to Los Angeles:tranist time is about thirty hours, and the scenery on the last leg is pretty monotonous." This book, however, is anything but monotonous.

I have read her other books, and found them to be instructive, witty, and sometimes funny. This book is another enjoyable find. I mean who can resist a writer who notes that the proper name of the uvula is "palatine uvula" the name she intends to use if she should branch out to romance novels? I cannot deny that there are some nauseating facts included in this book, but one must surely expect that given the subject matter. She delivers cogent and well organized material in well formed and flowing prose. For this feat I give five stars.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
'Laundry detergent is essentially a digestive tract in a box.' Now, where else but in a book written by Mary Roach, the author who loves wierd science, would we learn such a thing? I mean, it makes sense, but I have never seen anyone write those words. In her new book, 'Gulp' etc, Mary Roach takes us from the mouth to the anus, and all the by-ways in-between. It is one of the more fascinating and informative books I have read in a long time. I am a health care practitioner, but I have learned more about our alimentary canal and the research involved in it's mysteries, than any of my Anatomy and Physiology books. There is so much to know and learn, I want to cover it all, but I won't, I will leave it to you to go on this journey.

"The human digestive track is like the Amtrak line from Seattle to Los Angeles; transit time is about thirty hours , and the scenery on the last lag is pretty monotonous". There you have it, from the first bite of food that is first smelled, chewed, oral digestive acids acted upon, moved down the esophagus to the stomach and into the bowels, large and small intestine and then into the anus, where the food that went in is expelled. The circuitous route taken is fascinating.

Chewing leads to a discussion of saliva, and we learn "Bodily fluids, gas and excrement may disgust us once they leave the body, but "we are large, mobile vessels of the very substances we find most repulsive." We learn a lot about 'gas', it's make-up, smell, testing, who makes the most gas, farting, and on and on. Megacolon, the large bowel dilatation that causes much straining to release it's contents and can cause cardiac arrhythmia and death, as it probably did for Elvis Presley. Mary Roach spent a great deal of time in her research for this book, traveling the world.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Erin Satie VINE VOICE on May 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
My review, in two words: don't bother.

After I heard Mary Roach discussing GULP during a Radiolab podcast, I really wanted to read it. She was talking about the symbiotic relationship we have with bacteria that inhabit our intestines and colon, and the podcast was fascinating and disgusting and informative. A really wonderful mix. I read STIFF a while back and enjoyed it, so I started GULP with high hopes.

All dashed.

GULP supposed to be about nourishment, about eating and excreting, about how important and undevalued our 'alimentary canal' is. It starts with the mouth and ends with the butt, and every chapter is a little more disgusting than the last. There's a whole chapter about fecal transplants, and if you're like me, that's a hook that will make you reach for the buy button.

I understand that this is pop science, pop non-fiction, that the purpose of a book like GULP is to entertain as well as inform. But GULP is so light it's in danger of floating away in a stiff breeze. Roach talks about sitting at a bar with this specialist, or visiting the home of that specialist, but instead of delving into the subjects those specialists understand so well, she pads the book with descriptions of the funny accent one speaks with, the video game the other's son plays. She cracks jokes about doctors with funny names (repeatedly, and it started to make me really mad -- we don't choose our names) and even describes looking at a page of Google search results. I did not buy GULP for the fascinating tale of how Mary Roach travels all around the world learning things for the book she's going to write, but I really did not buy it for the fascinating tale of how she sits at home and Googles things.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
This item: Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
Price: $16.99
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: books about the gut health