List Price: $26.00 Details

The List Price is the suggested retail price of a new product as provided by a manufacturer, supplier, or seller. Except for books, Amazon will display a List Price if the product was purchased by customers on Amazon or offered by other retailers at or above the List Price in at least the past 90 days. List prices may not necessarily reflect the product's prevailing market price.
Learn more
Save: $9.05 (35%)
Get Fast, Free Shipping with Amazon Prime FREE Returns
Return this item for free
  • Free returns are available for the shipping address you chose. You can return the item for any reason in new and unused condition: no shipping charges
  • Learn more about free returns.
FREE delivery December 18 - 22 if you spend $25 on items shipped by Amazon
Or fastest delivery December 10 - 21
Arrives before Christmas
Only 1 left in stock - order soon.
As an alternative, the Kindle eBook is available now and can be read on any device with the free Kindle app. Want to listen? Try Audible.
[{"displayPrice":"$16.95","priceAmount":16.95,"currencySymbol":"$","integerValue":"16","decimalSeparator":".","fractionalValue":"95","symbolPosition":"left","hasSpace":false,"showFractionalPartIfEmpty":true,"offerListingId":"U92X61eitbOj9o3OpPSANBng5w%2F7icTHnk5Jh1SZzTQd%2B337N2i2f%2FDHlZB1mhXF%2FEavXg%2Bbx0fgKnTvlGlleZcfUuXcEj19t5SmukwO7hGH8%2BYTeMRIzNrz99ON%2BkQ%2Fy2m5tCC%2BDpGg3mMgFv4DoVuqHn%2FElSKdPrUjzZSzu9zRtwxeSRyGUCBc8tk2KpYt","locale":"en-US","buyingOptionType":"NEW"},{"displayPrice":"$7.94","priceAmount":7.94,"currencySymbol":"$","integerValue":"7","decimalSeparator":".","fractionalValue":"94","symbolPosition":"left","hasSpace":false,"showFractionalPartIfEmpty":true,"offerListingId":"5EE8waWLuWmdua4PVhrNuSO1XHHaR8AbcwfWPrmjut6e%2Fss%2BkHuT33dZ%2FKLUcr1TEuV5Ee0PHEFPjdkVNjO9MnY9x7QTuS%2B66ks3QsaCaCpqfKatvdIOLyRbkhhwkUUYJO7Dwt6hnxR9IfT6cQUJRkQN4rXY%2BNzqvd%2FEcdRJEsWQCg%2FrX0Cxy6X%2BPAdRvbgq","locale":"en-US","buyingOptionType":"USED"}]
$$16.95 () Includes selected options. Includes initial monthly payment and selected options. Details
Price
Subtotal
$$16.95
Subtotal
Initial payment breakdown
Shipping cost, delivery date, and order total (including tax) shown at checkout.
Your transaction is secure
We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. Learn more
Ships from
Amazon
Sold by
Ships from
Amazon
Sold by
Return policy: Returnable until Jan 31, 2023
For the 2022 holiday season, returnable items purchased between October 11 and December 25, 2022 can be returned until January 31, 2023.
The Big Necessity: The Un... has been added to your Cart
Get Fast, Free Shipping with Amazon Prime
FREE delivery Wednesday, December 14 if you spend $25 on items shipped by Amazon
Arrives before Christmas
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by SimplyyQuality
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Item is in Very Good condition. Very minimal sign of any use. May not include any other media such as CDs and/or DVDs.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Have one to sell?
Other Sellers on Amazon
Added
$16.95
+ $3.99 shipping
Sold by: LTtechno
Sold by: LTtechno
(1510 ratings)
95% positive over last 12 months
Only 1 left in stock - order soon.
Shipping rates and Return policy
Added
$21.25
& FREE Shipping
Sold by: The Book Stack
Sold by: The Book Stack
(371 ratings)
100% positive over last 12 months
Only 1 left in stock - order soon.
Shipping rates and Return policy
Added
$17.50
+ $3.97 shipping
Sold by: sequiturbooks
Sold by: sequiturbooks
(14819 ratings)
99% positive over last 12 months
Only 1 left in stock - order soon.
Shipping rates and Return policy
Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Amazon book clubs early access

Join or create book clubs

Choose books together

Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free.
Kindle app logo image

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Follow the Author

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.

The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters Hardcover – October 14, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 241 ratings

Price
New from Used from
Kindle
Hardcover
$16.95
$14.23 $1.95

Enhance your purchase


The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. With irreverence and pungent detail, George (A Life Removed) breaks the embarrassed silence over the economic, political, social and environmental problems of human waste disposal. Full of fascinating facts about the evolution of material culture as influenced by changing mores of disgust and decency (the popularity of high-heeled shoes dates back to the time when chamber pots were emptied into the streets)—the book shows how even advanced technology doesn't always meet basic needs: using toilet paper is shockingly unhygienic and millions of government-built latrines in developing countries have been turned into goat sheds and spare rooms due to poor design, a lack of regular water supply or simply because the subsidized (and expensive) cement and stone structures are often more appealing than the village huts. George explores how discussions on the importance of clean drinking water and the eradication of infectious diseases euphemistically address how to handle human waste. From the depths of the world's oldest surviving urban sewers in to Japan's robo-toilet revolution, George leads an intrepid, erudite and entertaining journey through the public consequences of this most private behavior. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—London and New York sewer tunnels, Japan's robotic toilet industry, farming innovations in China, and the politics of public sanitation in India—past and present—are treated with forthright investigation, sensitivity to intercultural relations and experiences, and high good humor. The effects of urban living on people who don't have sufficient human-waste disposal systems include not only diseases, but also social constructions that follow them beyond their portable brick latrines and backside-cleansing tools. The privacy that Westerners have grown to insist on as part of the toileting experience hampers travelers in parts of the world where toilet stalls don't have doors, let alone where toilets don't have stalls. George interviewed locals, social reformers, engineers, and bureaucrats in search of filling in the details of the picture she creates, making this a thorough, highly informative, and thought-provoking account. Her writing style is a delight, assuring her a faithful audience even while she discusses topics most commonly left unspoken and unwritten about. Teens may pick this up first for the gross-out factor but will find it a wealth of scientific and political intrigue.—Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Amazon Gift Card
Shop holiday gift cards
and discover deals from top brands.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0805082719
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Metropolitan Books; 1st edition (October 14, 2008)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780805082715
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0805082715
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.05 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.32 x 1.01 x 9.52 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241 ratings

About the author

Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations.
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Rose writes about subjects that are hidden, taboo, ignored or misunderstood. Her first book looked at what it's really like to be a refugee: how do you wash in the jungle with no soap? What are "refugee windows"? The Big Necessity explored the modern state of sanitation, starting from the startling fact that 2.5 billion people have no toilet, and passing through how sewers function (when people throw fat, wet-wipes and motorbike parts down them); why Japan has the most advanced toilets in the world; and why diarrhoea, an easily preventable condition, is the second biggest killer of children under 5, worldwide.

For Ninety Percent of Everything, Rose ran away to sea on a container ship, wanting to know who worked in the industry that carries nearly everything we consume, yet remains ignored and invisible. Under its UK title, Deep Sea and Foreign Going, the book won the 2013 Mountbatten Maritime Prize, and was a Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4.

Rose's latest book heads inside the body to look at blood, a marvellous substance that can kill us or save us; that is feared and revered. She travels widely to understand how our blood supply works; why menstrual blood is still considered so taboo, girls are ostracized for having periods; how modern trauma care is maybe using the wrong kind of blood; why leeches are still found in hospital pharmacies; and why thousands of people are still seeking justice after they were given contaminated blood products. There are also some vampires.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
241 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 4, 2010
5 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 1, 2009
19 people found this helpful
Report abuse

Top reviews from other countries

Janie U
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating account of worldwide culture attitudes to poo
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 8, 2019
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse
WendyJT
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic author of non-fiction
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 26, 2020
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An Uncomfortable Revelation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 27, 2021
Navigator
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brillliant report on human waste and its disposal
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 3, 2018
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse
J. Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars S*** happens.......
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 27, 2014