Mary Roach’s hilarious journey into the delights and disgusts of our food, Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal has been longlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize 2014, following hot on the heels of Sean Carroll’s win last year with Particle at the End of the Universe. The book was applauded by the judges as “an entertaining and disarming read which delves into a usually unspeakable topic with great humour and great insight.” This prestigious prize, which celebrates outstanding popular science books from around the world, is open to authors of science books written for a non-specialist audience. The shortlist will be announced on 19 September, and the final award - recently increased to £25,000 - will be awarded later in the year.
About the book:
The bestselling author of Stiff takes on the curious, comical intersection of delight and disgust that is eating(and what comes after).
Eating is the most pleasurable, gross, necessary, unspeakable biological process we humans undertake. But very few of us realise what strange wet miracles of science operate inside us after every meal - let alone have pondered the results (of the research). How have physicists made crisps crispier? What do laundry detergent and saliva have in common? Was self-styled ‘nutritional economist’ Horace Fletcher right to persuade millions of people that chewing a bite of shallot 700 times would yield double the vitamins? And did Elvis actually die from constipation?
In her trademark, laugh-out-loud style, Mary Roach breaks bread with spit connoisseurs and enema exorcists, stomach slugs, rectum-examining prison guards, and competitive hot dog eaters as she investigates the beginning - and the end - of our food.
What people are saying about the book:
'Witty, illuminating and at times astonishing.'
Mail on Sunday
'Fascinating and funny.'
'Far away her funniest and most sparkling book.'
New York Times
'The best kind of lavatory reading.'
'Insightful, sharp science writing that will have you snorting with laughter is Mary Roach's speciality.'
'Roach writes clearly, with gallows humour… compelling.'
'A wonderful read.'
'Joyously funny and intrepidly smart.'
'The funniest book by far… almost every page made me laugh out loud.'
Sunday Times, book of the year
'Well worth swallowing… a fascinating and funny account of the process that gives us life.'