Am I interested in diarrhea, maggots, and stink bombs? Of course! As long as Mary Roach is involved. Filled with humor and humanity, Grunt focuses on science, lifesaving, and what happens when laboratory environments tackle real world logistical issues. Interesting and accessible for both hawks AND doves! Recommended By The Dot, Powells.com
Mary Roach's winning blend of popular science, contagious curiosity, abundant humor, and engaging style are quite the successful combination. In her sixth book, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, Roach turns her inquisitive reporting to the fascinating (and often unbelievable) realm of military science. Covering everything from garment efficacy, combat vehicle vulnerability, warfare audiology, genital injuries, phalloplasty, perspiration, the dangers of diarrhea, medicinal maggots, submarines, and sleep cycles, Roach offers an entertaining, informative, and often hilarious glimpse into the scientific past, present, and future forever shaping the readiness and durability of our armed forces. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Best-selling author Mary Roach explores the science of keeping human beings intact, awake, sane, uninfected, and uninfested in the bizarre and extreme circumstances of war.
Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in east Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Roach samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee. She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you’ll never see our nation’s defenders in the same way again.
"Roach...applies her tenacious reporting and quirky point of view to efforts by scientists to conquer some of the soldier’s worst enemies." Seattle Times
"Having investigated sex, death, and preparing for space travel, New York Times best-selling Roach applies her thorough — and thoroughly entertaining — techniques to the sobering subject of keeping soldiers not just alive but alert and healthy of mind and body during warfare." Library Journal
"Mary Roach is one of the best in the business of science writing...She takes readers on a tour of the scientists who attempt to conquer the panic, exhaustion, heat, and noise that plague modern soldiers." Brooklyn Magazine
"A rare literary bird, a best selling science writer...Roach avidly and impishly infiltrates the world of military science....Roach is exuberantly and imaginatively informative and irreverently funny, but she is also in awe of the accomplished and committed military people she meets." Booklist (Starred Review)
About the Author
Mary Roach is the author of Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Her writing has appeared in Outside, Wired, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine, among others. She lives in Oakland, California.