Monday, June 6, 2016
Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.
This was another one of those books where I was so excited to get an ARC, I'm pretty sure I squealed out loud.
I should preface this by saying I love Mary Roach's books. My mother does too. In fact, Roach graduated from the same college I went to (though not the same year). My mother once showed up early enough for a talk she was giving that she got to sit next to Roach before everyone else got there, and just chat with her.
She said Roach was absolutely fascinating and funny, just like you would hope.
In Grunt, Roach again works her unique style of magic, this time centered around the science surrounding humans at war. She volunteers to participate in a heat stroke test, and to act as an injured party (complete with fake squirting blood) in an attack simulation. She visits the home of a man who studies the healing power of maggots, and stops in at a lab dedicated to the possibility of genitalia transplants, as well as one focused on preventing debilitating diarrhea.
Through it all, Roach never loses her sense of humor, her deep curiosity, or her willingness to learn. Nothing will stop her from approaching an intimidating Special Ops officer at the lunch table to ask him about his bowel movements, all in the name of science of course.
Grunt is a look at the side of war that isn't typically written about, the scientific side, where developing shark repellent and the most disgusting smelling weapons could just be the key to winning it all.