Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Review: Why Fish Fart by Francesca Gould

Here is another thoroughly distasteful yet utterly compelling book from the author of the New York Times (extended list) bestseller Why You Shouldn't Eat Your Boogers and Other Useless (or Gross) Information About Your Body. In Why Fish Fart and Other Useless (or Gross) Information About the World, Francesca Gould sifts through the world's most unpleasant creatures, diseases, physical deformities, culinary delicacies, ritual practices, and hideous torture tactics to uncover every horrifying and stomach-turning fact under the sun. This book is full of questions you never thought to ask—and perhaps will wish you'd never had answered—including:

—What exactly is maggot cheese?
—How did anal hair help to lead to the conviction of the Great
—Train Robbers?
—What is the job of a "fart catcher"?
How exactly do "crabs" cause such intense itching around one's private parts?
—The real story behind why the toilet is often referred to as "the john."
—Why you might want to steer clear of some coffees. (Hint: If poo isn't exactly your idea of appetizing . . .)

Why Fish Fart and Other Useless (or Gross) Information About the World is sure to delight any and all hard-core fans of the obscure, esoteric, and—last but not least—grotesque.


Received from the publisher for review.

Fans of Bizarre Foods with Anthony Zimmern will enjoy the first chapter entitled "Obscene Cuisine".

Tidbits I learned from the book:

  • There are a lot of gross animals out there! Ick!
  • Syphilis was obviously prevalent throughout history. Really, it seems like 90% of the population had syph!
  • The average telephone receiver contains more germs per square inch than the average toilet seat!
  • It's amazing our species survived as long as it has with the nasty things our ancestors did. Cleanliness was almost an afterthought for much of our history!
  • There was an interesting discussion about castration and the castrati. I found it particularly interesting as my first introduction to the castrati was in Anne Rice's Cry to Heaven.
  • There was a fascinating list from the FDA of acceptable levels of insect and rodent parts (hairs) allowed in our food. Next time I'm eating something and I come across a hair this will certainly make me think!
This one gets six stars. I was not overly impressed with the information, much of which was, as was advertised on the cover, gross. It is certainly not for the faint of heart or stomach! There were some interesting tidbits, but overall it was rather tasteless. It left me not wanting to eat, drink, or touch anything! The book is obviously intended for fans of Blue Collar TV and such, and would make a nice gift for someone with those tastes.

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆




2 comments:

Ryan G said...

LOL, this sounds hillarious. By the way I love Cry to Heaven, great book.

Wanda said...

I think I'll be checking the stores for this one. Just my kind of book!
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

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