Publisher's Summary

An entertaining and enlightening exploration of why waste matters, this cultural history explores an often ignored subject matter and makes a compelling argument for a deeper understanding of human and animal waste. Approaching the subject from a variety of perspectives - evolutionary, ecological, and cultural - this examination shows how integral excrement is to biodiversity, agriculture, public health, food production and distribution, and global ecosystems. From primordial ooze, dung beetles, bug frass, cat scats, and flush toilets to global trade, pandemics, and energy, this is the awesome, troubled, uncensored story of feces.
©2013 David Waltner-Toews (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By serine on 23-01-2016

too much poop humor

Whenever I watched Monty Python and South Park I loved the philosophical humor but always hated, what seemed to me, overly polished fart jokes. Reading this book felt in many ways the same. I love waste. I love the waste different types of cells produce, how that "waste" becomes the building blocks for complex life and builds the yummy food I eat. I love thinking about ecosystems, how living things connect. The author suggested taking care of our waste was just as important as the process of voting. I agree. He did a great job of discussing the various problems that can arise if we don't handle waste properly, what has been done in the past, what is being done now, what would be idea uses of waste, etc. All of that discussion was great. But, I really didn't love his waste humor. The word shit appears in this book so often, I now dislike the word. Something that was not true prior to reading. If there exists a joke about shit, it's in this book. I didn't need that in order to remain interested in the role of waste in ecology.

That said, I have to believe that writing a book about waste is a difficult task. I had no idea how often I read while I ate until I was reading about shit. I had to switch to other books fairly often, just so I didn't have feces on my mind. Since we have by nature an aversion to feces, I do not know how I would go about helping my reader overcome that. Considering the foregoing, I had a really hard time settling on a rating for this book. If the shit humor appeared less often, I would definitely rate it higher.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By danny on 31-03-2016

fucking rad book

If you take an interest in biology, the natural world and science in general and you have a half way decent sense of humor, you MUST read.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 24-11-2014

Funny and informative

Would you listen to The Origin of Feces again? Why?

I think I would. There is really a lot of interesting information. It's impossible to remember everything and I suppose I'll have to get back to the book at some point.

Who was your favorite character and why?


Have you listened to any of Kevin Scollin’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have not, but most likely will.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I don't know if I wanted to, but I did.

Any additional comments?

Kevin Scollin is a very good narrator. It's not tiring to listen to him even 6 hours straight.

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