Sunday, April 20, 2014

Poop Happened

Title: Pooped Happened
Author: Sarah Albee
Number of Pages: 160
Date Read: 4/19/14
Genre: Non-Fiction, History

Synopsis (Found on

Did lead pipes
cause the fall of the Roman Empire?

How many toilets were in the
average Egyptian pyramid?

How did a knight wearing fifty
pounds of armor go to the bathroom?

Was poor hygiene the last straw
before the French Revolution?

Did Thomas Crapper really invent
the modern toilet?

How do astronauts go
in space?

History finally comes out of the water-closet in this exploration of how people's need to relieve themselves shaped human development from ancient times to the present. Throughout time, the most successful civilizations were the ones who realized that 
everyone poops, and they
had better figure out how to get rid of it! From the world's first flushing toilet invented by ancient Minoan plumbers to castle moats in the middle ages that used more than just water to repel enemies, Sarah Albee traces human civilization using one revolting yet fascinating theme.

A blend of historical photos and humorous illustrations bring the answers to these questions and more to life, plus extra-gross sidebar information adds to the potty humor. This is bathroom reading kids, teachers, librarians, and parents won't be able to put down!

My Review:

This book was hilarious, gross and informative. Its guessed it, the history of what people did with human poop. The book gives the history of how people lived from prehistoric times to modern times and what they did (where they put it before toilets) with all peoples poop over time. You also get a history of the different diseases people got from poop and contaminated drinking water. This book gives gross facts about how people lived in filth for centuries. It also gives you a bit of history on people who made advances in sanitation/hygiene (called Hygiene heroes), information about all the disgusting jobs people actually did that has to do with human excrement and sewage as well a bit of history on toilets. One thing I love about this book is that it points out things about the how people in the past lived that you otherwise would of never thought about and as you read it you're like "OMG yeah where did people put all they're poop?" You see all these movies set in the middle ages or the Renaissance that make life look wonderful and look like a great time period to live in. Um no.. not after reading the truth of how people lived. This book shows how something so simple nowadays, going to the bathroom, was a majorly disgusting problem in history. Of course in movies you see the great balls and parties and ladies in their fine dresses but you never see any scene with someone using a chamber pot or an outhouse which is how people used the bathroom for centuries. You never see scenes with a cesspit or sewage filled streets which is how real people lived. I'll take the modern times anyday. 

The book is funny so its not as if you're completely grossed out when you read it. Rather, the author took the time to actually research this topic of what people did with their waste. And if you think about it, its really an important question and you come to realize that human waste causes a lot of health problems and diseases if not disposed of properly. Its crazy how one persons poop in the wrong river can cause contaminated water that can cause a disease that kills thousands of people. I found this book to be very interesting and it truly makes the reader appreciate their modern flush toilet. The toilet is truly a great invention and is taken for granted. Now my answer for the ever popular question, "What is one thing you can't live without?" is: my toilet.


No comments:

Post a Comment