BookBrowse Reviews The Big Necessity by Rose George

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The Big Necessity

The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters

by Rose George

The Big Necessity by Rose George
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2008, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2009, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Beth Hemke Shapiro

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With razor-sharp wit and crusading urgency, mixing levity with gravity, Rose George tackles the all important topic of human waste

Rose George has a growing history of covering off-beat topics, such as writing about Saddam Hussein's birthday party and exploring the Alternative World Cup. Tackling the topic of human bodily waste is quite risky, and while George admits to being on the receiving end of many jokes, she effectively presents the topic as a serious public health issue supported by a riveting barrage of information.

At one end of the waste disposal spectrum are the luxurious Washlet toilets she finds throughout Japan - the bottom of the line model has a built-in bidet system, a heated seat, and a control panel; while higher-end products monitor blood pressure and play music. Since 1980, TOTO, an esteemed Japanese toilet manufacturer, has sold 20 million Washlets to Japan's population of 160 million. So commonplace in Japan are these toilets that census figures have revealed more ...

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