Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Life of Pee: The Story of How Urine Got Everywhere” as Want to Read:
Life of Pee: The Story of How Urine Got Everywhere
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Life of Pee: The Story of How Urine Got Everywhere

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  36 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Alchemists sought gold in it. David Bowie refrigerated it to ward off evil. In the trenches of Ypres soldiers used it as a gas mask, whereas modern-day terrorists add it to home-made explosives. All the Fullers, Tuckers and Walkers in the phonebook owe their names to it, and in 1969 four bags for storing it were left on the surface of the moon.

Bought and sold, traded and
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 25th 2010 by Aurum Press (first published October 21st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Life of Pee, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Life of Pee

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Emma Sea
Jul 13, 2013 Emma Sea rated it it was ok
Mightily disappointed in this, because it's written as a glossary/encyclopedia and not as a story. I wanted engaging history, linking the industrial and medical uses of urine in a conversational way. I always find this approach to be a cheap shot, requiring little talent beyond good research skills.

Content = 4
Method of communication = 1
Aug 09, 2015 Stephen rated it liked it
Having just read a book about blood, it seemed reasonable to read a book about urine, thereby keeping a theme of bodily fluids going for a stretch of two. Sally Magnusson's "Life of Pee" was not a bad choice but neither was it a gem. It contains a great deal of cultural history. It recounts the numerous practical processes to which human urine has been put over time. It relates the use of urine in the healing arts both as a diagnostic aid and as a medicine. It could have explained more of the sc ...more
I love books like this that collect extra-ordinary and little known facts up together and present them in an appealing way. Visually the book in very attractive but who knew that Urine was such a fascinating subject that has in fact been of massive importance in our history even in one of its current guises as artificial urea in toothpaste?! If I am ever trapped below ground or halfway up a mountain I now know that in an emergency drinking urine is OK and could give me the vital few more hours n ...more
May 09, 2012 P.W. rated it really liked it
Not so much a story as a series of vignettes detailing urine throughout history. There is a lot of knowledge in here that you haven't learned, or may have forgotten. Generally amusing without stooping to scatological humor.

The only real complaint about the book is the font size. The version of the book I have is about the size of a standard Kindle, but the text is devilishly small. If it wasn't for font size alone, I would have finished this book the week I got it instead of setting it aside for
Jun 28, 2013 S'hi rated it really liked it
Amusingly anecdotal and deeply researched, this little tome covers the centuries of privy jokes as well as uses for what today is mostly seen as waste. With literary reference as much as toilet humour, The Life of Pee reminds us of what we all have in common, yet so ingenuously use to keep us apart. Suggesting that we can “get the whole story from urine, the source that rarely lies”, Sally Magnusson gives plenty of examples through the centuries of just why this is so. Edifying.
Mar 22, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: misc-non-fiction
A fascinating collection of anecdotes about pee and the uses it has been put to throughout the ages. Most of us today consider it as just something to be got rid of, but in the past it has been used for so many things, and has even been taxed in one case! The stories are arranged alphabetically and are cross-referenced as well. Something a little bit different but well worth a read!
Feb 23, 2015 Janneke rated it did not like it
Many double / overlapping entries.
Jul 09, 2011 Molly rated it it was ok
Martin Willoughby
Nov 24, 2014 Martin Willoughby rated it it was amazing
Observant, interesting and witty look at our urine and how much of what we have depends on it.
Paul rated it really liked it
Sep 21, 2012
Bronwyn rated it it was amazing
Oct 04, 2016
Joanna Stelmasiak
Joanna Stelmasiak rated it liked it
Nov 18, 2013
Melanie Miles
Melanie Miles rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2015
Dan Twohig
Dan Twohig rated it really liked it
Jan 11, 2016
Cynda rated it it was amazing
Sep 11, 2015
Martin Waterhouse
Martin Waterhouse rated it really liked it
Sep 11, 2012
Andrew rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2012
Jamie rated it liked it
Sep 04, 2012
Andreas Rauh
Andreas Rauh rated it really liked it
Sep 27, 2011
Scott rated it really liked it
Apr 15, 2012
Milc rated it liked it
Jan 25, 2016
David Oliver
David Oliver rated it really liked it
Nov 12, 2014
Edwirinia rated it liked it
Aug 30, 2011
Cozmo Dogfart
Cozmo Dogfart rated it it was amazing
Jun 08, 2017
Lisa Marbach Sawyer
Lisa Marbach Sawyer rated it really liked it
Jan 13, 2017
Blair Hodgkinson
Blair Hodgkinson rated it really liked it
Oct 20, 2015
Stephanie Wasek
Stephanie Wasek rated it really liked it
Sep 19, 2014
Eleanor McLaren
Eleanor McLaren rated it liked it
Aug 13, 2015
Lesley rated it really liked it
Jun 17, 2014
Laura rated it did not like it
Nov 20, 2016
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book