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Life of Pee: The Story of How Urine Got Everywhere
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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.

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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 25th 2010 by Aurum Press (first published October 21st 2010)
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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
Stephen
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
Tweedledum
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
P.W.
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
...more
S'hi
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.
Chris
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!
Janneke
Feb 23, 2015 Janneke rated it did not like it
Many double / overlapping entries.
Molly
Jul 09, 2011 Molly rated it it was ok
disappointing.
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.
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