What's Eating You?

  • by Eugene H. Kaplan
  • Narrated by Dennis Holland
  • 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In What's Eating You? Eugene Kaplan recounts the true and harrowing tales of his adventures with parasites, and in the process introduces readers to the intimately interwoven lives of host and parasite.
Kaplan has spent his life traveling the globe exploring oceans and jungles, and incidentally acquiring parasites in his gut. Here, he leads listeners on an unforgettable journey into the bizarre yet oddly beautiful world of parasites.
In a narrative that is by turns frightening, disgusting, and laugh-out-loud funny, Kaplan describes how drinking contaminated water can cause a three-foot-long worm to burst from your arm; how he "gave birth" to a parasite the size and thickness of a pencil while working in Israel; why you should never wave a dead snake in front of your privates; and why fleas are attracted to his wife.
Kaplan tells stories about leeches feasting on soldiers in Vietnam; sea cucumbers with teeth in their anuses that seem to encourage the entry of symbiotic fish; the habits of parasites that cause dysentery, river blindness, and other horrifying diseases--and much, much more. Along the way, he explains the underlying science, including parasite evolution and host-parasite physiology.
Informative, frequently lurid, and hugely entertaining, this audiobook is a must-listen for health-conscious travelers and anyone who has ever wondered if they picked up a tapeworm from that last sushi dinner.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Squirm-inducing, horribly fascinating stories

This book made me shudder, cringe, and occasionally laugh out loud at some of the anecdotes related by Professor Kaplan.

Definitely not a book for the squeamish--I have a fairly high tolerance for gore and ick, as some of my other non-fiction selections will testify, but some of the anecdotes in this book really pushed my limits. Now, I never want to visit Africa or South America, and I haven't been able to face raw sushi for a couple of weeks now! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

So, in short, this book delivers exactly what it promises--hair-raising and stomach-turning details of various parasites, but it's definitely not a comfortable read. For the strong of heart--and stomach.
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- Karin W.

Entertaining Book on an Interesting Subject

Dr. Kaplan does an excellent job of communicating his passion for this subject. You can tell he just loves talking about parasites. Though he is obviously trying to write a book to make the reader smile and even laugh, he doesn't skimp on hard information. If I were forced to find one shortcoming in the book it would be the author's emphasis on the "ick factor" inherent in the subject, and the only reason I object to that is that as a biology geek my own "ick factor" tolerance is extremely high, so his attempts to entertain by the "gross out" often falls flat for me. However I realize that many of his readers, particularly young ones, this would be a plus. The narrator also does a great job of communicating the author's enthusiasm.
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- Randall D. Raymond

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-06-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios