The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste

The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste


By (author) Rose George

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  • Publisher: Portobello Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 193mm x 25mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 6 July 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846270707
  • ISBN 13: 9781846270703
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 135,145

Product description

Description Produced behind closed doors, disposed of discreetly, hidden by euphemism, shit is rarely out in the open in 'civilised' society, but the world of waste - and the people who deal with it, work with it and in it - is a rich one. This book takes us underground to the sewers of NYC and London and overground, to meet the heroes of India's sanitation movement, American sewage schoolteachers, the Japanese genius at the cutting edge of toilet technology, and the biosolids lobbying team. With a journalist's nose for story, and a campaigner's desire for change, Rose George also addresses the politics of this under-reported social and environmental effluent, and the consequences of our reluctance to talk about it. Witty and original, "The Big Necessity" proves that shit doesn't have to be a dirty word.

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Author information

ROSE GEORGE is a freelance writer and journalist whose first book, A Life Removed: Hunting for Refuge in the Modern World, was long-listed for the Ulysses Reportage Prize. She contributes regularly to the LRB, Guardian, Independent and others.

Review quote

* 'The first popular study written on the subject. And popular it deserves to be. George has the right kind of breezy serious approach needed with this universal taboo.' Daily Mail * 'A fascinating, wise, calm and scrupulously drawn portrait of the world and its waste - [this is] a seriously important book.' Simon Winchester * 'George bravely submerges herself in the tragedy and occasional comedy of global sanitation. Sludge, biogas, sewage: I ate up and wanted more! The most unforgettable book to pass through the publishing pipeline in years.' Mary Roach, author of Stiff and Bonk