We are very discreet. We disappear into a small room, perform the task, flush, wash and reappear as if nothing happened. Of course, hygiene is necessary - some faecal bacteria, if re-ingested, can cause very serious problems - and unpleasant aromas are best kept at bay.
But in all this hygienic discretion have we lost touch with an integral part of ourselves - something as much a part of living as breathing, eating and sleeping? Something enriching, creative and even enjoyable.
In The Story of Shit, Dutch biologist Midas Dekkers presents a personal, cultural, scientific, historical and environmental account of shit, from the digestive process and the fascinating workings of the gut, to the act of defecation and toilet etiquette. With irreverent humour and a compelling narrative style, Dekkers brings a refreshing, entertaining and illuminating perspective to a once-taboo subject.