cover image Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War

Mary Roach, read by Abby Elvidge. Brilliance Audio, , unabridged, 7 CDs, 9 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-5113-6791-2

It’s a surprisingly difficult task to narrate Roach’s writing, because it’s serious science but also whimsical fun. But Elvidge matches the two aspects perfectly, balancing the informative and the playful in a way that captures Roach’s innate knack for edutaintment. The actress is a relative newcomer to audiobooks, narrating over a dozen credited ones in the last few years, primarily in nonfiction, YA, and memoir. Her bright, high vocal tone brings an inquisitive sensibility to the book. It’s clear she is enjoying the fruits of Roach’s research—following the scientific discoveries that help soldiers withstand extreme weather, combat exhaustion, and severe injury (even if it means cleaning out necrotic tissue via “medical maggots”). Elvidge sounds as curious and excited about the findings as Roach herself, always ready to volunteer one of Roach’s many witty zingers to keep things lively. [em]A Norton hardcover. (June) [/em]