Dr. Wilson-Howarth, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, has a finely tuned sense of humor and, courtesy of our Victorian ancestors, our language is thick with euphemisms for this most basic of deeds.
Don't dismiss her timely and important information just because she's funny, she has a lot to teach us. You will learn how to:
-- avoid minor & major intestinal disruptions & diseases, as well as symptoms & cures.
-- eat, drink & be safe in a foreign place.
-- tame your bodily functions on those long rides.
-- travel with children & keep them well.
-- make environmentally & hygienically sound deposits
-- cope without toilet paper.
-- identify the critters who thrive in dark & moist areas.
Then set about discovering the amazing variety of foreign toilets...and so much more!
A seriously informative and amusing book with a host of helpful hints from well-traveled world trekkers.
Rebecca Brown (Clallam Bay, WA, US) posted on amazon.com
A very informative book packed with essential information for any traveller. As well as brilliant humour this book gives tips and essential advice on amongst many things serious issues like avoiding diarrhoea, parasites, global delicacies, child travellers, immunisations and the importance of rehydration. Dr Jane Wilson-Howarth offers a very clear and easy to understand approach to a subject sometimes not often talked about, yet faced by travellers on a day-to-day basis! In addition the book is packed from cover to cover with travellers own entertaining experiences from across the globe. A fantastic book, waiting to be bought and read. I can't recommend it enough.
Claire (Ipswich, UK) posted on amazon
This is a very interesting book written by a physician. The advice is sound and many of the anecdotes are laugh out loud. My favorite was the one about the ziggurat of colonic filth.
Sean O'Reilly (Washington Metro Area) posted on amazon.com
"helpful tips on how to have trouble-free vacations"
The Arizona Republic
Featured in the Bookseller alternative review of the year (Dec 2000) as the June highlight.
"The book’s strength lies in the very personal quotations of real people who aren’t afraid to share their experiences."
"A cheery and commonsensical guide"
"enlivened by colourful crappy tales"
Independent on Sunday Book of the Week
"likely to remain the definitive guide..."
The title of the book may sound somewhat crude, however, if you are a traveler, I am sure you have at one time or another being a victim of "Montezuma's revenge" or "Tourista."
No doubt most of us are aware that these are common terms used for an awful attack of traveler's diarrhea. Dr. Jane Wilson-Howarth, a fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, in her book entitled, Shitting Pretty, How to Stay Clean And Healthy While Traveling, was daring enough to write freely about a topic we find revolting to discuss.
Nevertheless, we must be realistic, and if we plan to travel anywhere in the world we must be aware of the various risks involved pertaining to the food we eat and the water we drink. As the author mentions in the introduction, "this little book will-I trust- allow you to enjoy your adventures with the minimum of forced gastrointestinal stops." The principal objectives of the book are to provide the reader with strategies to avoid illness and ensure a healthy trip.
One warning I have is that some of the author's descriptions as well as the various sidebar antidotes provided by fellow travelers can at times be humorous but at the same time somewhat obnoxious. In fact, the reactions I received from my wife and friends upon reading the book were, "Oh My God!"
Nonetheless, Dr.Wilson-Howarth uses everyday language devoid of medical jargon in order that we can easily comprehend what she is explaining to us.
The topics expanded upon in this medical advisory guidebook include the various kinds of diarrhea, their causes and how to avoid it. We are also apprised about toilet facilities in various countries, particularly in third world countries, and how to cope with them. Other issues such as, how safe is the water, weird foods, how to cope when on a long voyage and bathing are likewise expounded upon in order that we have a general knowledge of the risks inherent in traveling to various countries. The ending of each chapter highlights in summary form the principal topic of the section.
The author also enlightens us about certain subjects, such as the history of toilet paper. I bet you did not know that toilet paper is a recent invention. According to the author, the first Gayety's Medicated Paper was produced in England in 1857 and came in flat packs. It was a product for the rich, and one that people were embarrassed to purchase: it was kept out of sight under the counter and euphemistically called curl paper. It was only in 1928 that toilet paper appeared. This certainly can prove to be an interesting bit of information when you are trying to make conversation at a cocktail party!
Norman Goldman "Editor of Bookpleasures.com" (Montreal) posted on amazon.com
I just wish someone had given me this book before my last trip to India where I caught giardia. I like to think that this book may have helped. I had to bribe a bus driver to stop the bus in open country near Jaipur, but couldn't perform under the bemused gaze of about 50 Indian travellers. When I got back on the bus my bowels exploded when the bus hit the next pot-hole in the road and I soiled myself. If that was not enough, half an hour later I vomited on an elderly woman sitting next to me who had until that point been polite enough not to mention the horrendous smell. I'll remember to pack this book next time I travel in the hope of avoiding a repeat of this ghastly experience.
Lloyd Grossman (London UK) posted on amazon.com
I'm a typical middle-class US urban-dweller. I tend to take for granted our plumbing and sanitation systems, even though I remember my childhood stays on my grandparents' farm: outhouse, hand-pumped water, and all.
Therefore, I need the information in this book, and I'm delighted that it's so well written. So far, my world travels have been mostly in developed countries. But I hope to travel more extensively in the future, and I'll consult this book before each trip.
It's easy and fun to read, and the information just might save your vacation - if not your life. Highly recommended.
S. Saunders (Rocky Mountains, USA) posted on amazon.com
Looking for a book on squat toilets, getting the runs, and getting the runs while using a rough squat toilet? Not the best mealtime read, but good preparation for what the road throws at you. There's a wealth of info on eating right, drinking right, the risks of seafood, and keeping the little ones healthy. The differentiating factor for this book though is it doesn't stop there. Where else can you get a whole chapter on toilet paper and the lack thereof, bathing in a stream, or what to do when it's that time of the month and you're on a mountain ascent?
Throughout the book there are short snippets from doctors, from aid workers, and from others with life experience combating nasty bugs and diseases. If you're a parent wanting to make sure your about-to-leave child knows how to keep healthy, or you're the type who likes to be ready for anything, this is a valuable book. Anyone about to go off on a long-term volunteer assignment in a rural environment should make room for it in the pack.
Tim Leffel, author (Nashville, TN US) posted on amazon.com
One of the most interesting reads and had me in fits of laughter through most of it! 'm possibly one of the most hygienic people out there and yet this book still managed to open my eyes further than I could imagine! It's a must read and a book any traveller should have on their travels as it contains crucial information on symptoms, reasons and solutions.
A pleasurable read.
"Lots of really good tips on how to avoid getting sick while travelling, and what to do if (and when!) you do. Plus, many of the stories are laugh out loud funny in that gross, commiserating, I can't believe that happened, type of way. Really good and fast read to get a ton of tips for when you are travelling in less than sanitary conditions and how to stay healthy. I recommend it for all globe trotters!"
"I rarely write letters, but I just had to send you a note to thank you for your How to Shit Around The World book. I still smile at the stories and learned a lot. I’ve had my share of dysentery, cholera, campylobacter, etc. and it was nice to get down and dirty with the details in your book..... Actually, I am planning on re-reading it again in a few months to give the brain cells another chance to absorb the information."
Mark P by email
My friend in Holland to whom I'd sent a copy of "Shitting Pretty" in Dutch was thrilled with it. I thought it might be of general interest to her as she's a keen traveller but something you, Jane, had written about warm food reminded her of a distinctly dodgy breakfast she'd eaten in Tanzania years ago. She reckons that at last she may have got to the root of long-term digestive problems.
Helen Culnane of Cambridge Writers
Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel
If you've ever had any gastro issues then you'll enjoy this book, especially if you travel abroad. Of course there are areas of the U.S. that are like third world countries. Good entertainment value, but solid and useful info too. I'd recommend it.
F. Fletcher (Atlanta, US) posted on amazon.com
"an evacuation manual of sorts.... gives straightforward advice… a great bathroom read. But the best reading, if you are into potty humor, are the travelers’ anecdotes."
The Washington Post
This is a well written, thoughtful, informative book that provides real life examples on taking care of your natural functions in strange places. It also provides significant data on how to stay healthy in these strange places.
Howard L. Martin (Pahoa, Hawaii) posted on amazon.com
Even if you never venture forth to "go" into the wild, this is a great read. Dr. Wilson-Howarth's style is very, very entertaining. The trouble is, you'll have all these fascinating titbits of conversation starters, but when to use them?
"redhamlet" (Natick, MA US) posted on amazon.com