The Poop Diaries, by Abby Ross: #BookReview.

237 pages


This book is about plumbers and their experiences in the world of pipes, sewers, toilets, poo, and everything that impacts on their lives in that role. I’ll try to avoid scatological humour in this review, but I’m not promising anything!

If you’ve ever had to invite or beg a plumber to unblock your toilet, you’ll recognise some of the incidents recorded here. The technical systems in use are specifically related to the USA, so readers from elsewhere may not recognise some of the devices and terminology here. It’s not important; the stories are what makes this book.

Encounters with naked women, and men, the utter filth of some folk’s homes, irrational customer expectations, awkward working situations, and the natural embarrassment of discussing anything to do with the toilet make up the bulk of this humorous and informative book.

My only real issue is with the style of writing. It’s clear these many, and often varied, stories have been reported to the writer who has then transferred them to the written word. My disappointment is that the style of presentation doesn’t alter to suit the character of the narrator; it’s as if the whole volume has been written from a single point of view, which I felt was a lost opportunity. We could have learned so much more about these heroes of our everyday lives if we’d been allowed to ‘hear’ them in their own words.

But the stories are good, even if some experiences are similar. The author set out to inform and entertain readers with examples of the working methods used, barriers overcome, and odd personalities encountered by plumbers in their daily lives, and she has succeeded.

While some of the detail would certainly not be appropriate for a short read before lunch, much of the information and description is hilarious. It’s not only a portal to the problems and sometimes joys of life as a worker dealing with bunged-up toilets, but an insight into the varied and sometimes frankly disgusting lifestyles of our neighbours.

Not for the faint-hearted, this book is easy to read and enjoyable. But, I repeat, avoid turning the pages before, or after, a hearty meal, or you just may inadvertently revisit it!

I wrote this review based on a copy the author sent me with no requirement attached.

[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]