Characters

Mary Roach

Bestselling author Mary Roach has built a career on investigating the stranger side of science. Her first book, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, detailed what happens to our bodies after we die. Stiff was followed by more bestsellers, including most notably Spook, Gulp, and Bonk, her exploration of the science of sex. Grunt displays the same morbid wit and fierce attention to detail that made Roach's previous books bestsellers. Mary Roach is both the author of and a character in Grunt. She inserts herself into the narrative as an investigative journalist researching for her book. Her voice is both hilarious and well-informed, and even in the most absurd situations (like that of witnessing the "chicken gun" in action) she's able to find the humor and humanity.

Margaret Auerbach
 
Margaret Auerbach, referred to as Peggy or "flame goddess" at Natick Labs (a.k.a. the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center), runs the Ouellette Thermal Test Facility in Natick Labs. She's responsible for testing all the flame resistant materials designed and produced by the military, including the uniforms soldiers wear.
 
Annette LaFleur

Annette LaFleur is the U.S. Army's top fashion designer and is responsible for designing many of the Army's uniforms, including those used by snipers. LaFleur takes the flame resistant and liquid repellant fabrics developed by researchers and fashions them into uniforms so sleek that designers in the civilian world often steal from LaFleur's work.

Nicole Brockhoff
 
Nicole Brockhoff is one of the top scientists working for the Army Research Laboratory now. She has a graduate degree in biodefense and the honor of being the youngest person ever to receive the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award. She's in charge of developing WIAMan (Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin).
 
Eric Fallon
 
Eric Fallon works with the Department of Defense Hearing Center of Excellence. He's a researcher and audiologist who conducts training...

(The entire section is 996 words.)