Underland: A Deep Time Journey Paperback – 18 August 2020
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- Paperback : 496 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0393358094
- ISBN-10 : 0393358097
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 3.05 x 21.08 cm
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company (18 August 2020)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #60,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
An excellent book--fearless and subtle, empathic and strange.--Dwight Garner
The most impressive exercise of imagination and scholarship I've come across lately....A reader never will forget this journey through geologic time.--Tony Norman
[Macfarlane] seems to metabolize landscape into lyrics as he walks.--Rachel Riederer
One of the most ambitious works of narrative non-fiction of our age.--William Dalrymple
Profound in every sense of the word.--Richard Powers, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Overstory
Reading Macfarlane connects us to dazzling new worlds. It's a connection that brings, more than anything else, joy.--Barbara J. King
Through this series of haunting descents, Macfarlane plumbs the strange and alarming ways we've changed the world and resurfaces with revelations about how to orient us to the future, weaving landscape and language together.--Kate Yoder
From the Back Cover
- Peter Fish, San Francisco Chronicle
- Marcia Bjornerud, Wall Street Journal
- Nathan Deuel, Los Angeles Times
- Bathsheba Demuth, Chicago Review of Books
- Ryan J. Haupt, Science
- Jedediah Purdy, Atlantic
"[Macfarlane's] best and most lyrical book."
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The author’s obsession with all of the manifestations of the Underland, and his willingness to risk his life numerous times to experience it and write this book about it, approaches religious fervor. Numerous times he gets so carried away with his own feelings and ideas that he drifts into irrationality and sentimentality. He even admits it when he is caught up in the concept of the “wood wide web,” the mycorrhizal fungi network that connects all the roots of the plants in a forest. “Lying there among the trees, despite a learned wariness towards anthropomorphism,” he writes, “I find it hard not to imagine those arboreal relationships in terms of tenderness, generosity and even love: the respectful distance of their shy crowns, the kissing branches that have pleached with one another, the unseen connections forged by root and hyphae between seemingly distant trees.” This is not scientific writing; it is pure emotion, a belief system in the making.
But his book is so enchanting that we forgive and forget the sentiment and can’t wait for his next Underland adventure. I get it and I still am moved by my own most interesting Underland experience. No, it wasn’t walking down an asphalt path to visit the Big Room in Carlsbad Caverns, it was being lowered in a large bucket a mile deep into a New Mexico uranium mine. That Underland was utterly fascinating and scary at the same time. Just like this book.
The thesis seems to be that humans have a fascination with the "underworld", the world beneath the surface. And the book does provide interesting notes on burying bodies and other things.
For my part, I have a large reading list with a broad scope and I do not sign a contract to read everything I start.