books of the month
Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

Being a Beast by Charles Foster
  

Being a Beast

Biography / Autobiography   Books for the Boys   Popular Science   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Share this book

Lovereading view...

We can never truly know what it is like to be another species and experience their lives as they search for food, or kill and be killed – but Charles Foster has gone further than most in trying to capture that elusive experience. Through following Swifts, Red Deer, Otters, Badgers and Foxes, observing, trying to live as they do he manages to rent small tears in the barriers between us. His approach to natural history brings shocks and surprises, an otter's intense driving metabolism, why British and European badgers differ in behaviours, how deer live without their wolf predator, how Swifts, Swallows and House Martin inhabit different levels of the sky in their hunt for insects rising up the eddies and columns of air. Safe to say this unusual, intimate and passionate attempt to connect with nature is unlike anything else you'll read this year. ~ Sue Baker

February 2016 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.

Like for Like Reading

Corvus: A Life with Birds, Esther Woolfson

Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills, Neil Ansell

Synopsis

Being a Beast by Charles Foster

Charles Foster wanted to know what it was like to be a beast: a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, a swift. What it was really like. And through knowing what it was like he wanted to get down and grapple with the beast in us all. So he tried it out; he lived life as a badger for six weeks, sleeping in a dirt hole and eating earthworms, he came face to face with shrimps as he lived like an otter and he spent hours curled up in a back garden in East London and rooting in bins like an urban fox. A passionate naturalist, Foster realises that every creature creates a different world in its brain and lives in that world. As humans, we share sensory outputs, lights, smells and sound, but trying to explore what it is actually like to live in another of these worlds, belonging to another species, is a fascinating and unique neuro-scientific challenge. For Foster it is also a literary challenge. Looking at what science can tell us about what happens in a fox's or badger's brain when it picks up a scent, he then uses this to imagine their world for us, to write it through their eyes or rather through the eyes of Charles the beast.

Reviews

'Transcendentally eccentric nature writing of the first order. Charles Foster digs deep under the skin of other animals, uncovering gems of wisdom that our usually superficial gaze will otherwise miss' -- Hugh Warwick

'Charles Foster's chronicle of the sensory lives of beasts and his own forays into self re-wilding is like nothing you have ever read. Deeply serious and at times laugh-out-loud funny, this is an extraordinary book' -- Caspar Henderson

About the Author

Charles Foster is a Fellow at the University of Oxford. Much of his life has been spent on expeditions; he has run a 150 mile race in the Sahara, skied to the North Pole, and 'bled in many beautiful and desolate landscapes'. He has written or contributed to over thirty-five books on subjects including travel, evolutionary biology, natural history, anthropology and philosophy.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

4th February 2016

Author

Charles Foster

More books by Charles Foster
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

www.charlesfoster.co.uk/

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...

Publisher

Profile Books Ltd

Format

Hardback
256 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
Books for the Boys
Popular Science
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Memoirs
Wildlife: general interest

ISBN

9781781255353

Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh

My favourite thing about is the 'like for like' page this has really introduced me to some good reads! That and lots of honest reviews.

Sam Lewis

It has opened my eyes to different authors and genres. Just log on and try, you will be surprised and not want for reading material again.

Jocelyn Garvey

Love Reading - it not only does what it says on the tin, it does it with Jam on!!

Maz Tucker

You'll always find what you never knew you were looking for and you're always spoilt for choice.

Helen Jones

It's a lively, independent website with reviews, recommendations and more - with a huge range of books available to buy in all formats.

Alison Layland

Lovereading is like booking a holiday, you don't know what it will be like and it is a whole new experience.

Sue Burton

If you love reading, then you'll love Lovereading! Full of tips & info for every discerning reader.

Lynne Rapson

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools