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by Robert Macfarlane

Popular Science Star Books The Real World Travel

LoveReading View on Underland

This is a totally unique and breathtaking introduction to what lies beneath us, to the earth below our feet. Let this very special and beautiful book take you by the hand and lead you through the sunlit fields to the place where the underland begins, a place most human thoughts shy from in fear and confusion. This is a sequel to The Old Ways, yet you can begin here without concern, you can trust and join Robert Macfarlane as he explores the underland. I will admit that I am in love with the writing, the words, the vision that allows you to see and feel in darkness. I haven’t ever considered our deep connection to this stunning underworld in the way you are encouraged to here. Robert Macfarlane meets and shares experiences with people who have chosen to explore, to look beyond the obvious. I absolutely adored how much he shares, how accessible Underland is, his words reached out and connected with my thoughts and feelings, altering, reshaping, transforming. While there is plenty to fear for our future, all the time there are humans with this amount of love for our natural world, there is also hope. Underland is one of my picks of the month, and also one of our star books - it is quite simply stunning.

Liz Robinson

Underland Synopsis


A Guardian Best Book of the 21st Century The highly anticipated new book from the internationally bestselling, prize-winning author of Landmarks, The Lost Words and The Old Ways

Discover the hidden worlds beneath our feet...

In Underland, Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland's glaciers, to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet's past and future. Global in its geography, gripping in its voice and haunting in its implications, Underland is a work of huge range and power, and a remarkable new chapter in Macfarlane's long-term exploration of landscape and the human heart.

Underland Press Reviews

Extraordinary... at once learned and readable, thrilling and beautifully written - Observer

Marvellous... Neverending curiosity, generosity of spirit, erudition, bravery and clarity... This is a book well worth reading - The Times

You'd be crazy not to read this book - The Sunday Times

Underland is a startling and memorable book, charting invisible and vanishing worlds. Macfarlane has made himself Orpheus, the poet who ventures down to the darkest depths and returns - frighteningly alone-to sing of what he has seen - New Statesman

Eye-opening, lyrical and moving...capturing the poetry beneath the science. - Publisher's Weekly

What a total delight. Once again, so many enlivening encounters along paths less frequently trod. Macfarlane remains our perfect guide, reminding us there's so much in the world to wonder at -- Benedict Allen Robert Macfarlane has long provided us with some of the most distinctive and sensitive thinking about how humans understand and experience the terrestrial world. Underland [is] his most urgent, universal, and expansive book yet -- Francisco Cantu Thrilling and soulful, raw and erudite. Robert Macfarlane writes of his astonishing subterranean explorations with wondrous, indelible power... Underland is a profound reckoning with humankind's self-imperiled position in nature's eternal order. It is a book of revelations -- Philip Gourevitch Beautifully and bravely balanced... This is a radical book in every sense. It goes as deep as it can, unafraid of the risk that what it finds will turn everything on its head - The Oldie

Beautifully written and wise, this haunting book is a treasure... It reads like a seamless dive, crawl, and trek through deep time, in sense-rich landscapes, accompanied by fascinating views of the human saga. Its unique spell is irresistible -- Diane Ackerman An epic descent into a series of underground and underwater landscapes - Financial Times

Exquisite. [Robert Macfarlane] evokes so vividly places to which I and probably you will never go, and at the eeriness of the places themselves and the sense of vast scale they restore to us at a time when it can feel like the world has shrunken around us -- Rebecca Solnit The great nature writer, and nature poet, of this generation - Wall Street Journal

Robert Macfarlane's writing reminds us of the astonishing variety of things you can see when you go at walking speed, and of how strange and rich the world is -- Philip Pullman Devastating, lyrical, blazingly vivid... An examination of the darknesses invisible beneath our feet. The book's great power comes from Macfarlane's deliberate turn away from despair and toward a deliberate, loving, and luminous sense of awe -- Lauren Groff Robert Macfarlane is a magician with words. In Underland he shows us how to see in the dark. His writing is like a vortex... Once caught, you're pulled deeper and deeper with each page -- Andrea Wulf, best-selling author of 'The Invention of Nature' All Macfarlane's books are urgings to take a closer look at the environment we live in, and at the natural world especially. They are perception-shifters. And with its darker, delving subject matter counter-weighing its lyricism, Underland is a magnificent feat of writing, travelling and thinking that feels genuinely frontier-pushing, unsettling and exploratory - Evening Standard

a brilliant, thrilling, terrifying work of literature, making me want to think more adventurously and live more deeply. - Amy Liptrot

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780141030579
Publication date: 27/08/2020
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780241143803
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780141030579
Publication date: 27th August 2020
Author: Robert Macfarlane
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 496 pages
Genres: Popular Science, Star Books, The Real World, Travel,
Collections: Our Favourite Books of 2020,
Categories: Travel writing, Conservation of wildlife & habitats, Alternative & renewable energy sources & technology,

About Robert Macfarlane

Robert Macfarlane is the author of the award-winning Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places and The Old Ways. He is currently working on two new books: Landmarks, about language and landscape; and Underland, an exploration of the hidden worlds beneath our feet. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

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