|Elliot & Thompson|
9 July 2020
My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book
Lev Parikian sets out to explore the many, and particular, ways that he, and we, experience the natural world – beginning face down on the pavement outside his home, then moving outwards to garden, local patch, wildlife reserve, craggy coastline and as far afield as the dark hills of Skye. He visits the haunts of famous nature lovers – reaching back to the likes of Charles Darwin, Etta Lemon, Gavin Maxwell, John Clare and Emma Turner – to examine their insatiable curiosity and follow in their footsteps.
And everywhere he meets not only nature, but nature lovers of all varieties: ramblers, dog-walkers, photographers; loving couples, striding singles, families; kite-flyers, den-builders, grass-loungers; young whippersnappers, old codgers, middle-aged ne’er-do-wells; beginners, specialists, all-rounders; or just people out for a stroll in the sun.
What did I think about it..
Over the past few months of this strange lock down period, nature has been my salvation. My daily hour of exercise has given me the opportunity to explore the natural corners of my world, enjoying the simplicity of new growth in the garden, or awe struck at the complex eco system in my local woodlands.
Into the Tangled Bank takes us on an exploration of the natural world in an entirely comfortable way and the author evokes natural atmosphere with fine attention to detail and a real enthusiasm for everything he sees and describes. The book is divided into easy to peruse chapters, which you can dip into and out of at whim, but no matter where the book falls open there is always something new and exciting to discover.
The book made me smile as the author's natural wit shines through in his descriptions of what’s happening around us in the natural world, not just on his doorstep, but also in the wider countryside. I found much to learn and enjoy about all sorts of different habitats, flora and fauna. I especially enjoyed the witty introduction to each chapter which gives the reader a quirky insight of what is to come.
I think what comes through in abundance is the authors unbridled enthusiasm. He finds much to enjoy in the natural world and shares his experiences with such such joy that it’s been a real pleasure to follow in his footsteps as he describes the nature on his doorstep in an urban landscape, and, lets be honest, who wouldn’t want to be brave enough to lie on the pavement to get up close and personal with the Common Blue butterfly, after all, they are stunning little creatures.
Urban environments aside the author takes us on a magical journey from countryside to coast and all along the way he shares lovely little snippets of historical information about all sorts of things you never knew you needed to know about nature, birds and animals. I especially enjoyed visiting the haunt of Gavin Maxwell in the chapter, 'Wild Things' as Ring of Bright Water has always been one of my favourite books. I also learned much about Charles Darwin in the chapter entitled 'A Garden is a Lovesome Thing' when the author visits Darwin's garden at Down House in Kent.
In this strange time of social isolation I’ve really enjoyed travelling around in the company of this expert guide. Into the Tangled Bank is a really lovely book, from its stunning cover to its lively content, it’s perfect for anyone who loves the natural environment.
Into the Tangled Bank is published today by Elliot & Thompson as is available to buy from all good book stores.
About the Author
Lev is a conductor, writer and birdwatcher. In Into the Tangled Bank, he attempts to get to grips with what it means to be a nature lover. The book travels from his doorstep to garden plot, local patch, wildlife reserve and as far as the Isle of Skye. Everywhere, he comes up against nature lovers of all varieties: from ramblers and dog-walkers, to passionate enthusiasts or just people out for a stroll in the sun.
Lev is the instigator of the #twitterbirdsong project and hosts a new youtube channel Bird Brains devoted to all things avian.
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