Friday, 28 August 2020

Book Review ~ Under Land by Robert Macfarlane

27 August 2020

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book

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.

What did I think about it..

It's taken me a while to read through this, not because it's not interesting, but because the content is so fascinating that I needed to read it slowly in order to take in the wealth of information.  Beautifully descriptive and, at times, scarily prophetic, there is so much to take in as the world below our feet is opened up to close scrutiny.

Divided into three main chambers :

Part I : Seeing (Britain)
Part II : Hiding (Europe)
Part III : Haunting (The North)

In each intricate section there is much to discover, far too much for me to go into detail here, and even if you have no interest in geology, archaeology and natural history, I think that this book has more than enough fascinating detail to fire the imagination. 

As I get older I am more of an armchair traveller so over the course of the last couple of weeks I have been on the most amazing adventure which has taken me from the caves of the Mendip hills in Somerset, a place I have actually visited, to the Knud Rasmussen Glacier in Greenland and so many places in between that I never knew existed.

Beautifully detailed and incredibly descriptive, Under Land made me aware of what is happening in the deep, dark spaces underground. Those shadowy places of burial chambers, tree networks, mythical and legendary rivers, subterranean passages filled with nuclear waste, deep mining explorations and ice crashing glaciers.

An interesting, fascinating and lengthy book which has taken the author over ten years to complete and from its detailed content I get the sense that the research has been a real labour of love.

About the Author

Robert Macfarlane is the author of Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways, Landmarks, and The Lost Words, co-created with Jackie Morris. Mountains of the Mind won the Guardian First Book Award and the Somerset Maugham Award and The Wild Places won the Boardman-Tasker Award. Both books have been adapted for television by the BBC. The Lost Words won the Books Are My Bag Beautiful Book Award and the Hay Festival Book of the Year. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and writes on environmentalism, literature and travel for publications including the Guardian, the Sunday Times and The New York Times.

 Twitter @RobGMacfarlane #Underland


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