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Entangled Life


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A mind-altering adventure through the world of fungi for readers of Robert Macfarlane and Other Minds

About the Author

Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist and a writer. He received a Ph.D. in Tropical Ecology from Cambridge University for his work on underground fungal networks in tropical forests in Panama, where he was a predoctoral research fellow of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He is a research associate of the Vrije University, Amsterdam, and sits on the advisory board of the Fungi Foundation and the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks.

Entangled Life is an international bestseller, winner of the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2021 and the Wainwright Prize 2021, and has been nominated for a host of other prizes, including the British Book Awards Book of the Year 2021 for Narrative Non-Fiction and the Rathbones Folio Prize 2021. Entangled Life was also featured as Radio 4's Book of the Week and selected as a Book of the Year in The Times, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times, New Statesman and Time, among others. It has been translated into twenty languages.


After this book, nothing will seem the same again . . . beautifully written and illustrated . . . dazzling . . . reveals a world that's both more extraordinary and more delicate than could be imagined
*Mail on Sunday*

Riveting and surprising at every turn . . . A sensory as well as an intellectual pleasure
*New Statesman*

Wondrous . . . Humans should consider fungi among the greatest of earth's marvels
*Time, Books of the Year*

Mind-boggling . . . It's tempting . . . to see fungi as the biological model for a better world

Truly astounding . . . An engrossing, captivating journey

Gorgeous, intelligent, utterly absorbing . . . it expands our world, and makes us look up from the page with renewed wonder
*Irish Times*

One of those rare books that can truly change the way you see the world around you . . . revelatory . . . astounding . . . and brimming with infectious joy
*HELEN MACDONALD, author of H is for Hawk*

A true masterpiece, a thrilling and fascinating insight into the living world . . . I hope and trust that it will become an instant classic

Blew my mind . . . Essential reading. Go and get swept up in a new world
*ANDREA WULF, author of The Invention of Nature*

Astonishing . . . it's impossible to finish this book without feeling awestruck
*ANDREW MOTION, TLS Books of the Year*

Delightful to read but also grand and dizzying in how thoroughly it recalibrates our understanding of the natural world
*ED YONG, author of An Immense World*

Sentence after sentence stopped me short. I ended it wonderstruck at the fungal world - the secrets of which modern science is only now beginning to fathom - and the earth-shaking, hierarchy-breaking implications of Sheldrake's argument. A remarkable work by a remarkable writer
*ROBERT MACFARLANE, author of Underland*

A revelation . . . Changes the way we need to look at life, the planet and ourselves
*ISABELLA TREE, author of Wilding*

Wonderfully written . . . surprising . . . The best science writing invites people to view the world around them in a new way, and Entangled Life is a perfect example

This is a book that, by virtue of the power of its writing, shifts your sense of the human . . . It will inspire a generation
*MICHAEL POLLAN (Bay Area Book Festival, 2020)*

I have been working on and reading and writing about fungi for a decade. And yet, nearly every page of this book contained either an observation so interesting or a turn of phrase so lovely that I was moved to slow down, stop, and reread . . . This book rocked me into remembering that nature, especially fungal nature, is big and encompassing and creative and destructive. It reminded me that fungi are, like the Universe, sublime

A magical journey deep into the roots of Nature by an expert storyteller . . . a must-read for citizen scientists hoping to make a positive difference on this sacred planet we share
*PAUL STAMETS, author of Mycelium Running*

Reading this book, I felt surrounded by a web of wonder. The natural world is more fantastic than any fantasy, so long as you have the means to perceive it. This book provides the means
*JARON LANIER, author of Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now*

You may never look at fungi in the same way . . . an eye-opening exploration of this mysterious taxonomic kingdom . . . a journey into an untapped world. It is both a wonderful collection of fungal feats . . and a personal account of Sheldrake's experiences with these miraculous organisms
*New Scientist*

Brilliant . . . entrancing . . . when we look closely [at fungi], we meet large, unsettling questions . . . Merlin Sheldrake . . . carries us easily into these questions with ebullience and precision . . . challenging some of our deepest assumptions

A joy . . . a captivating trip into the weird and wonderful mycorrhizal world around us - and inside us . . . full of startling revelations
*Daily Mail*

The oddest and most uplifting book . . . It is, to say the least, rare to find such a vast area of life on Earth - fungi - about which one knows almost nothing, and which gives promise of being so important to human life during our next century
*New Statesman Books of the Year*

If you had told me a book about fungi would be both enthralling and completely mind-blowing, I wouldn't have believed you. And yet. Dazzlingly good
*INDIA KNIGHT, Sunday Times*

A triumph and a thing of vast beauty

Fungi are everywhere, and Merlin Sheldrake is an ideal guide to their mysteries. He's passionate, deeply knowledgeable and a wonderful writer
*ELIZABETH KOLBERT, author of Under A White Sky*

Deeply engaging and constantly surprising . . . the magic of mushrooms is not merely mind-expanding . . . it might expand the very concept of mind

As hard to put down as a thrilling detective novel, and one of the best works of popular science writing that I have enjoyed in years
*DENNIS MCKENNA, author (with Terence McKenna) of Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide*

It is impossible to put this book down. Entangled Life provides a window into the mind-boggling biology and fascinating cultures surrounding fungal life, as well as fungi’s innumerable uses in materials, medicine and ecology. Sheldrake asks us to consider a life-form that is radically alien to ours, yet vibrant and lively underfoot

This is not just for mushroom-heads - it is science at its most uplifting
*The Times*

Playful, strange, intensely philosophical ... Until very recently, human knowledge of this most mysterious lifeform, neither plant nor animal, has been extremely limited. This is astounding, given ... their seismic impact on life on earth ... [Sheldrake's] central vision of the interconnectedness of all life-forms feels shiveringly prescient'

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