Get Your Free Audiobook

  • Entangled Life

  • How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures
  • Written by: Merlin Sheldrake
  • Narrated by: Merlin Sheldrake
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

1 credit a month to use on any title to download and keep
Listen to anything from the Plus Catalogue—thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks
Download titles to your library and listen offline
Limited time offer: 2 months free trial
Entangled Life cover art

Entangled Life

Written by: Merlin Sheldrake
Narrated by: Merlin Sheldrake
Free with trial

₹199 per month after 30-day trial. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for ₹888.00

Buy Now for ₹888.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice.

Publisher's Summary

There is a lifeform so strange and wondrous that it forces us to rethink how life works....

Neither plant nor animal, it is found throughout the earth, the air and our bodies. It can be microscopic, yet also accounts for the largest organisms ever recorded, living for millennia and weighing tens of thousands of tonnes. Its ability to digest rock enabled the first life on land, it can survive unprotected in space and it thrives amidst nuclear radiation. 

In this captivating adventure, Merlin Sheldrake explores the spectacular and neglected world of fungi: endlessly surprising organisms that sustain nearly all living systems. They can solve problems without a brain, stretching traditional definitions of ‘intelligence’, and can manipulate animal behaviour with devastating precision.  

In giving us bread, alcohol and life-saving medicines, fungi have shaped human history, and their psychedelic properties, which have influenced societies since antiquity, have recently been shown to alleviate a number of mental illnesses. The ability of fungi to digest plastic, explosives, pesticides and crude oil is being harnessed in break-through technologies, and the discovery that they connect plants in underground networks, the ‘Wood Wide Web’, is transforming the way we understand ecosystems. Yet they live their lives largely out of sight, and more than 90 percent of their species remain undocumented. 

Entangled Life is a mind-altering journey into this hidden kingdom of life and shows that fungi are key to understanding the planet on which we live and the ways we think, feel and behave. The more we learn about fungi, the less makes sense without them.

©2020 Merlin Sheldrake (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A dazzling, vibrant, vision-changing book. Sentence after sentence stopped me short. I ended it wonderstruck at the fungal world. A remarkable work by a remarkable writer." (Robert MacFarlane, author of Underland)

What listeners say about Entangled Life

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

Loved every part of the book. It is very well written and narrated here. So much knowledge and shifts in my perception. I totally enjoyed the book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Now I know Fungi a bit

Fungi was a totally new topic for me about which I knew close to nothing. The author has done a real superb job of making the topic easy and fun to understand even for a layman.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best non fiction on fungus life

One of the best non-fiction read on fungus life. Nicely presented without any boring moments.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

incredible book

a must read if you enjoy learning about new things, and told in such an incredible and captivating manner.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent read!

Sheldrake takes us on a marvelous journey with him on the quest to understanding fungi. Through this, he finds appreciation for the tremendous impact these uncredited simple beings have on the evolution of life itself. He introduces us to the beauty of symbiotic relationships in nature also highlights the collaborative efforts in the evolutionary tale, as opposed to the popularly regarded idea of competition.
Merlin Sheldrake, I think, has done a fantastic job authoring this book. A scientifically dense book presented in a smooth narrative that's engaging right from the start. Him, reading his own words through the audiobook, in itself, makes the experience captivating as his passion for the subject is accentuated with his voice and is honest. The book made me think of the world differently. And I, now, have a newfound appreciation of the entangled and interdependent life on this planet. And that is a testament to a great book. The book left me with a lasting impression and a curious eye.
With the philosophical gradient in this book, I'd recommend this book to just about anybody looking for a good read. But especially to amateur mycologists to get an overview of the fungal and microbial world and the latest research advancements in the scientific community around the world in the field.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Jenny
  • Jenny
  • 28-05-21

Mesmerising

Merlin Sheldrake’s understated narration at first seems less than stimulating, but as the fascinating details of the mycological world that surrounds, permeates, supports and connects us all are revealed in ever greater complexity, it becomes mesmerising. His rhythm and descriptive artistry make this an unexpected pleasure to listen to. I was entranced, and will recommend it to everyone. It represents a revolutionary paradigm shift in the way we perceive relationships in the natural world, with implications which reach far into all aspects of our world view.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Helle
  • Helle
  • 20-01-23

Lo ved it. I am a mushroom lover

Magical, Full of knowledge. I will probably listen to it again at some point.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Jane
  • Jane
  • 27-12-22

Mind blowing and eye opening

Brilliant story with phenomenal detail ans information. A book every person should listen too. Awesome that the author was the narrator

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Rick
  • Rick
  • 27-11-22

Amazing listen

What an amazing book this is. The title does not do it justice. It covers far more than I was expecting.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 28-08-22

Makes me sleepy

I appreciate the book being read by the author, but his voice makes me so sleepy. I hadn’t experienced something like this. I cannot focus on what he is saying, I just want to sleep. If I listed during the day, it deprives me of energy, if at night I fall asleep.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for adnil
  • adnil
  • 22-05-22

Absolutely great!

Thank you Merlin Sheldrake for a fascinating and thoroughly inspiring story. I recommend to all and hope for more inspiration soon from Mr Sheldrake. Chapeau!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for GDJ BEZUIDENHOUT
  • GDJ BEZUIDENHOUT
  • 26-04-22

A Bigger picture of the unseen.

Amazing journey into the world and live of micro organisms. It is so easy to live in ignorance. I enjoyed it very much.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-01-22

Easily a second listen

Absolutely captivating, well narrated by author, unveiling a magical connected world essential to all living and dead organisms.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for BARBARA mANNING
  • BARBARA mANNING
  • 21-12-21

Beautifully written and read

Merlin Sheldrake gives me hope for the future. His seeing the world as a gift is uplifting

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Lisa
  • Lisa
  • 19-12-21

Fascinating and captivating

I already had a keen interest in fungi when I started listening to this book but now my interest (or obsession) has increased even more.
Narration was just right, content was superb and the volume of interesting snippets, stories, reflections and scientific research kept my attention throughout. This is one I would listen to again.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Paul
  • Paul
  • 17-11-20

Willingly entangled

One of the most fascinating, inspiring and thought-provoking books I have ever read/listened to. It strongly reminded me of Robert Macfarlane’s nature writing, which is one of the highest recommendations I can give it, as well as Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind. Sheldrake’s voice is a sheer pleasure to listen to - hard to believe that he’s not a trained and seasoned voice actor - and his deep passion and enthusiasm for his subject is infectious. The references to continental philosophy and the connections to Terence McKenna and Paul Stamets were an unexpected bonus.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Liam1294
  • Liam1294
  • 10-11-20

Interesting but disconnected and wishy, washy

More of a philosophical/personal description of the nuances of hallucinogens rather than a comprehensive popular science of fungi and their applications for human problems.

Also quite disconnected. One chapter about truffels suddenly jumps into one about lichens with never really an underlying argument or direction.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Luke
  • Luke
  • 12-03-21

Really struggled to make it through

I'm honestly surprised I didn't enjoy this as I have a keen interest both in wild mushroom foraging and psychedelics, but the narrator seems to drone on endlessly in this half-stoned dreamy way and by the time I finished the book I felt like my head would implode if I heard another "everything's connected man, it's all a network" or "everything's a mushroom if you think about it". A cool and interesting topic but repetitive and desperately in need of some pruning.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Mark O'Connell
  • Mark O'Connell
  • 17-11-20

Multi levelled enjoyment

I really loved this book from beginning to end. I remarks early on that Merlins mind seems a bit like mycelium. I love the way he explores funghi from so many angles. His narration is fabulous

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Richard Green
  • Richard Green
  • 14-11-20

beautiful book and very well read

Absolutely stunning book. I was spellbound, the narrative is beautiful and has captivated my mind and heart.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Jim Vaughan
  • Jim Vaughan
  • 01-10-20

Holistic Science at its Best

“Entangled Life” is like the very best of Richard Dawkins in its vivid portrayal of the fascinating complexity of organisms, in this case fungi. What marks this book out as something more however, is Sheldrake’s holistic focus on the networks of interdependence, communication and manipulation actively mediated by fungi - one manifestation being the “Wood Wide Web”.

Historically humans are deeply entangled too, from the hunting of truffles, to the brewing of alcoholic drinks, to the shamanic use of psilocybin mushrooms. Fungi now may literally save the world! Their mycelia can be grown to replace plastics, wood, concrete, leather - almost any material, from waste products, as well as consuming pollutants such as oil, or toxic chemicals, even radioactive nuclides. They can combat pathogenic viruses and bacteria too, such as those killing the bees. Their usefulness is hugely under-appreciated.

The biology is nicely interspersed with biographical descriptions, such as his stay with Terence McKenna, and conversations with Paul Stamets, as well as the sensory delights of immersion in a hot Japanese bath of fermenting wood shavings, diving into mouldering leaf piles, sniffing the ground for truffles or thrusting your face into clusters of flowers.

Read by the author, there was something almost musical or poetic about this book, yet the science is flawless. It held for me both an intellectual fascination as well as being a imaginative sensory experience.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Maltravers
  • Maltravers
  • 22-05-21

Dull

There's a fascinating book to be written about the influence of fungi on our world and our lives.

This isn't it.

Sheldrake seems to believe his personal encounters with fungi are at least as interesting as his subject. So we get one of those first person, journalistic style narratives in which several interesting facts are scattered between rather dull anecdotes.

This problem is compounded in the audiobook by Sheldrake's flat and ponderous delivery. I've found increasing the playback speed to 1.2 makes it almost bearable.

UPDATE - Not bearable enough. I bailed at chapter 4 and returned it.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for MRS R J LONGWORTH
  • MRS R J LONGWORTH
  • 11-11-20

Fascinating!

Nature has all the answers. We have to steer our children to study sciences and save our planet. Merlin’s book should be on the science curriculum in all schools

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-02-22

Fascinating and engaging

Book about fungi which leads to questioning own identity, perception of the world and fundaments of understanding and acquiring knowledge. Narration by the author makes it more engaging.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Priya from Scotland
  • Priya from Scotland
  • 18-02-22

a wonder

thank you for the exploration into the mysterious world of fungi, I felt humbled and thrilled by the possibilities

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 30-01-21

fantastic, so so so important. lovely narration

such an important topic, lovely narration, 5stars all the way. Thank you for making this avaliable

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Ian Schubert
  • Ian Schubert
  • 08-07-21

A Myco love story

As I listened to this wonderful book I fell under Merlin’s Spell (pun half intended) almost immediately.
From his opening tale of how his love of the underground and under explored world of fungi began through the enthralling layers and levels of his fascinating topic, the book truly came off as a love story about a most remarkable group of organisms, of which we still comprehend the smallest part.
Read by the author - a total Boss move too by the way, the book demonstrated his Amish total absorption in his topic as well as his capacity to spin a Wonderful tapestry of meaning with his words.
I found myself stopping and “re-reading” on a regular basis so that I could copy some of his prose for later enjoyment.
Having finished the book I am now prompted to follow its introduction deeper into the wider myco-universe and see what more I can find.
Thanks for a simply splendid book Merlin, it was an almost psychedelic experience at times as I journeyed along with you.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Brad
  • Brad
  • 20-01-23

Brilliant.

Well written, easy to digest for the layman. Although the scope of Mycology is huge, Sheldrake does an amazing job at giving us a slice of everything fungi including the past, present and future.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Andrew
  • Andrew
  • 31-12-22

Absolute must read.

This book opens a world of mystery and awe for the beauty of how all elements of this planet are moved, used and shared through the interconnected web of life on Earth. I have a BSc in biological science, and the extent to which life is cooperating between "species" to allow them to adapt and thrive is a revelation. It offers promise and inspiration for solutions to many of life's greatest challenges including those currently causing global harm.
Many many elements of riveting storytelling. loved it. Thank you, Merlin Sheldrake!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for John
  • John
  • 08-12-22

What an extraordinary book

Wonderful narration and a truly extraordinary book of which has shaped and changed the way I relate to my natural surroundings myself and the superb importance of symbiotic relationships in life love and the natural word.

Such a beautiful book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Craig
  • Craig
  • 15-11-22

Awesome book

They way it is written and read was just wonderful. Really informative would recommend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Miriam Fogarty
  • Miriam Fogarty
  • 08-10-22

eye opening

my partner urged me to read this for months before i finally caved in and listened to the audiobook. absolutely amazing

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 16-09-22

Brilliant!!!

A unique outlook which will change your perception of the world we live in. It keep me thoroughly engaged from start to finish. Being narrated by the author was an excellent addition, very soothing voice and easy to listen to. Absolutely Brilliant work! I hope to here more from Merlin in the future!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Jake
  • Jake
  • 26-08-22

Marvelous book!

Life changing, intimately informative and beautifully narrated. A must listen for anyone interested in learning how fungi build and destroy worlds or hold the answers to many pressing questions and crises.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 23-08-22

great read, solid content

A great book with the perfect amount of scie tific content that was still easy for anyone to understand and connect with.