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Underland

Written by: Robert Macfarlane
Narrated by: Roy McMillan
Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Underland by Robert Macfarlane. 

Shortlisted for the Best Nonfiction Audiobook at the New York Festival Radio Awards 2020.

A Guardian Best Book of the 21st Century.

The highly anticipated new book from the internationally best-selling, 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.

©2018 Robert Macfarlane (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"He is the great nature writer, and nature poet, of this generation." (Wall Street Journal)

What members say
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  • Sararara
  • 13-05-19

Epic. Sobering. Wonderful.

I feel quite exhausted, as if i had joined the author in his (insane) journeys across glaciers, out to remote icy islands, then down into catacombs and other terrifying constricted spaces deep in the earth.
Despite covering some seriously heavy material on microbiology, geology and nuclear physics (and lots more besides), his eloquent writing style makes you feel as if you know what’s going on.
I kept a notepad to hand to google things later, altho spellings can be tricky.
It’s a fascinating book, with faultless narration, but one to take slowly as it’s quite intense.
And it’s not just about the natural world but takes in history, art, politics and poetry.
The author is erudite and astute but has a lightness of touch with some laugh-out-loud descriptions of places and people.
Amazing book which I shall dip in to again.

19 people found this helpful

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  • MR M N Jones
  • 31-05-19

Exceptional

Gripping, fascinating and wholly absorbing. The easiest listen yet, highly recommended and deeply thought provoking, not to mention claustrophobia inducing.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Orchak
  • 18-06-19

Excellent

A truly outstanding work combining beautiful prose with science, folk-lore, history and anthropology. I strongly recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • A. Jones
  • 14-06-19

Thought provoking and powerful

I loved this book and feel like I need to start again to really take it in as it as densely packed with treasures and the earth it praises.

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  • Heidi
  • 01-02-20

Beautifiul, unsettling, essential.

The best non fiction book I've ever read. Every human should read this book to understand our place in the world.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bill
  • 27-01-20

A wonderful tour of another world beneath us

Beautifully written and so wonderfully descriptive I could imagine myself in so many of the places (strange given I would never have normally considered to explore such places) and now I cannot wait to go and explore them in person. A truly / listen great read for any lover of the outdoors even if they have never been one for exploring the Underland, caves or any subterranean network.

Most enjoyable from start to finish.

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  • Gerard
  • 06-11-19

Educational and enlightening

Really enjoyed this book, the concept grew as the book progressed, digging deeper with each chapter, and it helped me learn and think a lot along the way. I found myself constantly looking for pictures or articles about the places and people mentioned, and feel much more well-versed having read it. The latter 3rd of the book dragged a little, if I'm honest, the section about the Scandinavian cold and glaciers didn't quite grip me as much as the previous ones, but it was all tied up nicely in the last few chapters. A great book, mind expanding and sobering. An easy entertaining listen too, well read, atmospheric and intriguing. McFarlane writes with a poetic quality that elevates this book to more than you'd expect.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mo
  • 03-09-19

Beautiful.

Uterly captivating will listen to this over and over again, and added more places i wish to go.

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  • S. Halil
  • 24-08-19

Wonderful, sublime a pleasure and an education!

I was initially worried that a book that promises to be so visually evocative would be diminished by the audible format but that is absolutely not the case. If anything the opposite was true.
Rob McFarlane's prose is beautiful and poetic and Roy McMillan's narration is superb.
The production is excellent with perfectly placed segments of soundscape to compliment the text ...not too much or too often to make it feel like a dramatisation...the song of a bird, the chatter if insects, the splash of a thrown stone, the crackle of radiation. No chapter fails to contain at least one but more often multiple moving passages or revelations. I am sure I will listen to this again and again....and can already think of a number of friends that will love it in its written form for Christmas!

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  • Annie V
  • 02-07-19

Amazing book

A truly remarkable book by an outstanding author. I don’t usually read this type of book but I’m so glad I chose it. I loved it. You really feel you are with this poet cum explorer on his adventures into the remote parts of this world, above and below ground. Beautifully read too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • BanksiaMama
  • 21-01-20

Enlightening, erudite and enchanting.

Macfarlane goes to places few can and brings back stories that are as beautifully shaped as the underground spaces he explores. His descriptions of travelling through the underland are as well crafted as his observations of the effects on them of the Anthropocene.
The audiobook is a pleasure to listen to. Either read or heard, this book is best sipped, not gulped. Recommended for anyone who wants to broaden their knowledge and understanding of our world.

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  • Jane Toy
  • 24-10-19

Simply beautiful

Elegant and delightful, informative and astounding. This was simple stunning and I would recommend it to anyone with any interest in the human condition.

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  • Pauline King
  • 16-08-19

Absorbing!

I couldn't stop listening. Impeccably narrated by Roy McMillan this book opened my eyes, took my breath away and delighted and horrified me in equal parts. It gave me a lot to think about and the content and images will stay with me for a long time. This is a book that bears more than one reading it is rich in detail and thoughtful observations. I'm going to be purchasing many more books by Robert Macfarlane for sure!