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The Wild Places (Penguin Original) Paperback – Bargain Price, June 24, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 760 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this eloquent travelogue, Macfarlane (Mountains of the Mind) explores the last undomesticated landscapes in Britain and Ireland in a narration that blends history, memoir and meditation. Macfarlane journeys to salt marshes, mountaintops, forests, beaches, constantly expanding and refining his understanding of wildness. Walking a Lake District ridge at night, he observes that with the stars falling plainly far above, it seemed to me that our estrangement from the dark was a great and serious loss. Crossing a moor, he finds its vastness and resistance to straight lines of progress analogous to the inability of mere words to convey a landscape's variety and immensity. Nonetheless, Macfarlane's language is as surprising and precise as his environments, with such evocative phrases as heat jellying the air, ice lidded the puddles and descriptions of birds that gild a tree and the sky as a steady tall blue. His striking prose not only evokes each locale's physicality in sensuous, deliberate detail, it glows with a reverence for nature in general and takes the reader on both a geographical and a philosophical journey, as mind-expanding as any of his wild places. (June)
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“A formidable consideration by a naturalist who can unfurl a sentence – poetry, really – with the breathless ease of a master angler, a writer whose ideas and reach transcend the physical region he explores…the natural world swells with meaning through Macfarlane’s devoted observations, which can be both minutely detailed and vast in scope…like the wild it parses, [this book] quietly returns us to ourselves.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Inspiring…Macfarlane brings these landscapes to pulsing life…His precision in apprehending the world is a salutary lesson in and of itself…His descriptions have created a new map of Britain and Ireland in my mind. And like pebbles in a pond, those descriptions are now altering the way I look at the world immediately around me.. this is the final gift of Macfarlane’s wild places: they illuminate the wild wonder of our everyday world.”
National Geographic Traveler

The Wild Places boldly celebrates places that aren’t supposed to exist, and does so in prose that is at times very nearly as vivid and beautiful as the thing itself.”
—Rebecca Solnit

“ Prose as precise as this is not just evocative. It is a manifesto in itself. Macfarlane’s language urges us to gaze more closely at the wonders around us, to take notice, to remind ourselves how thrillingly alive a spell in the wild can make us seem.”
The Sunday Times (UK)
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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B001RNI2F4
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin (Non-Classics) (June 24, 2008)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.54 x 0.81 x 7.52 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 760 ratings

About the author

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Robert Macfarlane is the author of prize-winning and bestselling books about landscape, nature, people and place, including Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination (2003), The Wild Places (2007), The Old Ways (2012), Holloway (2013, with Stanley Donwood and Dan Richards), Landmarks (2015), The Lost Words: A Spell Book (with the artist Jackie Morris, 2017) and Underland: A Deep Time Journey (2019). His work has been translated into many languages, won prizes around the world, and his books have been widely adapted for film, television, stage and radio. He has collaborated with artists, film-makers, actors, photographers and musicians, including Hauschka, Willem Dafoe, Karine Polwart and Stanley Donwood. In 2017 he was awarded the EM Forster Prize for Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
760 global ratings

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