*THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER*
'A dazzling, vibrant, vision-changing book. I ended it wonderstruck at the fungal world. A remarkable work by a remarkable writer' Robert Macfarlane
The more we learn about fungi, the less makes sense without them.
Neither plant nor animal, they are found throughout the earth, the air and our bodies. They can be microscopic, yet also account for the largest organisms ever recorded. They enabled the first life on land, can survive unprotected in space and thrive amidst nuclear radiation. In fact, nearly all life relies in some way on fungi.
These endlessly surprising organisms have no brain but can solve problems and manipulate animal behaviour with devastating precision. In giving us bread, alcohol and life-saving medicines, fungi have shaped human history, and their psychedelic properties have recently been shown to alleviate a number of mental illnesses. Their ability 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 over ninety percent of their species remain undocumented.
Entangled Life is a mind-altering journey into a spectacular and neglected world, and shows that fungi provide a key to understanding both the planet on which we live, and life itself.
'One of those rare books that can truly change the way you see the world around you. Astounding' Helen MacDonald, author of H Is for Hawk
'Reads like an adventure story ... wondrous ... beguilingly weaves together lived experience and scientific research' Sunday Times
'An astonishing book that could alter our perceptions of fungi for ever. It seems somehow to tip the natural world upside down' Observer
'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' Daily Mail
'The lives of fungi alone are fascinating, but the questions and wider implications that Sheldrake teases out from them are often truly astounding ... an engrossing, captivating journey' Spectator
'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' Guardian
'Mind-boggling... [Sheldrake] is nothing if not a participatory researcher into his subject and one with a winning sense of humour ... It's tempting ... to see fungi as the biological model for a better world' Telegraph*****