Underland: A Deep Time Journey (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Look down!! The world beneath our feet offers a fascinating descent into haunts of beauty, darkness, daring, fearlessness, danger, and revelation. Almost style-like in parts. From Yorkshire caves to a Finnish nuclear-waste dump, and the myth and metaphor that surrounded them.This is nature writing and lyrical prose at its best!

— Carolyn

June 2019 Indie Next List


“I don’t think there is a square mile of ground on this planet where Robert Macfarlane couldn’t dig up a new, wondrous story. Underland continues the tradition of profound storytelling, reflection, and, quite simply, gorgeous writing we have come to expect from him. Macfarlane’s ventures into the underworlds of our planet, both mythical and literal, may amount to his finest work yet, and not just because these are the places that have captivated me most throughout my life. I feel fortunate to be living at the same time as him, knowing that as long as he is writing, there is something to look forward to.”
— Chris La Tray, Fact & Fiction Downtown, Missoula, MT

Description


A national bestseller and one of the Guardian's 100 Best Books of the 21st Century.



From the best-selling, award-winning author of Landmarks and The Old Ways, a haunting voyage into the planet’s past and future.


Hailed as "the great nature writer of this generation" (Wall Street Journal), Robert Macfarlane is the celebrated author of books about the intersections of the human and the natural realms. In Underland, he delivers his masterpiece: an epic exploration of the Earth’s underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory, and the land itself.


In this highly anticipated sequel to his international bestseller The Old Ways, Macfarlane takes us on an extraordinary journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface of both place and mind. Traveling through “deep time”—the dizzying expanses of geologic time that stretch away from the present—he moves from the birth of the universe to a post-human future, from the prehistoric art of Norwegian sea caves to the blue depths of the Greenland ice cap, from Bronze Age funeral chambers to the catacomb labyrinth below Paris, and from the underground fungal networks through which trees communicate to a deep-sunk “hiding place” where nuclear waste will be stored for 100,000 years to come. Woven through Macfarlane’s own travels are the unforgettable stories of descents into the underland made across history by explorers, artists, cavers, divers, mourners, dreamers, and murderers, all of whom have been drawn for different reasons to seek what Cormac McCarthy calls “the awful darkness within the world.”


Global in its geography and written with great lyricism and power, Underland speaks powerfully to our present moment. Taking a deep-time view of our planet, Macfarlane here asks a vital and unsettling question: “Are we being good ancestors to the future Earth?” Underland marks a new turn in Macfarlane’s long-term mapping of the relations of landscape and the human heart. From its remarkable opening pages to its deeply moving conclusion, it is a journey into wonder, loss, fear, and hope. At once ancient and urgent, this is a book that will change the way you see the world.



About the Author


Robert Macfarlane is the author of best-selling, prize-winning books about nature, place, and people, including The Old Ways, Landmarks, and (with Jackie Morris) The Lost Words. He lives in Cambridge, England, where he is a Fellow of the University of Cambridge.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393358094
ISBN-10: 0393358097
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: May 5th, 2020
Pages: 496
Language: English