Entangled Life
Merlin Sheldrake

Book cover image

Narrated By: Merlin Sheldrake

Duration: 9 hours and 32 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

'A dazzling, vibrant, vision-changing book. I ended it wonderstruck at the fungal world. A remarkable work by a remarkable writer' Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland


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

©Merlin Sheldrake 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020

Genre

Mycology, fungi, Botany and plant sciences, Nature and the natural world: general interest, Trees, wildflowers and plants: general interest, Zoology and animal sciences

Listen to a sample

I fell in love with this book. Merlin is a scientist with the imagination of a poet and a beautiful writer ... This is a book that, by virtue of the power of its writing, shifts your sense of the human ... It will inspire a generation to enter mycology

MICHAEL POLLAN (Bay Area Book Festival, 2020)

One of those rare books that can truly change the way you see the world around you, Entangled Life is a mercurial, revelatory, impassioned, urgent, astounding, and necessary read. It’s fearless in scope, analytically astute, and brimming with infectious joy

HELEN MACDONALD, author of H is for Hawk

A true masterpiece, a thrilling and fascinating insight into the living world, beautifully written, entertaining, funny and inspiring, while representing the science carefully and responsibly. I hope and trust that it will become an instant classic

GEORGE MONBIOT

Few books blew my mind like Merlin Sheldrake's Entangled Life. The research, passion, writing, insights ... Not sure if I've ever learned so much from ONE book. Here is to another scientist who celebrates imagination. Essential reading. Go and get swept up in a new world

ANDREA WULF, author of The Invention of Nature

A dazzling, vibrant, vision-changing book. Sentence after sentence stopped me short. I ended it wonderstruck at the fungal world – the secrets of which modern science is only now beginning to fathom – and the earth-shaking, hierarchy-breaking implications of Sheldrake's argument. A remarkable work by a remarkable writer