Common Ground
Rob Cowen

Book cover image

Narrated By: Rob Cowen

Duration: 9 hours and 58 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

ONE OF BRITAIN'S FAVOURITE NATURE BOOKS AS FEATURED ON BBC's WINTERWATCH

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2016

After moving from London to a new home in Yorkshire, and about to become a father for the first time, Rob Cowen finds himself in unfamiliar territory. Disoriented, hemmed in by winter and yearning for open space, he ventures out to a nearby edge-land: a pylon-slung tangle of wood, hedge, field, meadow and river that lies unclaimed and overlooked on the outskirts of town.

Digging deeper into this lost landscape, he begins to uncover its many layers and lives - beast, bird, insect, plant and people - in kaleidoscopic detail. As the seasons change and the birth of his child draws closer, his transformative journey into the blurry space where human and nature meet becomes increasingly profound. In bringing this edge-land to life, Cowen offers both a both a unique portrait of people and place through time and an unforgettable exploration of the common ground we share with the natural world, the past and each other.

'Bold and beautiful.' Robert Macfarlane

'Sensitive, thoughtful and poetic ... leading us into a whole new way of looking at the world' Michael Palin

'Touched by genius' John Lewis-Stempel

'Absolutely mesmerizing, utterly beautiful and engrossing' Joanne Harris

© Rob Cowen 2015 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Genre

Memoirs, The countryside, country life: general interest, Travel writing, Walking, hiking, trekking

Listen to a sample

[A] multi-faceted, touched-by-genius exploration of a stretch of Harrogate wasteland.

Sunday Express, Books of the Year

Cracking… Vividly and movingly described… Cowen writes very well.

London Review of Books

Bold and beautiful.

New Statesman

One of the most original books of 2015.

Books of the Year, The Times

Absolutely mesmerising, utterly beautiful, utterly engrossing – it takes a lot for a book to give me goosebumps but this one did.