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A Book of Noises Notes on the Auraculous

Popular Science Coming Soon
By: Caspar Henderson(Author)
368 pages
Publisher: Granta
A Book of Noises
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  • A Book of Noises ISBN: 9781783787067 Hardback Oct 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
  • A Book of Noises ISBN: 9781783787074 Paperback Oct 2024 Available for pre-order
Selected version: £16.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Sound shapes our world in invisible but significant ways, and here Caspar Henderson brings his characteristic curiosity, knowledge and sense of wonder to the subject to take us on an exhilarating journey through the heard universe.

A Book of Noises gathers together sounds from the cosmos, the natural world, the human world, and the invented world, as well as containing quiet pockets of silence. From the vast sound of sand in the desert to the tuneful warble of a songbird, to the meditative resonance of a temple bell and the improvisational melodies of jazz, this is a celebration of all things auricular.

Customer Reviews


Caspar Henderson has been a journalist and an editor: a contributor to BBC Radio 4, Financial Times, Guardian, Nature, New Scientist and openDemocracy. His debut, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings (Granta, 2012), won the Roger Deakin Award of the Society of Authors and the Jerwood Award of the Royal Society of Literature, and was shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. A New Map of Wonders was published by Granta in 2017. He lives in Oxford.

Popular Science Coming Soon
By: Caspar Henderson(Author)
368 pages
Publisher: Granta
Media reviews

"Henderson's taste in music is gloriously eclectic [...] Every page in this book has a fact or observation that trills in me and thrills me. Henderson could, I think write on anything: it is not the data he imparts but the glee with which he does so that enthralls"

"Irresistible [...] You could read the book for the sheer cascade of facts it offers, but it has a tender, lyrical quality, which at points makes the writing sing [...] [A] rich and lovely book"
The Sunday Times

"A pursuit of auditory wonders – a paean to the act of listening and a salute to silence [...] Ransacking A Book of Noises affords hours of listening pleasure [...] Readers can and should take their time. It will be time well spent"

"An irresistible blend of colloquially insinuating and accessible writing [...] [A] masterly deployment of detail, and genuine, infectious sense of awe and respect for the natural world"

"Haunting and captivating [...] a marvel [...] Caspar Henderson confirms that, for all its turbulence, this is still "a world alive with good noises". Open your ears"
– David Farrier, author of Footprints: In Search of Future Fossils

"A heartfelt extended plea to pay closer attention to the things around us, and a guide to the rewards that can come from doing that: a secular invitation to renew a sense of wonder, as a bulwark against the disenchantment"

"A book of exquisite richness and erudition, dedicated equally to the beautiful strange and the precious ordinary"
– Jay Griffiths

"Caspar Henderson's books are a special kind of treasure; I struggle to think of another writer who achieves this combination of scope, intellectual rigour and deep reflection with such grace and style. Don't be deceived by the title – far from being a noisy book, this is a quiet and determined call to listen better"
– Helen Jukes

"You will gasp with surprise and sigh with delight in the pages of A Book of Noises. It's the most elegant and erudite history of the world as sound ever written"
– David Rothenberg, author of Whale Music and Secret Sounds of Ponds

"A whistlestop tour past thunderstorms, volcanoes, bees, blackbirds, bells, haiku, earworms, noise pollution, climate change, even silence [...] The way Henderson plucks and assembles his sources from literally centuries of collected knowledge is an impressive feat"
The Wire

"This exploration of the 'auraculous' world of sound – the word is Henderson's own coinage, conflating the aural and the miraculous – is full [...] of wonders [...] Fascinating"
Literary Review

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