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.
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.
"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 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