Please note that this book was published in hardback How to Catch a Mole: And Find Yourself in Nature.
At the age of sixteen, Marc Hamer left home with only a rucksack and started walking. By day, he observed the animals and birds. By night, he slept under hedges, in woodlands and on riverbanks. It was the beginning of a life in nature.
Years later, now working as a gardener and mole-catcher in the Welsh countryside, Marc tells of the experiences that have shaped him and of the wonders that he encounters each day. He considers, too, the fascinating ways of the mole and the myths that surround this curious creature.
This beautiful, meditative book explores what nature can teach us about ourselves and our search for contentment. It is a celebration of living peacefully and finding joy in the world around us.
Marc Hamer was born in the North of England and moved to Wales over thirty years ago. After spending a period homeless, then working on the railway, he returned to education and studied fine art in Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent. He has worked in art galleries, marketing, graphic design, as a magazine editor and taught creative writing in a prison before becoming a gardener.
– Longlisted for The Wainwright Prize 2019
"In lyrical prose, Hamer revealed a curious kinship with moles – creatures who, like him, often work alone. Like Laurie Lee, Hamer is an elegist, attracted to what's beautiful precisely because it's poised to pass away."
– Washington Post
"A wonderful book [...] It has taught me a lot. I feel great love for it"
– Max Porter
"How To Catch A Mole is a beguiling mixture: part autobiography, part handbook, part travel book, part philosophical treatise. I'm happy to report that it succeeds on each level"
– Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
"Not only a compelling meditation on the 'little gentleman in black velvet' [...] but also a fascinating, lyrical account of the loneliness and beauty of life on the margins, a memoir of vagrancy"
– Times Literary Supplement
"From the first few words I knew I had encountered loving honesty and no one needs more than that. It is rare to encounter such respect and understanding of nature for herself."
– Rosamund Young, author of The Secret Life of Cows