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The renowned naturalist's highly anticipated sequel to the international bestseller The Old Ways: a haunting voyage into the planet's past and future.
Hailed as "the great nature writer of this generation" (Wall Street Journal), Robert Macfarlane is the celebrated author of prize-winning books about the intersection between the human and the natural world. In Underland, he delivers his masterwork: an epic exploration of Earth's vast subterranean landscape in myth, literature, and his own travels.
Delving into what is known as "deep time", the dizzying expanse of geologic time that stretches away from the present, Macfarlane takes us on an exhilarating journey to Arctic sea caves, Bronze Age burial chambers, the catacombs of Paris, the underground networks by which trees communicate, a Dark Matter research lab searching for the origins of the universe, and a Deep Geological Repository designed to store nuclear waste for half a million years to come.
Underland reveals our shifting relationship with the world beneath us: the viruses and lethal gases we've unearthed, the toxic dangers we've buried, the millions of miles of holes we've dug in our fevered search for oil and gas.
"Robert Macfarlane is a magician with words. In Underland he shows us how to see in the dark. His writing is like a vortex [...] Once caught, you're pulled deeper and deeper with each page"
– Andrea Wulf, best-selling author of The Invention of Nature
"Devastating, lyrical, blazingly vivid [...] An examination of the darknesses invisible beneath our feet. The book's great power comes from Macfarlane's deliberate turn away from despair and toward a deliberate, loving, and luminous sense of awe"
– Lauren Groff
"Robert Macfarlane's writing reminds us of the astonishing variety of things you can see when you go at walking speed, and of how strange and rich the world is"
– Philip Pullman
"The great nature writer, and nature poet, of this generation"
– Wall Street Journal
"Exquisite. [Robert Macfarlane] evokes so vividly places to which I and probably you will never go, and at the eeriness of the places themselves and the sense of vast scale they restore to us at a time when it can feel like the world has shrunken around us"
– Rebecca Solnit
"An epic descent into a series of underground and underwater landscapes"
– Financial Times
"Beautifully written and wise, this haunting book is a treasure [...] It reads like a seamless dive, crawl, and trek through deep time, in sense-rich landscapes, accompanied by fascinating views of the human saga. Its unique spell is irresistible"
– Diane Ackerman
"Beautifully and bravely balanced [...] This is a radical book in every sense. It goes as deep as it can, unafraid of the risk that what it finds will turn everything on its head"
– The Oldie
"Thrilling and soulful, raw and erudite. Robert Macfarlane writes of his astonishing subterranean explorations with wondrous, indelible power [...] Underland is a profound reckoning with humankind's self-imperiled position in nature's eternal order. It is a book of revelations"
– Philip Gourevitch
"Robert Macfarlane has long provided us with some of the most distinctive and sensitive thinking about how humans understand and experience the terrestrial world. Underland [is] his most urgent, universal, and expansive book yet"
– Francisco Cantu