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How can we ever be sure that we really know the other? To test the limits of our ability to inhabit lives that are not our own, Charles Foster set out to know the ultimate other: the nonhumans, the beasts. And to do that, he tried to be like them, choosing a badger, an otter, a fox, a deer, and a swift. He lived alongside badgers for weeks, sleeping in a sett in a Welsh hillside and eating earthworms, learning to sense the landscape through his nose rather than his eyes. He caught fish in his teeth while swimming like an otter; rooted through London garbage cans as an urban fox; was hunted by bloodhounds as a red deer, nearly dying in the snow. And he followed the swifts on their migration route over the Strait of Gibraltar, discovering himself to be strangely connected to the birds.
A lyrical, intimate, and completely radical look at the life of animals - human and other - Being a Beast mingles neuroscience and psychology, nature writing and memoir to cross the boundaries separating the species. It is an extraordinary journey full of thrills and surprises, humor and joy. And, ultimately, it is an inquiry into the human experience in our world, carried out by exploring the full range of the life around us.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By evianho on 04-09-17
Quietly brilliant. Great listen!
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
yes. it is very original. first time to know how great a vet could be.
What other book might you compare Being a Beast to and why?
i can't. this is one of its kind. i think the narration cannot be more genuine.
What does Charles Foster bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
the experience he has had being an animal before putting every insight into this precious book.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Being an honest beast.
Any additional comments?
so very insightful...every bit that we could relate to as human. love the description of the season and months of the otters hunting for food...he is so funny!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By phoenix edgewood on 06-22-18
I was really ready to like it...
I wanted to read this book since I heard an interview with the author on NPR. I got the audiobook to listen to while I drive. Alas, that was dangerous, as it quickly put me to sleep.
The premise is fascinating, and then the author tries too hard to be brilliant and clever. I wanted to know what he experienced, and what he learned from that experience. Instead, he goes on and on with semi-witty metaphors (which I usually love) and over-long descriptions of what worms taste like.
Maybe it's better to read while lounging in a hammock, when falling asleep wouldn't be so dangerous. Or when I could re-read the lengthy sentences to fully grasp what he's going on about. I'll add it to the list of books to try again.