The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

  • by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
  • Narrated by Renee Raudman
  • 3 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Elisabeth Tova Bailey tells the intimate and inspiring story of her year-long encounter with a snail. While an illness keeps her bedridden, she becomes an astute and amused observer of the snail's surprising nocturnal adventures as it lives in a flowerpot on her nightstand. Intrigued by the snail’s clear decision making abilities, hydraulic locomotion, mysterious courtship, and molluscan anatomy, Bailey takes the listener deep into the life of this tiny amazing animal. With wit and grace, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating recounts a remarkable journey of human and gastropod survival and resilience, and shows how the natural world illuminates our own human existence. Winner of the William Saroyan International Prize for Nonfiction, the John Burrough Medal Award for Natural History, and a National Outdoor Book Award. If you enjoyed Wesley the Owl, The Guest Cat, and Marley & Me, you'll enjoy this unique interspecies audiobook listen.

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What the Critics Say

"Exquisite." (The Huffington Post)
"Brilliant." (The New York Review of Books)
"How interesting can a snail be? Entirely captivating, as it turns out. [Bailey] is a marvelous writer, and the marriage of science and poetic mysticism that characterizes this small volume is magical." (Star Tribune)
"Renee Raudman's slow, gentle, almost hypnotic narration matches the meditative quality of this brief memoir." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

3.5 Stars—But Quite Enjoyable

I kinda feel bad that I gave "Until I Say Good-Bye" the ALS good-bye letter 3-stars and I'm giving this precious little ditty 3.5, but it's like this, see? Susan Spencer-Wendel wasn't alone in her illness but Elizabeth Toya Bailey was.
It's easy to find joy, love, beauty when it's all around you because people you love are taking you places.
It's harder than hell to find it when you're immobilized by illness in a single room and can't even roll over.
I found so much wonder and joy in listening to this book; so much delight and humor. Raudman narrates with a growing curiosity, a liveliness, a sincerity that only the best narrators have. She does a really great job bringing the words to life and makes it seem as there is a (Ha!) growing friendship, I kid you not, developing between woman and snail.
When I listened to "The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating," I couldn't help but think of Corrie Ten Boom and "The Hiding Place." When Corrie is imprisoned for helping hide Jews, a little ant comes to see her every day, and she sees the wonder in that, is grateful for that.
That's what really made my heart sing with this book. Someone finding wonder in something they might overlook otherwise, finding pleasure, finding grace.
And the only reason it's not a better rating? TOOOO much dry information. Really? Can you manage to make snail sex boring? Seeeeriously?!? I wound up blushing AND yawning...
But a charming book, all in all
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- Gillian "SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!"

A rich, slow, informative meditation

This gently read story is not a quick listen. I fell asleep to it for many nights. However, a replay (for the parts I'd missed) proved to be worthy of my time and attention. The story is sprinkled with entertaining quotes that span hundreds of years and the author, unable to initially move, eventually recovers enough to become a thorough scientific observer; adding minute detail to the surprisingly rich field of life beneath our feet.
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- Peaceful "I am a retired public school educator."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-18-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios