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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Landmarks, a fascinating exploration of the relationship between language and landscapes by Robert Macfarlane, read by Roy McMillan.
Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarks is about the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales to describe land, nature, and weather.
Travelling from Cumbria to the Cairngorms and exploring the landscapes of Roger Deakin, J. A. Baker, Nan Shepherd, and others, Robert Macfarlane shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape and a vital means of coming to love it.
The audiobook version contains an exclusive bonus chapter - a recording of Finlay MacLeod (novelist, historian, broadcaster, archivist, and one of the dedicatees of Landmarks) reading words and definitions from his Peat Glossary for the Isle of Lewis.
This hoard of rare and evocative terms was one of the inspiring documents for the book.
Finlay's voice is also used as a divider between chapters, and the other glossaries in the text are bracketed with appropriate sound effects.
©2015 Robert Macfarlane (P)2015 Penguin Books Limited
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Kindle Customer on 08-08-17

Buy the book

What would have made Landmarks better?

The book version is the way to read this. Words in numerous languages and unique meanings simply must be read, not followed at speaking speed. Audible did not describe this adequately.The book is good.

What other book might you compare Landmarks to and why?


What aspect of Roy McMillan’s performance would you have changed?


You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The book is good; in the Audible version the text is difficult to follow.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Dayle on 02-06-17


Would you consider the audio edition of Landmarks to be better than the print version?

I sure the written word version of this book is good, but the audible version is outstanding!
Background ambient sound, this background "native voice" adds a ghost-like background as a transition change. The readers voice is gentle, yet dramatic. Highly recommend

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Coffee snob on 09-09-15

Love it, but it's costing me a fortune!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. The author effortlessly takes you into his subjects. His writing is taut, precise and evocative.

What did you like best about this story?

Each chapter is dedicated to a different author/topic. Some reviewers didn't like this, but I loved it. It allowed for journeys into particular words and stories associated with the underlying topic that I found fascinating.

What does Roy McMillan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He reads beautifully; with him the stories come alive. You are climbing the mountain with him, swimming in icy water alongside him, clambering into caves as he explores. It's a full on sensory experience.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes. It made me furious to learn nature related words were being removed from children's dictionaries as they were "no longer deemed relevant". It also created a burning desire to get out there and experience some of the places or things discussed.

Any additional comments?

I couldn't tear myself away from this recording. The only downside..I became so caught up in the books and authors described in each chapter that I've had to buy many of them AND a hard copy of Landmarks so that I have easy access to the glossaries!

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Roderic on 06-08-15

Enjoy listening... then buy the book

I have listened to over 100 audiobooks in the last three years. Only once did I buy a book after listening to it. That book was Robert Macfarlane's "Old Ways" and the reason I bought the book was because Macfarlane's text is a reference to several worlds of interest and erudition. I knew I would go back to it and explore other avenues that it presented.

I will also buy "Landmarks" when it appears in paperback, for the same reasons. Even though many chapters are glossaries -- and not as well suited to listening as to reading -- the remaining chapters are chiefly an exposition of the writing of other "Nature" writers such as Nan Shepherd, J A Baker, Macfarlane's friend Roger Deakin, the American John Muir and others.

The result is an impassioned and expert dissertation on the rich language used in the past to define Nature, focussing on English, its dialects, and the Celtic languages of Britain.

The historical vignettes presented, such as the interaction between John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt resulting in the creation of Yosemite National Park, were fascinating and the final chapter, Childish, was a brilliant expansion of the theme.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Gary16 on 07-16-18

Mind blowing

I’m not sure if I fell more in love with landscape or with his powers of description. Dazzling prose. Wonderful list of nature writers reviewed.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Leisal on 02-20-18


When I first downloaded this I was dismayed that the glossary was included. The idea of line upon line of what amounted to an index was daunting. And yet...though it is a list, read out, it has the romance and mystery of a liturgy, but of the poetry of language, reminiscent of the mesmerizing comfort of the shipping news on the BBC. I am in love with the romance of these words, linked with extraordinary landscapes.

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