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Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding Hardcover – 30 May 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; First Edition - Later Print Run edition (30 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846147484
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846147487
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Feral has really opened my mind to the history and possibilities of our landscape. It reflects a very real need in us all right now to be released from our claustrophobic monoculture and sense of powerlessness. To break the straight lines into endless branches. To free our land from its absent administrators. To rewild both the landscape and ourselves. It is the most positive and daring environmental book I have read. In order to change our world you have to be able to see a better one. I think George has done that (Thom Yorke)

Part personal journal, part rigorous (and riveting) natural history, but above all unbridled vision for a less cowed, more self-willed planet, this is a book that will change the way you think about the natural world, and your place in it. Big, bold and beautifully written, his vision of a rewilded world is, well, truly captivating (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)

It could not be more rigorously researched, more elegantly delivered, or more timely. We need such big thinking for our own sakes and those of our children. Bring on the wolves and whales, I say, and, in the words of Maurice Sendak, let the wild rumpus start (Philip Hoare Sunday Telegraph (Book of the Week))

The world knows George Monbiot mostly from his powerful and perceptive journalism. But this is a whole different order of writing and thinking, a primal account of an unstifled world (Bill McKibben)

George Monbiot is always original - both in the intelligence of his opinions and the depth and rigour of his research. In this unusual book he presents a persuasive argument for a new future for the planet, one in which we consciously progress from just conserving nature to actively rebuilding it (Brian Eno)

A Book of Revelations for our times (Farley Mowat)

[Praise for George Monbiot]: A dazzling command of science and a relentless faith in people (Naomi Klein)

About the Author

George Monbiot studied zoology at Oxford, but his real education began when he travelled to Brazil in his twenties and joined the resistance movement defending the land of peasant farmers. Since then he has spent his career as a journalist and environmentalist, working with others to defend the natural world he loves. His celebrated Guardian columns are syndicated all over the world. Monbiot is the author of the bestselling books Captive State, The Age of Consent, Bring on the Apocalypse and Heat, as well as the investigative travel books Poisoned Arrows, Amazon Watershed and No Man's Land. Among the many prizes he has won is the UN Global 500 award for outstanding environmental achievement, presented to him by Nelson Mandela.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robin Lovelace on 23 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover
This review first appeared on [...]

George Monbiot is a well-known environmentalist. He has a regular column in the Guardian newspaper, writes occasionally for a number of other publications (all his articles can be viewed on the clutter free website [...] and a number of books already under his name. As a child, I sometimes dreamed of 'saving the rainforest' and probably for this reason Monbiot became a natural role model as I grew up, even though he quickly destroyed my overly simplistic views of 'good' conservationists vs the 'bad' deforesters. His writing is broad, encapsulating the links between many different elements of what is, invariably, a more complex problem than what first impressions indicate. In the mid 2000s, George Monbiot took-on the 'greatest environmental threat' - climate change - almost head-on in his acclaimed book Heat: How We Can Stop the Planet Burning. This provided motivation for me to seek solutions, not only on some abstract policy level, but in my everyday life.

Fast-forward five years. Instead of fretting over our collective failure to overcome society's enduring addiction to fossil fuels, it is refreshing to see that Monbiot has moved on. Environmental problems are big and, due partly to the long timespans over which they develop, can seem intractible. Instead of discussing the problem, in this case lack of wild or 'self-willed' ecosystems, from an abstract perspective, Monbiot dives into some vivid descriptions of experiences in the wilderness. Contrast this with the monotony of everyday life and it becomes apparent that many people are suffering from ecological boredom.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By ProfessionalScot on 30 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While arguing his point from an unashamedly selfish position, Monbiot's assertions around the need to understand the impact of shifting baselines on our approach to the conservation of our environment are convincing. I'm not sure to what extent his apparent admiration for some of the conservationists is shared by those who work the land (his focus tends to be on contrasting the priorities and actions of rewilders with those of landowners) but at a high level his narrative feels rational. Most of all, Monbiot's profound affection for the wild is writ large across this text. A rewarding and engaging book that I'm glad to have read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steve on 22 Nov 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book and it went beyond what I expected, far beyond. Every now and then a book comes along which can shake you awake and fundamentally change the way you see things. David Harvey did it for me with 'The Enigma of Capital' Jostein Gardener with 'Sophies World' and now George with 'Feral'. I have several degrees around these subjects and George really challenged the way I understood the countryside of the UK with this book. His descriptions of the 'tame' life that we have built out of our need for security really spoke to me. The descriptions of the 'shaved' hills of Wales being characterised as beautiful and diverse when they are, in biodiveristy terms, little better than desert, resounded with me as I am a yorkshireman, who always wondered why we couldnt have a few more trees in the dales. The book is very well referenced but doesn't read like an essay or polemic. It reads like a story, it feels like a narrative. Let me tell you, if I had read it when I took my first degree I would have been able to articulate a great deal of what struck me as the lunacy of the way we manage our land in this country. If you have never even thought about your relation with nature before you should read this book, it's accessible and in parts beautiful. If like me you have been thinking about and researching environmental policy and land management for over a decade you will still learn something, challenge yourself, and come out the other end better for it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CR on 25 Mar 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I was excited to purchase George Monbiot's 'Feral'. Having worked in the conservation sector in the UK, I understood that this book would consider ideas such as rewilding and species reintroductions that, perhaps, do not receive the attention they deserve from this sector.

I enjoyed reading the book, but found myself skipping through multiple sections of personal narrative. I assume that these personal anecdotes were included in order to reinforce the more theoretical concepts, however, I often struggled to see their relevance. The concept of rewilding is a bold one, and I found myself hoping that Monbiot would make a more concise, powerful case for it. Instead, his arguments in favour of rewilding are almost apologetic at times, with copious 'exceptions' to rewilding, to the extent that Mobiot's case suffers from the same timidity he finds British conservationists guilty of.

I had the impression that each chapter was written entirely separately, without attention to continuity or indeed, to repetition. Several chapters contain information that has been presented previously.

Overall, the message was muddled and I was hoping for more. However, I would still recommend reading Feral for the sections of useful information it contains.
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