- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Granta Books; 1st Edition edition (6 Sept. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847084850
- ISBN-13: 978-1847084859
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.9 x 20 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 354,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Otter Country: In Search of the Wild Otter Hardcover – 6 Sep 2012
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‘You don't have to be an otter fanatic to love Darlington's book... Otter Country is proper nature writing, revealing as much about the writer's obsession with otters as of the animal itself and leaving us in awe of both -’ Sir John Lister-Kaye
‘Wonderful... her book is equal to its subject’ Carl Wilkinson
‘Beautifully evocative... Written in prose as sinuous as the creatures themselves... Otters apparently enjoy a rather illustrious club of fans. Readers of Ms Darlington will be glad she is among them’
‘Sharply observed and lyrically written’ Jason Goodwin
‘Beautifully written... A truly mesmerising and inspirational read’
‘The author is a teacher and poet who writes beautifully and informatively... I have no hesitation recommending this book’
‘Darlington is consistently an agreeable companion - inquisitive, but never a know-it-all, and frequently funny... I challenge anyone not to find [her] writing buoyant and inspirational’ David Profumo
‘A passionate journey, travelled beautifully’ Paul Evans
‘Otter Country captures the raw beauty of the landscape, distilling knowledge from some of the most renowned experts’
‘The writing is sublime ... a piece of sheer joy’
‘Miriam Darlington has written a personal tale of burning quest for one of the most charismatic of all our animals. It is a beautiful book full of sensuous lyricism, but it is also an important contribution to British writing on otters, a tradition in which this country is especially rich’ Mark Cocker, author
‘Otters are one of British conservation's success stories, and this wonderful book is their anthem. The strong clear writing, fascinating research and warm personal voice make it a lovesong not only to otters but to Britain’ Ruth Padel, author
‘Seeing an otter in the wild is one of the most precious and magical wildlife experiences that these islands have to offer, and Miriam Darlington captures that magic perfectly’ Neil Ansell, author of 'Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills'
‘Miriam Darlington belongs with writers like Mark Cocker and Paul Evans at the peak of the genre. If a better nature book is published this year, I would be very surprised’ Jim Perrin, author of 'West: A Journey through the Landscapes of Loss'
‘This is a diary of utter devotion where landscape is interpreted as otter-text, its messages elusive but traced with deep sensitivity’ Jay Griffiths, author
‘A book to restore that sense of nature red in tooth and claw and our place in amongst it... I turned the last page of Otter Country full of admiration’
‘I was immediately captivated. Darlington is a poet and her prose has a wonderful flow and lyricism... Her passion and forensic attention to her subject are infectious’ Julia Brigdale
‘This book will have you creeping along river banks and lying quietly by pools’
‘The known and loved landscapes of her past and present are evoked with as much care as she gives to her musteline quarry’ Esther Woolfson
‘Beautifully produced... a worthy successor to Tarka and Ring of Bright Water’ John Harding
‘It follows in the tradition of Gavin Maxwell and Henry Williamson, and stands comparison with both... Delightful’ Stephen Moss, Books of the Year--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
MIRIAM DARLINGTON was born and brought up in Lewes, Sussex. A prize-winning poet, she taught French and English for twelve years, before becoming a full-time writer in 2007. Her poetry collection Windfall was published in 2008. She writes a regular monthly column in The Times: Nature Notebook. She lives in Devon with two children, one dog, two cats, four chickens and her husband
Top Customer Reviews
Miriam Darlington is an accomplished poet whose deft observations of animals and nature are always engaging, and in Otter Country, her first venture into the world of prose, she doesn't disappoint. Split roughly into regional sections, as the author visits various parts of the country in search of the elusive animal, the book provides a fascinating overview of natural Britain, from the "True North" of Scotland, to the "wide curve of sand and mountainous dunes" of Northumberland, with its "gnarled, windblown hawthorns," taking in the Lake District and the surprisingly wildlife-rich canals of east London, to the "glittering river Dart" and the idyllic sounding environs of the author's local area, England's south-west.
There is a lot of thoughtful, insightful poetry and nature writing emanating from this part of the country right now, with writers like David Caddy, Mandy Pannett and Alice Oswald bringing the ancient land-and-water-scapes to life, and Miriam Darlington's fluent style of writing, non-judgemental observations and obvious love of wild animals fits perfectly into this poetic melting pot.Read more ›
Furthermore, and although in many ways this book is well written, I very much felt that it demonstrated the kind of overwritten, overly-poetic prose which, for some reason, appears to be almost ubiquitous in nature writing, and which I find more than a little irritating - not to mention somewhat self-indulgent, even pretentious. For me, the skill of a good writer is to avoid the twin pitfalls of prose which, on the one hand, is underdeveloped and therefore too matter-of-fact, and, on the other, that which makes it look as if the author is simply trying too hard - with this book very much falling into the latter category. The author (or maybe the editor) also seemed to have something of a fixation with semicolons, to the extent that, after a while, and already anticipating the next round of cringeworthy prose, my mind was almost drifting into a game of 'spot the semicolon'.
On the whole, I also found this book to be quite tedious. Sometimes, and without wishing to be unkind, it almost felt as if the author was intent on offering a deeply poetic meditation on, or carefully crafted observation of, pretty much everything she encountered (even the Severn Bridge!), while also feeling the need to talk us through every twist and turn of even the more mundane aspects of her various trips, travels and activities - not that anything much really seems to happen anyway.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"There are some creatures which, no matter how often you see them, and however brief the encounter, leave you breathless with excitement. Read morePublished 12 months ago by depask
buy it! the effort put in to write such a book, people don't realise this part and ignore the hours spent out in the wild. just fantastic..... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Mr. Gcw Culshaw
A book filled with beautiful prose and insightful information about one of the UK's more elusive animals. Read morePublished on 10 Feb. 2015 by EllSimp
I gobbled up this book and am already planning to re-read it at a more leisurely pace. Brilliant on so many levels; the gorgeous prose, the author's sensitive connection with the... Read morePublished on 27 Oct. 2014 by Rachel
I wanted to like this book but it falls awkwardly between the line of an informative, resource book and a personal tale about the authors relation with otters and her attempts to... Read morePublished on 8 Oct. 2014 by James Warner Smith
I found this an excellent book, well written and absorbing. Usually I'm skeptical of the 'in search of' type book, but this is not an 'in search of' book like all the others, its... Read morePublished on 29 Aug. 2014 by Peter Rutt
A fabulous read for anyone who loves Otters and the natural world. Bought for a friend in Scotland who was absolutely thrilled, she has otters swimming in front of her house - so... Read morePublished on 22 Jan. 2014 by S C