Otter Country: In Search of the Wild Otter Paperback – 2 May 2013
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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
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.
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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 ›
In this book she travels all around the country in search of the elusive otter, and meets with people who are possible more obsessed that her, including James Williams, author ofThe Otter Among Us. She goes to the Cardiff University to meet the people on their Otter Project, where they perform autopsies on otters that have been killed, mostly on roads, and collect DNA data from these unfortunate creatures.
There is not so many actual experiences of her encounters with otters, as she says they are elusive, and are often active at night, but this is as much about the experience of being close to the wildlife of the rivers and estuaries, and being immersed in the fantastic landscape of Western Scotland. But as she looks for evidence, she finds their trails and spraints in many places close to home and whilst on her travels. The few encounters that but she does document the few that she has.
This is also a book about the wider natural environment of the UK, whilst we do not have the same mega fauna of Africa, it is still a fascinating country that we live in, in terms of wildlife. I liked the writing style, it is very evocative and she gives you a wonderful sense of place.
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 2 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 7 months ago by Mr. Gcw Culshaw
Perhaps it was a mistake to read this so soon after Bill Bryson, and whilst I have quite a passion for wildlife and wild places, I'm afraid I just found this book rather dull and... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Biggis
A book filled with beautiful prose and insightful information about one of the UK's more elusive animals. Read morePublished 17 months ago 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 21 months ago 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 21 months ago 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 23 months ago 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