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Wild: An Elemental Journey Paperback – 1 May 2008
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"If a tiger could write poetry or a polar bear prose, they might write a book as exciting as Wild" -- Adrian Mitchell, Shadow Poet Laureate
"Jay Griffiths is a five-star, card-carrying member of the hellfire club... a strange, utterly compelling book, Wild is easily the best, most rewarding travel book that I have read in the last decade" -- Mark Cocker, Guardian, 9th June 2007,
"She tears out a stupendous style, volcanic yet soft like the sound of a river, cadenced as birdsong, in a book almost onomatopoeic in the use of language to match its view of the world.... Her use of etymology to reach into the core of a cultural vision is unsurpassed... a book constructed, through intuitive, poetic associations... she takes on the Western conceptual lexicon, exposing the misapprehensions on which it is based.. The result is a paean, a threnody, a work of great sadness and great joy" -- Toby Green, Independent 25th May 2007
"Very rarely do you come across a book that makes you want to stand on the street corner with a megaphone and bully every passer by into reading it. But this is how I felt about Wild, really one of the most exciting books
I've read for years. It's both a beautiful work of scholarship and a passionate polemic for more love and freedom and joy in today's grey, unsustainable and murderously bureaucratic world"
-- Tom Hodgkinson, Author of How to be Free
'Exhilarating... high-risk stuff, thrumming with unbridled erotic
charge... learned and poetically pagan... Nobody can fail to be enriched by
this book's wealth of observation and description' -- Jeremy Seal, Sunday Telegraph, 27 May 2007
'Incandescent... exhilarating...[Griffiths has] the intelligence
of a naturalist and the luminous originality of a visitor from another
planet... a profoundly important contribution... very readable' -- Richard Mabey, The Times, 26 May 2007
'Remarkable... She tears out a stupendous style... a book almost
onomatopoeic in the use of language to match its view of the world... The
result is a paean, a threnody, a work of great sadness and great joy'
-- Independent, 25 May 2007
A major book by a major writer ... she writes like four kinds of
gorgeous ... Wild is the book that shows how it should be done. -- Bill McKibben, The Ecologist, May, 2007
A vital, unique and uncategorisable celebration of the spirit of
life itself, Wild is a profound and extraordinary piece of work -- The Observer, 20 May, 2007 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Jay Griffiths is the author of Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time, winner of the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for the best new non-fiction writer in the USA (2003). Her writing has appeared in various publications including the London Review of Books, the Idler, the Ecologist, Resurgence, the Observer and the Guardian.
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Top Customer Reviews
Books that I really like, I recommend, but am loathed to lend - for fear that they may never return. I'd been willing to lend this book!
In particular Griffiths' chapter on West Papua is an excellent example of her rigour in research, intellectual understanding and passionate empathy born of first-hand experience in a country where ignorance and arrogance are still threatening the indigenous people.
Griffiths reports on the experience which indigenous people have of Christianity in particular, and her book includes details of how Christian missionaries in the Amazon encouraged indigenous people to kill their shamans and how this was acted on. There, too, missionaries are still attempting to reach 'uncontacted' people, knowing that this contact can kill with diseases which uncontacted people have no resistance to. Indigenous activists in Peru specifically asked Griffiths to interview one of these missionaries and to write about the situation. There are also links between Christian missionaries and the mining and logging companies which steal the land and resources of indigenous people.Read more ›
Her style of writing is a mix of eloquence and honesty, and it can be very seductive. But it is not without its problems. Her political invective can sometimes feel a little over-done and personal. There are also frequent disparities between the language she uses and the ideologies she espouses. At one turn she will talk of nature as a dispassionate and unfeeling entity, and in the next sentence will extol the thinking and speaking powers of nature in flights of pathetic fallacy that go beyond the empathic points she makes. This made me lose trust in her convictions a little, and made me suspicious of her passion, because it sometimes gets used to hide her theoretical inadequacies. My last criticism would be that the issues she highlights with such alacrity in the first chapter, are basically repeated in the following chapters with a different natural element and location as the metophorical back-beat to her musings.
Despite all this, it is an enjoyable read, with some very valid points to make about nature, wildness, and environment. It should be treated with a little caution however, as once you have recovered from her salvos of passionate indignation, you are often left with a smouldering wreckage of problematic language and ideas.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wondered what to do when i had finished reading Paolo Coelho
and here it is for me !
the most gripping sensuous wild read ever....if you like poetical prose this is your woman....she communicates the wildness of the world perfectlyPublished on 15 Oct. 2013 by dorothypr
I loved this book through and through. Griffiths' skilful ways in painting a scene are unrivalled, and her passion in revealing her insights is powerfully seductive. Read morePublished on 23 Mar. 2010 by Scott Rennie
The author travels worldwide to people living closer to nature than we have done for a long time. She says straight out that our accepted attitude of yanking them brutally out of... Read morePublished on 6 Jun. 2009 by Parklands
Jay Griffiths lived this book for seven years and her passion for wild authenticity shows in every page of her inspiring, poetic writing. Read morePublished on 10 May 2009 by J. P. S. May
Nature writing seems to be back in vogue at the moment, and this is something very much to be welcomed. One of the best recent examples of the type is this book, Wild. Read morePublished on 23 Oct. 2008 by Simon
This is a breathtaking book that changed my perspective on the way I view the wild people and places of the world as well as my own internal landscape. Read morePublished on 4 Jun. 2008 by Amazon Customer
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