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4.4 out of 5 stars
18
A Slow Passion: Snails, My Garden and Me
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:£10.76+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 28 April 2014
Written with an eloquence that rivals Ruth Brook's vast scientific curiosity, this little book proved to be a deeply inspirational account of how one woman made her peace with the molluscs invading her garden, and in so doing, found peace within herself as well. It begins as a nostalgic memoir of her childhood in the 1940s-50s, within the context of her enduring love of nature. Along the way, snails play a role in her memories, but it is not until she begins to wonder how to rid her flowerbeds of these "pests" without killing them that she takes a long-shot and enters the BBC Amateur Scientist competition.

From here on, the book becomes heavy on science. The author has a marvelous style of writing, a rare blend of entertaining and educational. She is quite enthusiastic about her subject, while her recounting of the trials, tribulations and successes of her homing instinct experiment, were, for this snail enthusiast, thrilling to read. Incidentally, Ruth Brooks has gone no little way in proving what most snail owners would already swear to - that they are far more intelligent than modern science would suggest, and in particular, snails have a memory.

Throughout the experiment, she is beset with challenges, which she overcomes with a positive outlook, and it becomes amazing, even to those few of us who are so fond of our gastropods, that such a tiny, seemingly unimportant creature as the snail could be the catalyst that so profoundly changed her outlook on herself, and her place in Nature. That all lives are of significance.

For mollusc lovers, this book is the Holy Grail of Snail Tomes. It was also very much uplifting, the sort of thing that restores one's faith in humanity. I found it an absolute pleasure to read.
One person found this helpful
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on 8 June 2013
Written in elegantly pleasing style, this book not only captures the author's long love affair with the natural world, but also gives us a much deeper insight and knowledge into the microcosmal universe of the snail.

Although I haven't yet finished reading it I have already caught some of her enthusiasm and indeed liking for what I had previously deemed to be garden pests.
She also captures the atmosphere of a 1950's childhood well and I almost felt myself "back there".
5 people found this helpful
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on 21 May 2013
This quirky little book is an easy read and combines nostalgia (although younger than the author I remember a childhood in the 50s), "detective" story and perhaps a solution to snails. At least I have resolved to try a season without little blue pellets. I have recommended it to friends of a similar age with gardens - whether it would appeal to a younger generation I don't know.
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on 3 December 2017
Arrived fine. Was gift. So don't know if it will fulfill expectations.
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on 8 April 2013
I bought this book to catch up on the author's experiments which I had heard about on Radio Four but missed the results.this is a lively and at times poetic book but it really comes alive halfway through when the project gets under way. A must for gardeners.
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on 17 August 2016
Excellent and amazing read. Learnt a lot!
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on 28 May 2015
A lovely book that is so full of warmth. Ruth's writing is engaging, vibrant and reflective, and she writes in such a way that her empathy for these intriguing wee creatures oozes from the page - this above all made it a delight to read.
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on 11 October 2016
I enjoyed this very much.
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on 5 February 2015
Interesting reading and well researched/presented
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on 16 February 2016
A delightful book for those who care about snails. Indeed, educational for those who are anti snails - might change your mind
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