A New History of Animals and Us
BEASTLY tracks the 40,000-year story of our paradoxical relationship with the animal world. From a flute carved from the radius of a griffon vulture’s wing to tardigrades in space to now. From our intimate connections to our distant disturbances.
The whole nation of Croatia awaits the return a single stork.
An Austrian zoologist watches a tropical freshwater fish make a decision. A man who cannot speak finds his voice in an encounter with a jaguar.
BEASTLY throws readers headlong into the mind-blowing glittering pageant of life and goes in search of our most revealing encounters with the animal world to show where we’ve come from and where we’re going. Beastly is the story of our changing kinship, reframing our understanding of what it is like to be an animal and what our role is as humans. Animals have shaped our minds, our lives, our land, our civilization, and they will shape our future.
Animals could save us, the paradox is, only we can save them.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR CONSERVATION
A WATERSTONES BEST BOOK OF 2023: NATURE AND TRAVEL
A FINANCIAL TIMES BEST SUMMER BOOK OF 2023: ENVIRONMENT
A BBC HISTORY Magazine 2023 Books of the Year
MARK AVERY’S Books of the Year 2023
Stephen Moss’s 2023 Round-up of Nature Books
'An intriguing study of “the gargantuan story of our paradoxical relationship with the animal world.” KIRKUS REVIEWS
A July MUST READ in The NEXT BIG IDEA CLUB
Hottest Summer Reads of 2023 - KIRKUS REVIEWS
10 Nonfiction Books to Broaden Your Summer Reading - KIRKUS REVIEWS
"If you are interested in the past, present and future of planet Earth; if you are interested in anything at all - then this gorgeous, joyous, sobering book is for you." ― The Irish Times
"A dazzling examination of our contradictory attitudes towards the creatures with whom we share the planet . . . [A] fantastic, heartfelt history of human-animal relations" ― Guardian
Beastly is a clarion call for the humbler notion that every bit of nature matters" ― Observer
"Emblazoned on the imagination, written with empathy and enrapturement . . . It is a wonderful book and what it does well is to make you snort and honk in laughter, woop at animal tenacity and make you cry for our aching world - summoning your snivelling, animal, mammal self" ―Caught by the River
"Many stories linger after reading Beastly: a polyphony in which tale after tale accumulates . . . The book is exhilaratingly busy with ideas . . . A cunningly structured book" ―Perspective Magazine
"A positive, information-packed read about reconnecting with our wild world" ― Independent
"This book is different, quirky and powerful. When I picked it up I was uncertain whether I would get on with it, but in fact it is gripping." - Sunday Book Review - Mark Avery
“What a wonderful and unexpected book. The very opposite of beastly: heavenly and amazing, powerful and affecting, a beloved and very fine teller of tales reminds us how small we are in the face of a nature that we neither understand nor wish to respect or, in any real sense, live with.”
“This entertaining and mind-expanding book on our relationship with other animals is so full of surprising facts and fascinating stories that my copy has practically every page folded down or highlighted or annotated with exclamation marks. Keggie’s writing makes me laugh but it also makes me think; the perfect combination. Beastly is a b
“This entertaining and mind-expanding book on our relationship with other animals is so full of surprising facts and fascinating stories that my copy has practically every page folded down or highlighted or annotated with exclamation marks. Keggie’s writing makes me laugh but it also makes me think; the perfect combination. Beastly is a brilliant book for anyone who questions how we might live more ethically, more harmoniously and more happily alongside the other creatures in this crowded and beautiful world.”
“.. wondrous true stories of kinships between humans and our fellow creatures that feature in this impassioned account of the ways in which wild animals have shaped, and will continue to shape, our life, particularly in the teeth of the climate emergency.”
“A brilliant and insightful selection of revealing stories about our complicated relationship with other animals, told with Carew's uniquely smart and stylish verve. A hugely enjoyable, thought-provoking book.”
“Moving, poignant yet funny. A charmingly eccentric exploration of our increasingly dysfunctional relationship with nature, peppered with peculiar, remarkable tales…”
“This book is sensational. I am fascinated by the animals, as I thought I would be, but I am equally fascinated by the humans. The writing is so beautiful. The most natural writer there ever was. I MEAN IT!”
“Beastly will change the way that you see the world.”
“Eclectic and electric!”
“This book is never going to leave me, it's informing everything I see and so many of my decisions. I don't see how it can help but have the same effect on everyone who reads it.”
“A hugely entertaining, insightful and far-reaching look into the fascinating complexity of our relationships with animals. The writing sparkles with wit and wisdom, allowing us to see ourselves through the eyes of the non-humans we so carelessly share this planet with.”
“Full of necessary rage, joy and passion: Beastly should be mandatory reading for all humans.”
“This book is BRILLIANT! I’ve tried to find the right words to do it justice but can’t. The way Keggie breathes life into the animals whose tales she tells, with such passion and purpose, is amazing… Feeling deeply affected by what I’ve read, and learned…”
An American ecologist hurls starfish out to sea and discovers how nature functions. A gorilla tells a joke. A Japanese yakuza gang has a shoot-out on the high seas over a cargo of sea cucumbers. A photograph of a boar, a girl and a candelabra make me write this book.
DADLAND won the 2016 Costa Biography Award.
Keggie Carew grew up under the spell of an unorthodox father. An undercover guerrilla agent during the Second World War, in peacetime he lived on his wits and dazzling charm. But these were not always enough to sustain a family.
As his memory began to fail, Keggie embarked on a quest to unravel his story once and for all. “Dadland” is that journey. It takes us into shadowy corners of history, a madcap English childhood, the poignant breakdown of a family, the corridors of dementia and beyond.
Ever been talked into buying a camel? Or become a burglar by mistake? Or accidentally drugged a friend on a blind date? From the repercussions of a missing purse, to boiling a frog, or the holiday when the last thing you could possibly imagine happens, Keggie has been there.
She also has an enviable talent for recycling awfulness and turning embarrassment into gold. In prose that will make you laugh, wince and curl your toes, Keggie Carew shares her most embarrassing, awkward, uncomfortable, funny, true, terrible and all-too-relatable moments. You will be glad none of it happened to you.
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