A Deep Time Journey

Book - 2019
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In this highly anticipated sequel to his international bestseller The Old Ways, Macfarlane takes us on an extraordinary journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface of both place and mind. Traveling through ́œdeep timé�́•the dizzying expanses of geologic time that stretch away from the present́•he moves from the birth of the universe to a post-human future, from the prehistoric art of Norwegian sea caves to the blue depths of the Greenland ice cap, from Bronze Age funeral chambers to the catacomb labyrinth below Paris, and from the underground fungal networks through which trees communicate to a deep-sunk ́œhiding placé� where nuclear waste will be stored for 100,000 years to come. Woven through Macfarlané™s own travels are the unforgettable stories of descents into the underland made across history by explorers, artists, cavers, divers, mourners, dreamers, and murderers, all of whom have been drawn for different reasons to seek what Cormac McCarthy calls ́œthe awful darkness within the world.́� Global in its geography and written with great lyricism and power, Underland speaks powerfully to our present moment. Taking a deep-time view of our planet, Macfarlane here asks a vital and unsettling question: ́œAre we being good ancestors to the future Earth?́� Underland marks a new turn in Macfarlané™s long-term mapping of the relations of landscape and the human heart. From its remarkable opening pages to its deeply moving conclusion, it is a journey into wonder, loss, fear, and hope. At once ancient and urgent, this is a book that will change the way you see the world.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2019.
Edition: First American edition.
ISBN: 9780393242140
Characteristics: viii, 488 pages; black and white illustrations ; 24 cm


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Aug 03, 2020

I just couldn't get into this book. That doesn't mean that others won't like it though. For me it was just too wordy.

Jun 16, 2020

A good book, long read, but so many stories about things I had never thought of before. Keep a computer close by if you're like me and want to know the ultra specific-it is easy to go down the rabbit hole.

DBRL_ReginaF Feb 18, 2020

This book defies categorizations. It covers all (well, damn near all) things underground from the "world wood web," underground cities, underground rivers, caves, and forgotten burial sites among other things. It's a weird intersectional book but it's my kind of weird.

Feb 15, 2020

story started out great, but lost interest half way through. Author is very poetic and philosophical, not my favorite style

Oct 31, 2019

This book is not about nature; the prose is far too florid and the book is far too long; Euro-centric.

Oct 17, 2019

MacFarlane is an unusual combination of scholar, gifted writer, keen observer of nature, and outdoor adventurer. When he writes about the Underland - burial places, caves, glaciers, underground rivers - he has personally explored these places, many quite dangerous, and writes about them evocatively and poetically as only someone with firsthand experience can. Also explored are soil, mines, deep sea drilling, and nuclear waste storage, mostly in northern Europe. One of the most fascinating journeys is a multi-day expedition into the 200 mile network of the Paris catacombs with "cataphiles", a subculture of individuals who adhere to an unwritten code of conduct in the invisible city while flouting the law by being there. MacFarlane’s word imagery is powerful and visceral, but the single photo at the beginning of each chapter is frustratingly insufficient in conveying the magnificence, or poignance, of the Underland.

Jul 29, 2019

There isn't a category for the death-defying but detailed science of exploring caves, glaciers and ancient myths. Great book for travel - you will feel in another world no matter where you are reading.

Jul 22, 2019

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ontherideau Jul 19, 2019

Many of us are in awe of the vastness of the surface of our planet and the skies we gaze at. Robert MacFarlane shows us the vastness of what lies beneath the earth we walk on and the waters we sail across. It's another universe altogether, terrifying in ways. This book is an important piece of work.

debwalker Jul 10, 2019

A haunting journey into the planet's past and future. Huge in the UK.

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