• An Immense World

  • How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us
  • By: Ed Yong
  • Narrated by: Ed Yong
  • Length: 14 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,650 ratings)

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An Immense World

By: Ed Yong
Narrated by: Ed Yong
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Publisher's summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A “thrilling” (The New York Times), “dazzling” (The Wall Street Journal) tour of the radically different ways that animals perceive the world that will fill you with wonder and forever alter your perspective, by Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Ed Yong

“One of this year’s finest works of narrative nonfiction.”—Oprah Daily

ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time, People, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Slate, Reader’s Digest, Chicago Public Library, Outside, Publishers Weekly, BookPage

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Oprah Daily, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Economist, Smithsonian Magazine, Prospect (UK), Globe & Mail, Esquire, Mental Floss, Marginalian, She Reads, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal

The Earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electric and magnetic fields. But every kind of animal, including humans, is enclosed within its own unique sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of our immense world.

In An Immense World, Ed Yong coaxes us beyond the confines of our own senses, allowing us to perceive the skeins of scent, waves of electromagnetism, and pulses of pressure that surround us. We encounter beetles that are drawn to fires, turtles that can track the Earth’s magnetic fields, fish that fill rivers with electrical messages, and even humans who wield sonar like bats. We discover that a crocodile’s scaly face is as sensitive as a lover’s fingertips, that the eyes of a giant squid evolved to see sparkling whales, that plants thrum with the inaudible songs of courting bugs, and that even simple scallops have complex vision. We learn what bees see in flowers, what songbirds hear in their tunes, and what dogs smell on the street. We listen to stories of pivotal discoveries in the field, while looking ahead at the many mysteries that remain unsolved.

Funny, rigorous, and suffused with the joy of discovery, An Immense World takes us on what Marcel Proust called “the only true voyage . . . not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes.”

WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL • FINALIST FOR THE KIRKUS PRIZE • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD • LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/E.O. WILSON AWARD

©2022 Ed Yong (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“A thrilling tour of nonhuman perception . . . Nature’s true wonders aren’t limited to a remote wilderness or other sublime landscape. . . . There is as much grandeur in the soil of a backyard garden as there is in the canyons of Zion.”The New York Times

“A dazzling ride through the sensory world of astoundingly sophisticated creatures . . . It’s Mr. Yong’s task to expand our thinking, to rouse our sense of wonder, to help us feel humbled and exalted at the capabilities of our fellow inhabitants on Earth. . . . [A] deeply affectionate travelogue of animal sensory wonders.”The Wall Street Journal

“One of this year’s finest works of narrative nonfiction . . . Yong’s reporting is layered, seasoned with vivid scenes from laboratories and in the field, interviews with researchers across a spectrum of disciplines.”Oprah Daily

Featured Article: Best of the Year—The 12 Best Nonfiction Listens of 2022


In another year of portentous headlines and global concerns, nonfiction writers responded with bold ideas for change at every level, from the intimate and individual to the interspecies and universal. In their own impassioned voices or supported by top-notch performers, these diverse creators awed us with timely takes on everything from science and technology to life, death, and the human butt. Their titles took a backseat to no one in 2022.