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  • Entangled Life

  • How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures
  • By: Merlin Sheldrake
  • Narrated by: Merlin Sheldrake
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (3,886 ratings)

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Entangled Life  By  cover art

Entangled Life

By: Merlin Sheldrake
Narrated by: Merlin Sheldrake
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Publisher's summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A “brilliant [and] entrancing” (The Guardian) journey into the hidden lives of fungi—the great connectors of the living world—and their astonishing and intimate roles in human life, with the power to heal our bodies, expand our minds, and help us address our most urgent environmental problems.

“Grand and dizzying in how thoroughly it recalibrates our understanding of the natural world.”—Ed Yong, author of An Immense World

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—Time, BBC Science Focus, The Daily Mail, Geographical, The Times, The Telegraph, New Statesman, London Evening Standard, Science Friday

When we think of fungi, we likely think of mushrooms. But mushrooms are only fruiting bodies, analogous to apples on a tree. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that supports and sustains nearly all living systems. Fungi provide a key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways we think, feel, and behave.

In the first edition of this mind-bending book, Sheldrake introduced us to this mysterious but massively diverse kingdom of life. This exquisitely designed volume, abridged from the original, features more than one hundred full-color images that bring the spectacular variety, strangeness, and beauty of fungi to life as never before.

Fungi throw our concepts of individuality and even intelligence into question. They are metabolic masters, earth makers, and key players in most of life’s processes. They can change our minds, heal our bodies, and even help us remediate environmental disaster. By examining fungi on their own terms, Sheldrake reveals how these extraordinary organisms—and our relationships with them—are changing our understanding of how life works.

Winner of the Wainwright Prize, the Royal Society Science Book Prize, and the Guild of Food Writers Award • Shortlisted for the British Book Award • Longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize

©2020 Merlin Sheldrake (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“Sheldrake is admirably humble, knowing that there is much more to be discovered about the fungal web all around us. He has a slightly husky, convincingly precise voice, and his mental and physical involvement in his subject is brought out by his thoughtful, amused narration and allusive, often almost poetic cast of mind.”—Christina Hardyment, The Times, Audiobook of the Week

“I fell in love with this book. Merlin is a scientist with the imagination of a poet and a beautiful writer. . . . This is a book that, by virtue of the power of its writing, shifts your sense of the human. . . . It will inspire a generation to enter mycology.”—Michael Pollan (Bay Area Book Festival, 2020)

“Fungi are everywhere, and Merlin Sheldrake is an ideal guide to their mysteries. He’s passionate, deeply knowledgeable, and a wonderful writer.”—Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction

Featured Article: Mushroom Mania—11 Fantastic Listens About Fungi


Mushrooms are so much more than just a pizza topping. With new information and applications cropping up constantly, the world of fungal research is as deep and complex as mushrooms themselves. These seemingly innocent bundles of caps and stalks are just the fruiting body of a complex underground network of fungal threads called mycelia. Neither plant nor animal, the fungal kingdom lives mostly out of sight, but these days, never out of mind.

Editor's Pick

The fungus among us
Did you know that the earth used to be dotted with fungi more than two stories tall? That they were the largest living structures on dry land for millions of years? Fungi are the founders of new ecosystems and the equalizers of old ones, including the ecosystems inside us. They may regulate our brain function as closely as they regulate the life cycles of extreme radioactive environments. These are a few of the astounding facts that lace Merlin Sheldrake’s fascinating narrative in Entangled Life. His narration is so contemplative and rhythmic that it is hard to resist, making this quirky story of fungus surprisingly compelling and delightfully calming.

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