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Underland

A Deep Time Journey
Narrated by: Matthew Waterson
Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Hailed as "the great nature writer of this generation" (Wall Street Journal), Robert Macfarlane is the celebrated author of books about the intersections of the human and the natural realms. In Underland, he delivers his masterpiece: an epic exploration of the Earth's underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory, and the land itself. 

In this highly anticipated sequel to 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 "deep time" - the dizzying expanses of geologic time that stretch away from the present - 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 "hiding place" where nuclear waste will be stored for 100,000 years to come. Woven through Macfarlane'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 "the awful darkness within the world."

©2019 Robert Macfarlane (P)2019 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ditto

I agree about the narrator. Audiobooks have improved over the years in performance quality, but pronunciation still needs lots of work. Mispronounced common languages like Spanish or German make more readers cringe than one might think. Narrators must underline every foreign word or proper name before starting and consult a native speaker or university. Even narrators of works by authors from countries with less universally known languages like Turkish, Russian, not to mention African languages, must do their homework. Maybe returning messes like this one will capture publishers attention.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful book, disappointing narrator

The writing is gorgeous, thought-provoking, moving... Macfarlane is one of my favourite authors, but this narrator butchers the pronunciation of so many words - proper names mostly. And I don’t mean in the way that American and British speakers often disagree. He can’t decide how to pronounce “anthropocene” for example, and many names from Greco-Roman myth are off (Penates, e.g.); but when he pronounced “Hebrides” as 2 syllables rhyming with rides, I knew I had to write this review. I finished the book because I’m a huge fan of Macfarlane, but please record this again.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful