Entangled Life

How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures

Merlin Sheldrake author


Publisher:Vintage Publishing

Published:2nd Sep '21


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Entangled Life cover

The smash-hit Sunday Times bestseller that will transform your understanding of our planet and life itself.

'Astonishing ... it seems somehow to tip the natural world upside down' Observer

'Completely mind-blowing ... reads like an adventure story' Sunday Times


The more we learn about fungi, the less makes sense without them. They can change our minds, heal our bodies and even help us avoid environmental disaster; they are metabolic masters, earth-makers and key players in most of nature's processes. In Entangled Life, Merlin Sheldrake takes us on a mind-altering journey into their spectacular world, and reveals how these extraordinary organisms transform our understanding of our planet and life itself.

'Dazzling, vibrant, vision-changing' Robert Macfarlane
'Urgent, astounding and necessary' Helen Macdonald
'Gorgeous!' Margaret Atwood (on Twitter)
'Wonderful' Nigella Lawson
'This book is like one surprise after another' David Byrne
'Uplifting' Jeanette Winterson


* A Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Times, Evening Standard, Mail on Sunday, BBC Science Focus and Time Book of the Year *

After this book, nothing will seem the same again . . . beautifully written and illustrated . . . dazzling . . . reveals a world that's both more extraordinary and more delicate than could be imagined * Mail on Sunday *
Riveting and surprising at every turn . . . A sensory as well as an intellectual pleasure * New Statesman *
Wondrous . . . Humans should consider fungi among the greatest of earth's marvels * Time, Books of the Year *
Mind-boggling . . . It's tempting . . . to see fungi as the biological model for a better world * Telegraph *
Truly astounding . . . An engrossing, captivating journey * Spectator *
Gorgeous, intelligent, utterly absorbing . . . it expands our world, and makes us look up from the page with renewed wonder * Irish Times *
One of those rare books that can truly change the way you see the world around you . . . revelatory . . . astounding . . . and brimming with infectious joy -- HELEN MACDONALD, author of H is for Hawk
A true masterpiece, a thrilling and fascinating insight into the living world . . . I hope and trust that it will become an instant classic -- GEORGE MONBIOT
Blew my mind . . . Essential reading. Go and get swept up in a new world -- ANDREA WULF, author of The Invention of Nature
Astonishing . . . it's impossible to finish this book without feeling awestruck -- ANDREW MOTION, TLS Books of the Year
Delightful to read but also grand and dizzying in how thoroughly it recalibrates our understanding of the natural world -- ED YONG, author of An Immense World
Sentence after sentence stopped me short. I ended it wonderstruck at the fungal world - the secrets of which modern science is only now beginning to fathom - and the earth-shaking, hierarchy-breaking implications of Sheldrake's argument. A remarkable work by a remarkable writer -- ROBERT MACFARLANE, author of Underland
A revelation . . . Changes the way we need to look at life, the planet and ourselves -- ISABELLA TREE, author of Wilding
Wonderfully written . . . surprising . . . The best science writing invites people to view the world around them in a new way, and Entangled Life is a perfect example -- BRIAN COX
This is a book that, by virtue of the power of its writing, shifts your sense of the human . . . It will inspire a generation -- MICHAEL POLLAN (Bay Area Book Festival, 2020)
I have been working on and reading and writing about fungi for a decade. And yet, nearly every page of this book contained either an observation so interesting or a turn of phrase so lovely that I was moved to slow down, stop, and reread . . . This book rocked me into remembering that nature, especially fungal nature, is big and encompassing and creative and destructive. It reminded me that fungi are, like the Universe, sublime -- Rob Dunn * Science *
A magical journey deep into the roots of Nature by an expert storyteller . . . a must-read for citizen scientists hoping to make a positive difference on this sacred planet we share -- PAUL STAMETS, author of Mycelium Running
Reading this book, I felt surrounded by a web of wonder. The natural world is more fantastic than any fantasy, so long as you have the means to perceive it. This book provides the means -- JARON LANIER, author of Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
You may never look at fungi in the same way . . . an eye-opening exploration of this mysterious taxonomic kingdom . . . a journey into an untapped world. It is both a wonderful collection of fungal feats . . and a personal account of Sheldrake's experiences with these miraculous organisms * New Scientist *
Brilliant . . . entrancing . . . when we look closely [at fungi], we meet large, unsettling questions . . . Merlin Sheldrake . . . carries us easily into these questions with ebullience and precision . . . challenging some of our deepest assumptions * Guardian *
A joy . . . a captivating trip into the weird and wonderful mycorrhizal world around us - and inside us . . . full of startling revelations * Daily Mail *
The oddest and most uplifting book . . . It is, to say the least, rare to find such a vast area of life on Earth - fungi - about which one knows almost nothing, and which gives promise of being so important to human life during our next century -- ANDREW MARR * New Statesman Books of the Year *
If you had told me a book about fungi would be both enthralling and completely mind-blowing, I wouldn't have believed you. And yet. Dazzlingly good -- INDIA KNIGHT, Sunday Times
A triumph and a thing of vast beauty -- TOM HODGKINSON, The Idler
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 Under A White Sky
Deeply engaging and constantly surprising . . . the magic of mushrooms is not merely mind-expanding . . . it might expand the very concept of mind -- PHILIP BALL * Prospect *
As hard to put down as a thrilling detective novel, and one of the best works of popular science writing that I have enjoyed in years -- DENNIS MCKENNA, author (with Terence McKenna) of Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide
It is impossible to put this book down. Entangled Life provides a window into the mind-boggling biology and fascinating cultures surrounding fungal life, as well as fungi’s innumerable uses in materials, medicine and ecology. Sheldrake asks us to consider a life-form that is radically alien to ours, yet vibrant and lively underfoot -- HANS ULRICH OBRIST
This is not just for mushroom-heads - it is science at its most uplifting -- JEANETTE WINTERSON * The Times *
Playful, strange, intensely philosophical ... Until very recently, human knowledge of this most mysterious lifeform, neither plant nor animal, has been extremely limited. This is astounding, given ... their seismic impact on life on earth ... [Sheldrake's] central vision of the interconnectedness of all life-forms feels shiveringly prescient' * Telegraph *

ISBN: 9781784708276

Dimensions: 196mm x 130mm x 34mm

Weight: 340g

368 pages