Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide by Charles Foster

Into the Wild

Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide Read Online Free - A passionate naturalist explores what it’s really like to be an animal—by living like them

How can we ever be sure that we really know the other? To test the limits of our ability to inhabit lives that are not our own, Charles Foster set out to know the ultimate other: the non-humans, the beasts. And to do that, he tried to be like them, choosing a badger, an otter, a fox, a deer, and a swift. He lived alongside badgers for weeks, sleeping in a sett in a Welsh hillside and eating earthworms, learning to sense the landscape through his nose rather than his eyes. He caught fish in his teeth while swimming like an otter; rooted through London garbage cans as an urban fox; was hunted by bloodhounds as a red deer, nearly dying in the snow. And he followed the swifts on their migration route over the Strait of Gibraltar, discovering himself to be strangely connected to the birds.

A lyrical, intimate, and completely radical look at the life of animals—human and other—Being a Beast mingles neuroscience and psychology, nature writing and memoir to cross the boundaries separating the species. It is an extraordinary journey full of thrills and surprises, humor and joy. And, ultimately, it is an inquiry into the human experience in our world, carried out by exploring the full range of the life around us.

Title : Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1627796339
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 pages


Peter rated it ★★★☆☆

April 17, 2017

"I want to know what it is like to be a wild thing." This book is bonkers. Charles Foster, a veterinarian and barrister among other occupations, explains his frustration with traditional nature writing, saying that it has "generally been about humans striding colonially around, describing what the...

Jess rated it ★☆☆☆☆

September 06, 2016

Oh, how I really hated this. It was difficult to accept any "naturalist" observations from a person who makes no attempt to hide his contempt for so many animals in the kingdom. He also doesn't have any respect for the natural environment and minimizing his presence while out and doing his "exper...

Holly rated it ★★☆☆☆

July 19, 2016

[New paragraph added to the end of my original review] I never trusted this guy. Early on I was swept up in his language and his voice, and began to ask myself - Is this brilliant? Am I listening to a work of genius here? Because the audiobook was great on one level - Foster kind of sounds like Ne...

Paul rated it ★★★☆☆

May 03, 2016

Have you ever wondered just what it would be like to be an eagle soaring on thermals or a stag surveying your territory? Some of us may have whilst walking in the countryside or over a contemplative drink, but Charles Foster wanted to know what it was like. Really, really wanted to know… So he ch...

Carlos rated it ★☆☆☆☆

August 14, 2016

If you love philosophy or mysticism related to animals , please disregard my review. I'm sorry but this book left me completely disappointed and made me feel like I wasted my time. I got this book because I though it would be filled with scientific research helped along by the method of cohabitat...

Callum rated it ★☆☆☆☆

February 06, 2017

I almost never DNF a book, and if I did I normally wouldn't want to rate it because I would think it unfair, but having suffered through 100 pages of this, and found so much of it verging on offensive, I just can't help myself. Perhaps it was a mistake for me to even pick this up, since the concep...

Ben rated it ★★★★★

May 31, 2016

This book – and I hesitate to box it in with so insipid-sounding a genre as nature writing is crazy beautiful. A stunning, vertiginous, odd, outrageous, academically rich, and personally challenging work. Charles Foster – a vet and academic –takes us on a mind-altering, shamanistic, trip into the...

Kerri Anne rated it ★★☆☆☆

August 18, 2016

This is undoubtedly one of the strangest literary journeys on which I've ever embarked, and after finishing this book, I'm left feeling both strangely inspired* and noticeably annoyed. There are parts of this book I wholly disagree with, based on my own knowledge of the wild animals in question,...

Kathrin rated it ★★★☆☆

March 14, 2017

Einige Stellen sind sehr gut, vor allem die paar, an denen es tatsächlich um das versprochene Thema geht. Das Benehmen von Würmern im Mund! Schon im ersten Teil über Dachse deutet sich aber an, dass der Autor sich lieber über andere Wichtigtu- und Esoterikthemen auslassen möchte, und das wird in...

Sarah rated it ★★☆☆☆

May 15, 2017

I wouldn't dissuade others from reading this book, but I wouldn't recommend it either. I wasn't sure what I expected from a book detailing a man's efforts to live like animals, but I found this to be a rather underwhelming read. The writing itself was respectable, but I just didn't get sucked int...

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