RaveScienceOne has the feeling, while reading this book, of fumbling through the unknown ... the poems of Erasmus Darwin are set alongside Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the chemistry of urea, to fascinating effect. I found myself feeling very grateful that Zimmer had drawn connections among these disparate themes. We biologists are often necessarily narrow in our perspective ... His breadth reveals more of the whole, however blurry, than would otherwise be available to the specialist ... By the end of the book, Zimmer had fully convinced me that the question of what it means to be alive is also best answered according to the purposes for which we ask—and that such inquiries will yield different outcomes depending on how we ask them.
RaveScienceMore than anything else, Entangled Life is an ode to other ways of being ... I finished the book eager to ferment anything and everything, dig through soil, and go out and sniff mushrooms ... full of details, but Sheldrake tends to use those details to reveal broader truths ... 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 ... It is easy, as a biologist, to grow numb to nature: numbed by the ones and zeroes of spreadsheets, numbed by emails and virtual meetings. 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.