My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Lev Parikian takes us on a nature tour from lying on the pavement outside his house looking at a common blue butterfly to ringing birds on Skokholm island. As he points out “Nature means different things to different people”, and he covers all sorts of perspectives including his own and those of famous naturalists such as Charles Darwin, Gilbert White, Gavin Maxwell and John Clare along the way.
This is a well drawn tale of what nature means, it doesn’t go into a lot of heavy detail or tales of mass destruction and loss of species and habitats but nor is it a lightweight view either. It is well observed of nature, of naturalists and those that wouldn’t call themselves naturalists but are exposed to it everyday.
If you like your natural history with a little humour then you will enjoy this, what Bill Bryson did for the travel tale and the secrets of the universe, Lev Parikian might well do for the natural world. Learning how to catch Manx Shearwaters for ringing or the multi-modal uses of the average back garden all take the reader to see the more humourous side of nature.
I do have one gripe about this book however – the use of footnotes. They were heavily overused in the text and ultimately became quite distracting, constantly nipping to the bottom of the page to see what the little asterisks, cross or other reference point means. In my opinion many of these footnotes should have been incorporated into the main body of the text. They were relevant and would have added more there rather than being relegated to the bottom of the page, sometimes with three or four others, and with some pages that were more footnote that main text.
About the Author.
Lev Parikian is a birdwatcher, conductor and author of Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear? He lives in West Longon with his family who are getting used to his increasing enthusiasm for nautre. As a birdwatcher, his most prized sightings are a golden oriole in the Alpujarras and a black redstart at Dungeness Power Station.
Into the Tangled Bank – In which our author ventures outdoors to consider the British in Nature is published on 9th July 2020 by Elliott & Thompson at £14.99.
[Disclaimer: The publishers very kindly sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have received no payment for this review, and the thoughts are my own.]