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Download Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide Audiobook, by Charles Foster Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Foster Narrator: Charles Foster Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781524721947
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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. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Gonzo nature writing…Extremely entertaining.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “Foster’s quirky book shows how emulating animals not only helps our understanding of them―it makes us more human.”


  • “A tour de force of modern nature writing…that shows us how to better love the world beyond ourselves.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “A blend of memoir, neuroscience, and nature writing…that pushes zoological obsession to even greater heights―and depths.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Spectacularly unconventional…Steeped in scholarship, yet directed by his own quirky mysticism.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Extraordinary, hair-raising, and deliberately funny… Atrophied senses limit our lived experiences. Be a beast, says Foster, to become a better human.”


  • “A splendid, vivid contribution to the literature of nature…There’s not an ounce of sentimentality in any of it, but instead good science and hard-nosed thought. Furthermore, Foster has the gift of poetry.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Foster’s narration is often amusing, delivered with self-mockery in his British accent.”


  • A New York Times Pick for New Books We're Reading This Summer
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
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About the Author

Charles Foster is a fellow of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford. He is a qualified veterinarian, teaches medical law and ethics, and is a practicing barrister. Much of his life has been spent on expeditions: he has run a 150-mile race in the Sahara, skied to the North Pole, and suffered injuries in many desolate and beautiful landscapes. He has written on travel, evolutionary biology, natural history, anthropology, and philosophy.