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Download The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness, by Sy Montgomery 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: Sy Montgomery Narrator: Sy Montgomery Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this astonishing book from the author of the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig, Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans.

Sy Montgomery’s popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, “Deep Intellect,” about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shapeshifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think?

The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who are now establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A page-turning adventure…If there is a Mother Nature, her name is Sy Montgomery.”

    Vicki Constantine Croke, New York Times bestseller author

  • “Enter the mysterious intelligent alien world of the octopus. Experience a real intelligence based on a sense of touch that humans can barely imagine.”

    Temple Grandin, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Delightful.”


  • “An engaging work of natural science…There is clearly something about the octopus’s weird beauty that fires the imaginations of explorers, scientists, writers.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “Charming and moving…with extraordinary scientific research.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Fascinating…touching…informative…Entertaining books like The Soul of an Octopus remind us of just how much we not only have to learn from fellow creatures, but that they can have a positive impact on our lives. "

    Daily Beast

  • “Sy Montgomery’s joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures will have you rethinking that order of calamari.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Inspired by both rigorous scientific curiosity and enraptured wonder and empathy…She also tells funny and moving stories…Profoundly recalibrates our perception of consciousness, communication, and community.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Montgomery chronicles her extraordinary experience bonding with three octopuses…With apparent delight, Montgomery puts readers inside the world of these amazing creatures. A fascinating glimpse into an alien consciousness.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Sy Montgomery is fascinated by octopuses…She sounds palpably excited; her enthusiasm for the octopus and her fellow octopus enthusiasts shines.”


  • A National Book Award Finalist
  • A Library Journal Editor’s Pick for Spring 2015
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2015 Amazon Best Books of the Year Selection for Sports & Outdoors
  • A Shelf Awareness Best Book of 2015
  • Winner of the 2016 New England Book Award for Nonfiction
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