Being a Beast

  • by Charles Foster
  • Narrated by Jot Davies
  • 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Charles Foster wanted to know what it was like to be a beast: a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, a swift. What it was really like. And through knowing what it was like, he wanted to get down and grapple with the beast in us all.
So he tried it out; he lived life as a badger for six weeks, sleeping in a dirt hole and eating earthworms. He came face to face with shrimps as he lived like an otter, and he spent hours curled up in a back garden in East London and rooting in bins like an urban fox.
A passionate naturalist, Foster realises that every creature creates a different world in its brain and lives in that world. As humans, we share sensory outputs, lights, smells and sound, but trying to explore what it is actually like to live in another of these worlds, belonging to another species, is a fascinating and unique neuroscientific challenge. For Foster it is also a literary challenge.
Looking at what science can tell us about what happens in a fox's or badger's brain when it picks up a scent, he then uses this to imagine their world for us, to write it through their eyes, or, rather, through the eyes of Charles the beast.
An intimate look at the life of animals, neuroscience, psychology, nature writing, memoir and more, it is a journey of extraordinary thrills and surprises, containing wonderful moments of humour and joy but also providing important lessons for all of us who share life on this precious planet.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Thought provoking

excellent book, wasn't sure what to think when it started... but as it went on, I was fascinated by the journey taken.
Has made me reconsider an awful lot, and get into the world... the real world... a bit more
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- Mr. J. Ambler

A beast of a read.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I'm not sure. I had to listen to it twice and some parts more. found it wordy and difficult to really get my head around.


Would you recommend Being a Beast to your friends? Why or why not?

Don't think I would because I don't think my friends would either be interested or wouldn't be able to concentrate.


Which scene did you most enjoy?

None in particular.


Do you think Being a Beast needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. This book was difficult enough to listen to.


Any additional comments?

I really don't know what the point was in this book. I don't think it is possible for humans to really get inside the heads of animals and live like them and think like them and I just wasn't there with the author. I thought it was well read though.

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- jillian grant

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-02-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios