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Who loves ya, baby?
Anyone read anything of his? The new one, Underland, looks decent:

Underland: A Deep Time Journey

From the best-selling, award-winning author of Landmarks and The Old Ways, a haunting voyage into the planet’s past and future.

Hailed as "the great nature writer of this generation" (Wall Street Journal), Robert Macfarlane is the celebrated author of books about the intersections of the human and the natural realms. In Underland, he delivers his masterpiece: an epic exploration of the Earth’s underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory, and the land itself.

In this highly anticipated sequel to his international bestseller The Old Ways, Macfarlane takes us on an extraordinary journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface of both place and mind. Traveling through “deep time”—the dizzying expanses of geologic time that stretch away from the present—he moves from the birth of the universe to a post-human future, from the prehistoric art of Norwegian sea caves to the blue depths of the Greenland ice cap, from Bronze Age funeral chambers to the catacomb labyrinth below Paris, and from the underground fungal networks through which trees communicate to a deep-sunk “hiding place” where nuclear waste will be stored for 100,000 years to come. “Woven through Macfarlane’s own travels are the unforgettable stories of descents into the underland made across history by explorers, artists, cavers, divers, mourners, dreamers, and murderers, all of whom have been drawn for different reasons to seek what Cormac McCarthy calls “the awful darkness within the world.”

Global in its geography and written with great lyricism and power, Underland speaks powerfully to our present moment. Taking a deep-time view of our planet, Macfarlane here asks a vital and unsettling question: “Are we being good ancestors to the future Earth?” Underland marks a new turn in Macfarlane’s long-term mapping of the relations of landscape and the human heart. From its remarkable opening pages to its deeply moving conclusion, it is a journey into wonder, loss, fear, and hope. At once ancient and urgent, this is a book that will change the way you see the world.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I want him locked up. I despise him. Worst man in England. Hate hate hate
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Twee. Smug. Vacuous. Oxbridge. Well connected. Complacent. Lazy. A mediocrity with friends in high places, in other words, an exemplar of everything rotten about England. We should burn his books, strip him naked and whip him with stinging nettles.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
It's just doing something to write a book about it. Like travelling round Ireland with a fridge. These books don't need to be In the world. It's disgusting careerism. Just journalism. Offensive. The writing is appalling, barely literate and what do you get out of it. A few facts out of Wikipedia. Something about oh I like hawthorn bushes they're fab
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
It's just doing something to write a book about it. Like travelling round Ireland with a fridge. These books don't need to be In the world. It's disgusting careerism. Just journalism. Offensive. The writing is appalling, barely literate and what do you get out of it. A few facts out of Wikipedia. Something about oh I like hawthorn bushes they're fab
You don't buy his environmental concerns then?
 

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Who loves ya, baby?
Just pulled up some interview he did with Waterstones and I see what the two of you mean now. He's a Ben Fogle-type.

 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
We should burn his books, strip him naked and whip him with stinging nettles.
I bet he knows a fascinating archaic dialect word for this practice that's only still used by three octogenarians in the Hebrides.

And lol, yes you went there with the Ireland/fridge dig. Could tell I would see that in this thread as soon as I saw the title.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Richard Powers mentioned him in a recent interview and I was intrigued and expected him to be some craggy explorer, but he seems more like a Blue Peter or Countryfile presenter. Disappointing.
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
I don't hate him as viscerally as Luka, but the complaints ring true. I find him alright when he's doing overviews of dead writers and philosophers, a bit irritating when he reels off stacks of prose about fairly standard walking or climbing trips, and utterly infuriating when he goes somewhere with some interesting cultural history but basically ignores the actual local people and spends his time bigging up some oxbridge poet / sculptor / philosopher mate of his who moved to the area a few years ago to work on their book.
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
Balanced criticism:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n05/kathleen-jamie/a-lone-enraptured-male

When a bright, healthy and highly educated young man jumps on the sleeper train and heads this way, with the declared intention of seeking ‘wild places’, my first reaction is to groan. It brings out in me a horrible mix of class, gender and ethnic tension. What’s that coming over the hill? A white, middle-class Englishman! A Lone Enraptured Male! From Cambridge! Here to boldly go, ‘discovering’, then quelling our harsh and lovely and sometimes difficult land with his civilised lyrical words. When he compounds this by declaring that ‘to reach a wild place was, for me, to step outside human history,’ I’m not just groaning but banging my head on the table.

Is this fair? Well, no, of course not. The ‘outside human history’ bit was just an opening gambit – or a brave admission – and he will graciously recant in due course. But there is a lot of boldly going.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
One of these days I'm going to persuade Ben Wheatley to direct a film based on a script by Robert McFarlane and force luka to watch it like in A Clockwork Orange.
 

blissblogger

Well-known member
I reviewed Underland for 4columns

http://4columns.org/reynolds-simon/underland

Really enjoyed it (and the previous one Landmarks, a celebration of other earlier Nature writers and formative influences - although that one can be ever so slightly prissy in its precision lyricism - a quality that's gone with the new book, the prose is loosened up, for the better).

When I was reading Underland, I actually thought, "I'll Amazon this to Luke as a surprise, he'll dig it ".... but then something checked the impulse, I thought "actually, I bet he won't dig it, I bet he doesn't like Macfarlane at all.... "

But I could not have imagined the ferocity of the loathing!
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
A signed copy personally addressed to him.

"Dear Luke,

May you wander the wild and untamed lands in great joy and health.

Keep the faith.

Your pal,

Rob."
 
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craner

Beast of Burden
It's great when Luke really has it in for somebody. His Woody Allen rant is one of the best.
 
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