I wish [this book] had existed before I composed Written in Stone. Same spirit, but much better.— Brian Switek.
My favourite natural history book of the year.— Robin Ince.
The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is one that Pliny would have envied, Darwin applauded, and Borges relished. It celebrates the playful imagination of the universe, capable of dreaming up the zebrafish and the yeti crab; it also celebrates our delight in reading in claws and feathers lessons about our own miraculous self. In these days of doom and gloom, I can think of nothing more rejoicing than Caspar Henderson’s magical book.—Alberto Manguel, author of The Library at Night.
Caspar Henderson has written an utterly extraordinary book: a glorious and genre-bending grimoire; a spell-book of species that entranced me from its first page. Wonderful in the richest senses of the word, as well as witty, moving, urgent and beautiful, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is a celebration of nature's astonishing variety -- and a warning as to what we are so rapidly losing.– Robert Macfarlane, author of The Wild Places and The Old Ways.
If you're interested, as I am, in weird details about weird animals, this is the book for you...Caspar Henderson takes us on an eye-opening tour of real animals that no sane human could ever have invented.– Frans de Waal, author of The Age of Empathy.
A sublime rumination on existence. In twenty-seven exquisitely crafted cameos, Caspar Henderson reveals the hidden wonders of life in all its exuberant strangeness, at the same time illuminating our own place in the world. Simply stunning.– Callum Roberts, author of Ocean of Life: How our Seas are Changing.
Wondrous, capacious and strange.– Simon Critchley, author of Impossible Objects and The Faith of the Faithless
A wonderful book! With the precision of a scientist, the elegance of an artist and the minatory power of an Old Testament prophet, Caspar Henderson exhorts us to pay attention to the other species on our endangered planet and learn from them before it is too late.– Richard Holloway, author of Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt.
Caspar Henderson is a zoological Borges, taking us on a fascinating and exhilarating journey through the labyrinth of natural history. Exploring an assembly of weird and wonderful creatures, from the axolotl to the zebra fish, he offers wise and surprising insights into everything from the science of synthetic biology to the roots of our environmental crisis, with plenty of witty asides along the way (I had no idea that the humble chicken is the closest living relative of Tyrannosaurus rex). The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is a brilliant and original meditation on what the animal world can teach us about who we are and who we want to be, weaving an unforgettable spell that will leave you thinking about nature - and our place in it - in completely new ways.
– Roman Krznaric, author of The Wonderbox: Curious Histories of How to Live.