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

8 CDs. 9:15 hrs. HighBridge. 2015. ISBN 9781622316168. $29.99. SCI
This intimate and spiritual work relates Montgomery's (Quest for the Tree Kangaroo) experiences communing with octopuses in aquariums and in the wild. She clearly conveys the visceral experience of reaching into a tank and touching the creatures and watching octopuses from birth until death. While spending time with the animals, she also enters a fascinating community of people who share her love of aquatic animals. The work is mesmerizing and read by Montgomery herself, which reinforces the intimacy of her experiences. She builds from her encounters with the octopuses and the people who care for them to a meditation on consciousness beyond humanity. The only negative aspect to this work is the audible paper noise in the background.
VERDICT A not-to-be-missed listening event for animal and ocean lovers. ["Anyone captivated by the natural world, from interested middle school readers and up, will be engrossed by this account of a strange—and unexpectedly beautiful—animal": LJ 6/1/15 starred review of the Atria hc.]
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