Thursday, September 9, 2010

Review of the Week: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Reviewed by Penelope B.

On a brief trip to Europe, Elisabeth falls ill with a mysterious bacterial pathogen that results in severe neurological symptoms. She spends most days bedridden, observing her new companion, a wild snail brought in from the woods by a good friend. At first she wonders why she would enjoy a snail. She describes her experience beautifully in a letter to her doctor: "I would never have guessed what would get me through this past year - a woodland snail and its offspring; I honestly don't think I would have made it otherwise... watching another creature go about its life... somehow gave me, the watcher, purpose too."

You will never look at a snail the same way again. This is a short read on how the natural world illuminates our own human existence. It offers an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.

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