HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by…
Loading...

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating (edition 2010)

by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5334618,919 (4.12)126
Member:-Cee-
Title:The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating
Authors:Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Info:Algonquin Books (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Kindle, Memoir, Snails

Work details

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 126 mentions

English (43)  German (3)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Dear, dear gastropod...how was I to know that you are the epitome of elegance and strength of character?

Bailey develops a mysterious illness at the end of a trip to the Swiss Alps. While convalescing on her farm in Maine, she is trying to adjust to the sudden loss of control in her life. Practically incapacitated, and depending on the assistance of a caregiver and irregular visits from friends, she soon succumbs to depression and the monotony of the sick bed. A friend decides to bring nature to her by planting wild violets in a pot, along with a little woodland snail that she happens to find in the woods, and placing them by her bedside.

What follows is a close observation of this little creature's habits and well...personality! No longer lonely, Bailey looks forward to each new day, and develops a voracious appetite for more snail research. The snail's determination, strength, and even romantic sensibilities are examples that are emulable. I could list all the great things that make snails so cool, but then you wouldn't read the book, right? Ugh! You're a sly one...

Although Bailey attributed all of the snail's intricate qualities to the theory of Evolution, her observations and case notes pointed me in the opposite direction. I was bowled over by it's intelligent design, and the intelligent Creator behind it. Nothing was missed, from the way a snail ensures it's survival during winter to it's courtship rituals. Snails are deep! So true are the words found at Romans 1:20 "...For His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable..."

If you get a chance to read this, please do. I'm sure you'll relate to both the snail and the author, especially if you're an introvert, or find that you can't do what you used to do because of declining health. Take a lesson from the gastropod, and keep sliming ever forward!

Climb Mount Fuji
O snail
but slowly, slowly

—Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828) ( )
  dreamydress48 | Nov 29, 2014 |
Survival often depends on a specific focus: a relationship, a belief, or a hope balanced on the edge of possibility. Or something more ephemeral: the way the sun passes through the hard, seemingly impenetrable glass of a window and warms the blanket, or how the wind, invisible but for its wake, is so loud one can hear it through the insulated walls of a house.

In this short, contemplative memoir, Elisabeth Tova Bailey describes her experience convalescing after being struck by an autoimmune disease. Bedridden, unable to stand or walk, her days were spent largely inside her head. A tiny snail, which came into her room on a potted plant, became both a companion and a source of intellectual stimulation. Fascinated by the snail's daily routine, Bailey read up on the anatomy and physiology of the snail and passed insight along to her readers on everything from the composition of the snail's shell and mucus to mating rituals.

The science is interesting enough, but the real point of this memoir is how the snail sustains Bailey by giving her a reason to face every day. She experiments with the snail's food and habitat, worries when the snail is out of sight, and marvels at the miracle of life represented by a clutch of eggs. Her observations often lead to conclusions about human society. Some of these felt contrived, others were more meaningful, but on the whole I was impressed by the inner strength required to persevere through a lengthy and debilitating illness. ( )
1 vote lauralkeet | Nov 26, 2014 |
Quick light read. I was glad the author let the snail's story speak for itself, allowing the reader to have their own self awareness moments. I was drawn into the story upon reading the first page. I admit to a few paragraphs of boredom but they were easy enough to get through being such a small book. From first hand experience I know it is possible to get attached to a snail. Having in the past kept aquariums I have also kept snails, the great big ones that are purchased. They really are quite fascinating to watch. I didn't find any new insights but this story did serve as a good reminder of what we take for granted and what is truly important in life. ( )
  flippinpages | Sep 25, 2014 |
quiet sweet interesting. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
I loved this beautiful quiet book. During an extended period of being bed-ridden Elisabeth befriends and observes a snail and shares fascinating insights about its tiny slow world. This book was recommended to me by one of our lovely regular patrons at my library. He said, “Read this book, it will change your life. You will never step on a snail ever again!” He didn’t realise how much this book would speak to me in its profound observations on the meaning of life and humanity through the lens of observing this mysterious life form, at once alien and familiar. As Charles Darwin observed, “We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities…still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.” ( )
  Sophiejf | May 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
A small pet is often an excellent companion.
-- Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing, 1912
The natural world is the refuge of the spirit... richer even than human imagination.
--Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia, 1984
Dedication
To biophilia
First words
In early spring, a friend went for a walk in the woods, and glancing down at the path, saw a snail. Picking it up, she held it gingerly in the palm of her hand and carried it back toward the studio where I was convalescing.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
While an illness keeps her bedridden, Elisabeth Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence in a terrarium alongside her bed. She enters the rhythm of life of this mysterious creature, and comes to a greater understanding of her own confined place in the world. In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, she shares the inspiring and intimate story of her close encounter with Neohelix albolabris - acommon woodland snail. Intrigued by the snail's world - from its strange anatomy to its mysterious courtship activities - she becomes a fascinated and amused observer of the snail's curious life. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is an affirmation of the healing power of nature, revealing how much of the world we miss in our busy daily lives, and how truly magical it is. A remarkable journey of survival and resilience, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating shows how a small part of the natural world can illuminate our own human existence and deepen our appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.
Haiku summary
Most unlikely friend,
Humble snail, shows me the way.
Glide here. Stick there. Wait.

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her uncommon encounter with a "Neohelix albolabris" --a common woodland snail.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
123 wanted4 pay2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.12)
0.5
1
1.5
2 4
2.5 4
3 26
3.5 11
4 67
4.5 21
5 57

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 94,361,348 books! | Top bar: Always visible