Merlin Sheldrake 2020. Entangled Life. London: The Bodley Head, 358 pp.

An incredibly accomplished first book. Brings together a huge, eclectic and fabulously interesting body of recent research on fungi and effortlessly integrates this with a voyage through counter culture of magic mushrooms and radical mycology. Easy and compellingly interesting to read yet slow, since it is constantly necessary to stop and ponder and consult endnotes and bibliography. Indeed I ended up reading the text, then the endnotes, then the bibliography - each sepearately. Merlin Sheldrake has made the very most of his multiple benefits: having a wonderful subject, parents with both academic training and loopy but fertile ideas, and thus a wide network of friends and colleagues in academia and from a variety of alternative fields and cultures. Of course one only knows of them what is public but so it seems.

Fungi (and the author) being what they are the book veers constantly into discussions of symbiosis and network theory, of what is an individual, and a host of unexpected links and jumps across disciplines. And the 40-page bibliography has a vast number of new items I now need to read, both books and recent primary literature. Can’t wait to see what Merlin Sheldrake writes next, only hope he doesn’t fall into the “2nd album” trap.