Neither animal, plant or mineral, fungi are the mysterious underpinning of our world — almost literally so, because 90% of plants depend on fungi and their mycelial networks in order to grow. Sheldrake’s gorgeously-written account teems with mind-altering and perspective-shifting facts. Who knew that the world’s largest living organism is a gigantic fungus that lives underground in Oregon, or that fungi can eat up oil spills and enrich soil for farmers? But while Sheldrake celebrates the regenerative and restorative properties of fungi, perhaps their most fascinating application is their ability to alter our cognition — and even ourselves.
“These organisms make questions of our categories, and thinking about them makes the world look different,” he writes. The decentralised organisational system of fungi’s mycelial networks is one of humming, constant aliveness, he argues, begging the question: is it really possible to be an individual in ecology? Sheldrake believes that fungi offer us a radical re-understanding of the world — including new imaginings of embodied interconnectedness. His enthralling and beautifully woven book provides a fresh and inspiring perspective on fungi that will captivate lay readers, and reinvigorate any ecological activist.
- Cailey Rizzo