Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, The

Bailey, Elisabeth Tova

  14 Reviews

As noted by Florence Nightingale, "a small pet is often an excellent companion". Such was the case for Elisabeth Tova Bailey. Incapacitated by chronic illness she was reduced to a bedridden existence with a small common woodland snail as her companion and eventually the focus for her in-depth scientific study of gastropods (snails). Part memoir, part natural history lesson, this book is a gentle and moving examination of the profound connection between humans and nature. It leaves the reader an expert on snails, mindful of the gift of good health and with the incentive to look at the world anew. Winner of the 2010 National Outdoor Book Awards, Natural History Literature, US. What's Hot - October 2013

Comments from Groups

Great book. We will all look differently at snails now! One of the best books we have read. Auckland 216

This book sparked vigorous discussion - most loved it for its slow pace, extraordinary biological detail...but most of all for the subtle parallels drawn between the snail's life and the author's illness. Wellington 012

Big discussion about snails, getting over sickness and caring for something (the snail). After this read everybody will treat little animals differently. Turangi 001

We thought the format was beautiful and really enjoyed the quotations. Found [the author's] research and observation of snails fascinating. Coromandel 002



WELL 008
Everyone really loved this book. The group had some wonderful discussions about the themes - snails, and debilitating illness. It was a really energetic meeting.
WINT 001
Everyone enjoyed this book and were fascinated with snail facts, especially how a creature so small is actually very complicated and that the author had time to appreciate this. We were impressed by the literature that has been written about snails, which the author referred to at the start of each chapter. The book was easy to read and beautifully written.
NEWP 022
All enjoyed the book, it was a nice easy read. Some did not like the amount of informative text about snails, they thought the book would have been just as good without it. Wonderful how a sense of hope can be found from something as simple as a snail.
NELS 064
Mixed reviews on this one. Half the group found the topic interesting and half felt the author was a little depressing. A couple did not finish the book. However, the majority agreed that it was a good read of non-fiction among our fiction list.
AUCK 116
We all loved the book. Most had grimaced on reading the title, but that changed. Very simple gentle writing - a soothing read. Very informative - we are now experts on snails and will look on them differently when seen in garden.
CHCH 268
A calming, peaceful book. Got a bit boring for many, but it doesn't matter if you don't read it all. You can just enjoy bits and pieces as they take your fancy.
HAVE 011
Most found the book a little disappointing - the biology was well done and tantalising, but we wanted a little more engagement with the human side! The discussion went well, and the notes and questions were good.
NELS 021
A fascinating read!! Created a lot of discussion. Beautifully written and so well researched.
NELS 044
This book was LOVED by all of us! Emotional, evocative, informative and creative. We'll never look at or approach snails in the same way ever again!
Some of us had read this book years ago and thoroughly enjoyed reading it again. Of those who hadn't read it, two have gone out and bought it. Delightful illustrations and all of us are rethinking our gardening practices.
We generally enjoyed the book, but found it a bit slow at times - a bit too much natural history. Would have liked more of the author's story. Good discussion though.
WELL 187
Enjoyed thoroughly by all.
CHCH 077
Not enjoyed by everyone, BUT we learnt way more about snails that we ever knew before!
AUCK 302
We all enjoyed this book - a fascinating glimpse into the life of a snail, and its relationship with the author suffering from a chronic illness. Delightful read. We liked the format with the drawings and quotations.