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The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness explained The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness, review The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness, trailer The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness, box office The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness, analysis The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness, The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness 9f8a In Pursuit Of The Wild, Solitary, Predatory Octopus, Popular Naturalist Sy Montgomery Has Practiced True Immersion Journalism From New England Aquarium Tanks To The Reefs Of French Polynesia And The Gulf Of Mexico, She Has Befriended Octopuses With Strikingly Different Personalities Gentle Athena, Assertive Octavia, Curious Kali, And Joyful Karma Each Creature Shows Her Cleverness In Myriad Ways Escaping Enclosures Like An Orangutan Jetting Water To Bounce Balls And Endlessly Tricking Companions With Multiple Sleights Of Hand To Get FoodScientists Have Only Recently Accepted The Intelligence Of Dogs, Birds, And Chimpanzees But Now Are Watching Octopuses Solve Problems And Are Trying To Decipher The Meaning Of The Animal S Color Changing Techniques With Her Joyful Passion For These Intelligent And Fascinating Creatures Library Journal Editors Spring Pick , Montgomery Chronicles The Growing Appreciation Of This Mollusk As She Tells A Unique Love Story By Turns Funny, Entertaining, Touching, And Profound, The Soul Of An Octopus Reveals What Octopuses Can Teach Us About The Meeting Of Two Very Different Minds

  • Hardcover
  • 261 pages
  • The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness
  • Sy Montgomery
  • English
  • 23 July 2018
  • 9781451697711

About the Author: Sy Montgomery

Part Indiana Jones, part Emily Dickinson, as the Boston Globe describes her, Sy Montgomery is an author, naturalist, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator who has traveled to some of the worlds most remote wildernesses for her work She has worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba, been hunted by a tiger in India, swum with pink dolphins in the , and been undressed b



10 thoughts on “The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness

  1. says:

    I m kind of eh on this book It bills itself as a surprising exploration into the wonder of consciousness, I guess because it shares a few fun facts about octopus neurology e.g THEY HAVE NEURONS IN THEIR ARMS and references a few philosophers of mind e.g Thomas Nagel in passing Maybe it s the former philosophy major in me, but IMHO saying Hmm, I REALLY wonder what it would be like to be an octopus Can we even know does not qualify as an exploration into the wonders of consciousness Also, the answer is NO Very obviously no I would have been less bothered by philosophical shortcomings if there was actual information about octopuses Many of the anecdotes are not that surprising to someone who knows anything about octopuses to begin with There s something to be learned for sure, but most of the book is not educating you about octopuses It s mostly a memoir of the author hanging out at an aquarium getting to touch octopuses, which is super cool, and also learning to scuba dive and swim with them It wasn t that exciting just to read about it The first chapter of this book was originally an article that went viral, and it seems like the amount of content here is suitable for something article length As an octopus lover your time might be better spent watching a documentary or reading a different book.Also, as an animal lover, I would have appreciated consideration of the ethics of keeping wild sea creatures in tanks The only mention of this occurs when Montgomery describes how a certain individual who catches wild octopuses for aquariums has no regrets because displaying octopuses to the public is necessary for people to care about their preservation in the wild We don t actually get any evidence that this is true, and it seemed to me like a flip way to dismiss the very real concerns that I had when I learned about a young, growing octopus being kept in a dark 50 gallon tank with no mental stimulation, all because an older display octopus didn t die as early as anticipated These are very intelligent animals the main takeaway of the book they need stimulation They hunt and explore in the ocean all day It seems downright abusive Other bad things happen to octopuses in the book that are unsettling, and left me wondering about the intelligence of our own species.

  2. says:

    It s such a beautiful book, such an incredible story I already loved octopuses, but this book deepened and strengthened my love for them, and all cephalopods It s an easy read, and by the time you re finished, you ll be asking yourself questions about consciousness, inter species communication, and maybe even feeling a little of a bond with the fishes who live in your aquarium I know that I did.

  3. says:

    I had previously read Journey of the Pink Dolphins An Quest by this author and had to give it up because it contained very little fact, an awful lot of conjecture and far too much about Sy Montgomery who obviously finds the preoccupations of her spiritual soul far fascinating than I do So this time, wanting to read about octopuses I thought I would listen to the book It was worse This is because the author read it herself and it s purpleness, it s fruitiness was increased by her emphasis on meaningless similes, one after the other Her favourite word is, like as in the egg trails of the octopus are like a wedding veil but beautiful than any Simile on the next line too, about gossamer cobwebs, diamond air bubbles and golden AFAIR Why write one when two can fill the space After several boring chapters on the author learning to scuba dive along with descriptions of her tutors and friends including their neurological problems how they had come about their nicknames and lots of similes, I finally got to this all in two paragraphs my air rising in silver bubbles like a song of praise nurse sharks peaceful as a prayer the fish wheel in unison like birds in the sky I feel elation cresting into ecstasy Like in a dream the impossible unfolds before me and yet I accept it unquestioningly and, Beneath the water I find myself in an altered state of consciousness with a focus and range and clarity of perception that are dramatically changed Is this what Kali and Octavia her two favourite octopuses feel like all the time The Ocean for me is what LSD is to Timothy Leary That s why I said finally DNF.Not enough science, too much conjecture, I don t really believe that octopuses tease people for a joke and get their own back on people and then float with smirking expressions she has imagined on their imaginary faces Remind me never to read another Sy Montgomery book.2.5 stars rounded down One and a half stars because I did learn something about the individuality of octopuses which I would really like to know of and an extra star because she is very good friends with the brilliant anthropologist and ethologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas who is one of my very favourite authors.

  4. says:

    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend Although occasionally repetitive, The Soul of an Octopus is a tearful, informative, and memorable love note to octopuses those strange yet wondrous creatures, intelligent and brimming with personality, that captivate and terrify in equal measure.

  5. says:

    I had to read this book today because it was due back on Overdrive, so this is going to be a short review until I get my OWN paperback copy This book made me cry The creatures and the people both had me torn up at times I m a wildlife lover and activist so I try to branch out into different books on creatures I know nothing about I was worried this was going to be another textbook style read and I don t like those This is about a woman the author who gets to study octopuses not octopi at The New England Aquarium I never even thought an octopus could have such a wonderful memory, could play, could hug you in their own way or shoot water in your face if they didn t like you or wanted to play There are so many other things I learned The people in the book were amazing too I don t agree with everything but these were people that did the best they could for their animals and family members There is even a little girl in the book who is helped by the Octopuses with her Autism and her suicide attempt This was just a wonderful book and I will do a in depth review, hopefully with some of their pictures and some stories.

  6. says:

    Qu clase de magia tiene la autora para que un tema que en principio no me interesaba nada, me acabe pareciendo fascinante He pasado de los pulpos me dan igual a quiero conocer pulpos y ser su amiga y quiz s reencarnarme en uno QU CLASE DE MAGIA ES ESTA.

  7. says:

    The only surprising thing about this exploration into the wonder of consciousness is that the author so thoroughly convinces us of Octopuses beauty, intelligence and individual personalities yet sees no conflict with keeping them captive, often in cruel conditions Most of the Octopuses intimately investigated in the book were wild caught and are now captive in public aquariums, namely the New England Aquarium in Boston They were not rescued due to an injury nor born in captivity and imprinted making a return to the wild difficult These were all caught and sold for the purpose of being publicly displayed Montgomery takes an obscene amount of pleasure in her wonderful Wednesday visits to the NEAQ, as if her entertainment was the octopus s purpose The most horrible thing recounted in the book is an octopus that due to space constraints has to live for 8 months in a tiny pickle barrel with no stimuli beyond the humans bothering her She is visibly distressed and tries to escape every time the lid is lifted How was the author and everyone okay with this It was terrible to read Finally, the writing was sappy and self absorbed While I did learn a lot of interesting things about Cephalopod anatomy, biology and behavior, those bits of knowledge only strengthened my distaste for the questionable ethics of the author and the book Shame on the National Book Award judges nominating this book for the non fiction award.

  8. says:

    3.5 Though simply written I found this book to be both informative and delightful I knew nothing about the octopus except for pictures in National Geographic, so this was all new to me So surprising to learn how clever these creatures are, the variations in size, from six inches with 23 inch tentacles to the giants of the sea How they use these tentacles like conveyors belts to feed, how they change colors based on mood, how they can show displeasure How clever they are, escape artists, can use misdirection, and so much The author comes to personally relate with three different types of this species and grows to care about them all Other sea life are also mentioned as are the people who work with them Such a unique job, not sure it would be but I found the descriptions fascinating Actually I found everything in this book fascinating Such clever creatures, who knew

  9. says:

    When I started this I expected a scientific journal watered down for the non scientific reader I did not expect it to be a personal journal with some scientific facts thrown in I was looking for science, facts then offered I was a bit miffed at the personal moments, her diving lessons, her ear troubles, relationships of companions I wanted information on the octopus and it fascinating life Fascinating they are, and there is so much that we still are far from understanding.I did gain a new appreciation for the octopus I was amazed by the interactions between the various beings and humans They are so much than taught in school They are complex living creatures with different personalities, moods and fears Understanding their types of communications comes from a lot of time spent interacting with them They have gifts that we do not, which makes it hard for us to relate to them That does not mean that they are brainless, unfeeling beings without conscious thoughts The octopus has amazing abilities, their brain can have as many as 75 lobes compared to the human 4 It can see in panoramic views There is new evidence that they may be able to see with their skin to get the perfect camouflage This is just a small bit of their abilities, they are truly amazing.There is some information on other species in the sea Some fascinating facts and tidbits to wow you with the gifts of the sea.I really enjoyed the book even with the slow journal sections that just didn t interest this reader I did enjoy her focus of the emotional connections she saw I may go find her Pig book and give it a go.

  10. says:

    Soul of An Octopus by Sy Montgomery, and narrated by the author, is such a delightful book that warmed my heart and I didn t want it to end I felt so entranced by the love of the sea life, especially these precious octopuses, that I felt I knew them Warning, make sure you have tissue handy for happy times and grieving moments This book was a true blessing I felt so in touch with life, the universe, and my own personal thoughts after listening to this It was a soothing balm for the soul Often I cringe when I know the author is going to do the narration but her voice is so nice and she told it with her own emotions Touching This book is for anyone who loves animals or those that don t Maybe they will when they finish I had mixed feelings going into it about getting wild octopuses for zoos and Aquariums but I think I understand better now I did learn that than one octopus is NOT called octopi Lol

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