Longlisted for the Wainwright Book Prize 2019
A calming, life-affirming book about the British countryside, the cycle of nature, solitude and contentment, by a brilliant new nature writer who spent time homeless as a young man, sleeping in the hedgerows he now knows so well.
Although common, moles are mysterious: their habits are inscrutable, they are anatomically bizarre, and they live completely alone. Marc Hamer has come closer to them than most, both through his long working life out in the Welsh countryside, and his experiences of rural homelessness as a boy.
Over the years, Marc has learned a great deal about these small, velvet creatures who live in the dark beneath us, and the myths that surround them, and his work has also led him to a wise and uplifting acceptance of the inevitable changes that we all face. In this beautiful and meditative book, Marc tells his story and explores what moles, and a life in nature, can tell us about our own humanity and our search for contentment.
How to Catch a Mole is a gem of nature writing, beautifully illustrated by Joe McLaren, which celebrates living peacefully and finding wonder in the world around us.
How To Catch A Mole is a beguiling mixture: part autobiography, part handbook, part travel book, part philosophical treatise. I’m happy to report that it succeeds on each level
Not only a compelling meditation on the 'little gentleman in black velvet'…but also a fascinating, lyrical account of the loneliness and beauty of life on the margins, a memoir of vagrancy
How to Catch a Mole is a beautiful, elegiac ode to a remarkable creature. It’s also an exploration of Hamer’s life as he approaches his sunset years. Each page is filled with wonder, love, regret, humility and a sense of wonder (and oneness) with nature.