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Reviews

  • Pollan is always an entertaining writer, and a deep thinker with a light touch ... it's a trip - engrossing, eye-opening, mind altering.

    Sophie McBain, New Statesman
  • This fascinating insight into our relationship with mind-altering plants weaves personal experimentation with cultural history ... Pollan is the perfect guide through this sometimes controversial territory; curious, careful and, as his book progresses, increasingly open minded.

    Tim Adams, The Guardian
  • Expert storytelling ... Pollan masterfully elevates a series of big questions about drugs, plants and humans that are likely to leave readers thinking in new ways.

    Rob Dunn, New York Times Book Review
  • Brilliant, compulsively readable ... Pollan's storytelling is deft, forthright and fascinating.

    Charles Foster, The Oldie
  • Like it or not, we are undergoing a drugs revolution ... thankfully Pollan is here to guide us through this putative challenge ... [this] relatable, middle class New York plant fancier might be the ideal standard bearer for today's calmer, more scientific approach to the subject.

    Josh Glancy, Sunday Times
  • Pollan's intertwining of reportage, citizen science and historical scholarship is a delightful and informative read ... [he] has a rational optimism that might tempt even the most sober and sceptical to try to broaden their horizons.

    AJ Lees, Literary Review
  • Pollan is a gentle, generous writer.

    David Aaronovitch, The Times
  • The descriptions of London's coffee house culture and Honoré de Balzac's barbarous habit of ingesting dry coffee grounds to fuel all-night scribbling sessions are worth the book's price alone ... The book is really about the relation between each plant and the humans who consume it, tackled in a non-judgmental and objective way that seeks to dispel the ignorance, prejudice and demonisation they attract.

    Financial Times
  • Fascinating and occasionally terrifying ... His opium chapter is mesmerising.

    Marcus Berkmann, Daily Mail
  • A tour around three substances: caffeine, mescaline and opium. The first is legal, the others remain mostly illegal. Pollan offers us rich historical contexts for them that are often surprising.

    Peter Carty, Independent

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