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The Soul of An Octopus: A Playful Exploration Into The Wonder Of Consciousness

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Sy Montgomery

Narrated By: Sy Montgomery

Publisher: HighBridge Company

Date: May 2015

Duration: 9 hours 12 minutes


Sy Montgomery's popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, "Deep Intellect," about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think?

The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds. - See more at:


  • Ray Eades

    I'd like to give a four and a half star rating, but I'll happily settle for five. The writing is mostly narration of small stories; often about octopuses, always about sealife, but really about the effects of relationships with minds outside our own. The best part about this though is the way the author narrates. Every story is a memory being recalled and the emotion comes through. When talking about all the facts learned along the way it's not just telling of neat things at a party. It's about exploring the differences between and still, somehow, coming out relating to minds foreign. As for the half star off, the book drags a little at the end where some filler takes place. But none of it is bad writing, it's just not things that seem to directly relate to the main story points being told.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Soul of An Octopus: A Playful Exploration Into The Wonder Of Consciousness

by Sy Montgomery

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Soul of An Octopus: A Playful Exploration Into The Wonder Of Consciousness, Sy Montgomery