Lead Review

  • Book: Into the Tangled Bank
  • Location: United Kingdom
  • Author: Lev Parikian

Review Author: tripfiction



This book is an utter delight. Uplifting, positive and there are many things to learn (without feeling it’s a didactic lesson in learning!). The writing style is warm and approachable and it is full of humour and gentle observation. I am sure my husband got fed up with me saying “.. and did you know…”, going on to quote a fact or observation from the book. It has that effect on you.

Such a great cover, it just demands to be picked up! What is this book about? Well, the book opens as the author muses about what he sees from the level of the pavement (he is lying down, not taking a nap), somewhere in South London. From here he can observe all kinds of things about nature and our place as humans within nature.

He explores from his home in Norwood and ponders about the earthworm and contemplates Darwin’s discoveries; and how essential this little creature is to the functioning of, well, the world. He explores the texts of Gilbert White and his jottings in The Natural history and Antiquities of Selborne, and pops down in Hampshire to visit his house.

Have you thought about burying a pair of underpants in the earth and digging them a few weeks hence?  No? Well, do, advises the author. Assuming they are made of cotton (cellulose) then all kinds of grubs, bacteria and life forms will feed and decimate the item, and thus they enter the constant cycle of life (he advises to leave a little piece of the material poking up so you can determine where you buried them).

The footnotes add a wonderful insight to the thought processes of the author, adding wry observations and reflections.

All in all a wonderful read and great if you need a bit of cheering up in these days of gloom…. It also makes a great present for anyone who loves a bit of gardening and has even the tiniest interest in nature! A winner!

Back to book

Sign up to receive our e-newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021