I think Underland is not the sort of book I would generally pick up and it’s a pity that I wouldn’t. This book is both magical and haunting at once, the claustrophobia you can feel is as real as if you were trapped in a cave all alone. I don’t think I have ever read something like this and sure it might not have felt as the best start (because the writing does take a bit to get used to) but trust me when I say that this is something everyone should be reading.
I am a dreamer of long travels across the globe and I wish I was half as well-travelled as the author because the sort of feelings this book brought out in me can only be explained as a sort of envy mixed in with relief. I doubt I would ever brave the underground as he fearlessly seems to do, this is something I wish I could experience but also I am glad that I haven’t, if that makes any sense at all. (I doubt it really does.)
The writing is exquisite and just so damn engaging. I had a rough week while I was reading this, didn’t get enough time to read it at a long stretch but trust me when I say that I savoured each and every minute I got to read more of this. The way he talks about certain places holding memories made me think of where I live and what sort of things the earth has seen in its long life. I am not really the sort to think of things like that so when I did, I had a few uncomfortable feelings. Of the good kind, I suppose.
This book doesn’t just talk about the sort of mark humans are leaving behind but it also makes us question what are we leaving behind individually? I rarely think of something like that so when this book made me think of that, I was glad. The writing is sublime, the topics pretty hard and a bit scary and sad but at the end, you are left with this wonder and hope that’s hard to explain.
I am so grateful that NetGalley and Penguin Books UK granted me approve to read this ahead of its publication, unfortunately due to real life, this got pushed forward.