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Hamer writes of his life in the hidden tunnels and frosty fields of Wales with the spirituality of Wendell Berry, and heart of Helen MacDonald. “Life is rarely as neat and tidy as we would like. I prefer it that way. Reason is just one of the many important ways of experiencing the world.” He is much-sought after as a mole-killer, but finally lays down arms against his beloved enemy. May he not lay down his pen.— Keltie
"A small book of many things. In quiet, crystalline prose, How to Catch a Mole] blends memoir, keen observations of nature, and ruminations about life, aging and death."
--Wall Street Journal
In this charming, peaceful memoir, a traditional molecatcher shares the mysterious tricks of his trade, alongside poignant moments from his personal life, including his experience as a homeless teenager, his work as a professional gardener, and all that he has learned about our own humanity from a life spent outdoors.
Kneeling in a muddy field, clutching something soft and blue-black, Marc Hamer vows he will stop trapping moles--forever. In this earnest, understated, and sublime work of nonfiction literature, the molecatcher shares what led him to this strange career: from sleeping among hedges as a homeless teen, to toiling on the railway, to weeding windswept gardens in Wales.
Hamer infuses his wanderings with radiant poetry and stark, simple observations on nature's oft-ignored details. He also reveals how to catch a mole--a craft long kept secret by its masters--and burrows into the unusual lives of his muses.
Moles, we learn, are colorblind. Their blood holds unusual amounts of carbon dioxide. Their vast tunnel networks are intricate and deceptive. And, like Hamer, they work alone.
Beautifully written, life-affirming, and highly original, How to Catch a Mole offers a gorgeous portrait of one man's deep, unbreakable bond with his natural surroundings, and offers hope and inspiration for anyone looking to improve their relationship with the natural world.