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Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Sound of A Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey #bookreview


In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her uncommon encounter with a Neohelix albolabris —a common woodland snail. 

While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater under standing of her own confined place in the world. 

Intrigued by the snail’s molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear decision making, hydraulic locomotion, and mysterious courtship activities, Bailey becomes an astute and amused observer, providing a candid and engaging look into the curious life of this underappreciated small animal.  

Told with wit and grace, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world illuminates our own human existence and provides an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.


What a beautiful little book! I read this as I have a chronic illness too, which the author uses as her theme of how it makes time stand still and makes you notice the little things while you're bedbound, not knowing where the illness will take you next. In her case, the little things was a woodland snail that a friend got for her as company. And the more she's restricted in what she can do each day, the more she watches what the snail gets up to and it's a fascinating study beautifully written that really captures your heart as you read.

Only about 170 pages long, but there's so much detail of the exploits of her snail and it really explores the ways of the snail! Who knew a tiny little creature could be so fascinating to read about!!

A really heart warming book that is enlightening! Definitely recommend to those suffering with a chronic illness as you'll find yourself nodding along with thoughts that the author shares.  But even if you don't have an illness, it is an illuminating read and one that makes you think and look deeply at the world around you and how much we DON'T normally notice!


  1. We once smuggled some (live!) snails home from France in an empty jar for my youngest daughter so I love the sound of this book! Great review Karen x

    1. thank you! ooh i bet that was a fun adventure then! you'd really connect with this book then! :)