Into The Tangled Bank

Into The Tangled Bank

Author
Lev Parikian
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
Into The Tangled Bank by Lev Parikian is a very personal account of nature in Great Britain. The author’s day job is being a conductor but he seems to pack in an awful amount of time out in the weeds (quite literally at times).

Like most people in the military, I’ve had numerous opportunities to get close to nature – be it on stag somewhere in the world, staring out from under a basha in a forestry block somewhere on a training area or on adventurous training somewhere up a mountain. I thought that I knew a bit about nature and was quite keen on it but compared to the author, I’m a non-starter. To be honest, I’m a bit worried about him as it does seem to be a passion that has taken him over – I looked up the word “fan” and saw it was derived from “fanatic” – this is the word that I would use for Parikian.

He wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to nature and his enthusiasm is there for all to see. His writing style reflects this and you sense that having a brew with him might be quite tiring if you got him on to his pet subject – he’s belt-fed in the first degree. His knowledge is broad and sometimes encyclopaedic; that said, when he doesn’t know something, he is honest with the reader. This adds to the fun aspect of his style as he does not come across as a know-it-all nor seeks to lecture and it did give me one or two areas where I think I might do a bit more reading. He started as a birdwatcher (aka a “twitcher” apparently) and then broadened out into insects, animals, plants and fungi – he’s not picky and seemingly fascinated by everything. Given this, I’m amazed that he has any time for his family or gets any work done; nothing natural seems to be outside of his field of interest and he’s always willing to look at something (and make the journey to get there).

Much like Bill Bryson or Billy Connolly, there are numerous tangents, some long, some short. They are frequently about the people he meets (such as people in the park) or would like to meet (such as long-dead naturalists). These fit well with the writer’s style – sometimes they’re entertaining and interesting and, at others, it can be an unwanted distraction.

If you’re looking for a reference book or a guide to what you’re looking at, this is the wrong book for you. If you want a heartfelt, personal view of nature, I recommend this to you heartily.

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untallguy
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