Record Details

Catalog Search

Sounds wild and broken : sonic marvels, evolution's creativity, and the crisis of sensory extinction  Cover Image Book Book

Sounds wild and broken : sonic marvels, evolution's creativity, and the crisis of sensory extinction / David George Haskell.


"A rich exploration of how the evolution of both natural and manmade sounds have shaped us and the world, and how the world's acoustic diversity is currently in grave danger of being destroyed. We live on a planet that is wrapped in the diverse acoustic marvels of song and speech. Yet never has this diversity been so threatened as it is now. Braiding his experience as a listener and an ecologist with the latest scientific discoveries, David Haskell explores the acoustic wonders of our planet. Starting in deep time with the origins of animal song and traversing the whole arc of Earth's history, he illuminates and celebrates the creative processes that have produced the varied sounds of our world. From the powers of animal sexuality and environmental change, to the unpredictable, improvisational whims of genetic evolution and cultural change, sounds on Earth are the products of and catalysts for vibrant ecosystems. Four interconnected sensory crises are currently diminishing the vitality of our sonic world. Deforestation is erasing the most complex communities of sounds the world has ever known. In the oceans, machine noise has created a living hell for the most acoustically sensitive animals on the planet. In cities, noise has resulted in dire sonic inequities among people, the result of racism, sexism, and power asymmetries. Last, in forgetting or being barred from hearing the voices of the living Earth, we lose both the experience of joyful connection and the foundation for ethics and action. As wild sounds disappear forever and human noise smothers other voices, the Earth becomes flatter, blander. According to Haskell, this decline is not a mere loss of sensory ornament. Sound is a generative force, and so the erasure of sonic diversity makes the world less creative. His book is an invitation to listen, wonder, belong, and act."-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781984881564
  • ISBN: 1984881566
  • Physical Description: xiv, 430 pages ; 21 cm
  • Publisher: [New York, New York] : Penguin Books, 2023.

Content descriptions

General Note:
Place of publication privided by publisher website.
"First published in the United States of America by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2022. Published in Penguin Books 2023."--Title page verso.
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages [383]-416) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Origins. Primal sound and the ancient roots of hearing -- Unity and diversity -- Sensory bargains and biases -- The flourishing of animal sounds. Predators, silence, wings -- Flowers, oceans, milk -- Evolution's creative powers. Air, water, wood -- In the clamor -- Sexuality and beauty -- Vocal learning and culture -- The imprints of deep time -- Human music and belonging. Bone, ivory, breath -- Resonant spaces -- Music, forest, body -- Diminishment, crisis, and injustice. Forests -- Oceans -- Cities -- Listening. In community -- In the deep past and future.
Awards Note:
Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, Finalist, 2023
Subject: Bioacoustics > Environmental aspects.
Nature sounds > Environmental aspects.
Acoustic phenomena in nature > Environmental aspects.
Sound > Physiological effect.
Bioacoustique > Aspect de l'environnement.
Nature > Sons > Aspect de l'environnement.
Acoustique atmosphérique > Aspect de l'environnement.
Son > Effets physiologiques.
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / General.
Sound > Physiological effect.
Nature sounds.
Genre: Informational works.
Informational works.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library System. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Public Library.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Homer Public Library 591.59 HAS (Text) 000174123 New Books Available -

Additional Resources