The Book of Barely Imagined Beings | Granta

  • Published: 03/10/2013
  • ISBN: 9781847082442
  • 129x20mm
  • 448 pages

The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

Caspar Henderson

From Axolotl to Zebrafish, discover a host of barely imagined beings: real creatures that are often more astonishing than anything dreamt in the pages of a medieval bestiary. Ranging from the depths of the ocean to the most arid corners of the earth, Caspar Henderson captures the beauty and bizarreness of the many living forms we thought we knew and some we could never have contemplated, inviting us to better imagine the precarious world we inhabit.

A witty, vivid blend of pioneering natural history and spiritual primer, infectiously celebratory about life’s sheer ingenuity and variety, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is a mind-expanding, wonder-inducing read.

Wondrous, capacious and strange

Simon Critchley

Utterly extraordinary book: glorious and genre-bending; a spell-book of species that entranced me from its first page... A celebration of nature's astonishing variety - and a warning as to what we are so rapidly losing

Robert Macfarlane

Wonderful, beautiful and engrossing... a delight

Robin Ince

The Author

Caspar Henderson is a journalist and an editor. He has contributed to BBC Radio 4, the Financial Times, the Guardian, Nature, New Scientist and openDemocracy. His debut, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, won the Roger Deakin Award of the Society of Authors and the Jerwood Award of the Royal Society of Literature. A New Map of Wonders was published in 2017.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

A New Map of Wonders

Caspar Henderson

A New Map of Wonders charts a course through the realm of the fascinating and awe-inspiring.

With the curiosity and enthusiasm of a great explorer, the award-winning Caspar Henderson celebrates and explains the wonder of light and the origins of the universe, the myriad marvels of the human body and the natural world — and reveals the wonders to come: the technologies that will transform human experience and change what we will find wonderful.

Drawing on philosophy and natural history, art and religion, neuroscience and nanotechnology, A New Map of Wonders is a celebration of life — a rich and inspiring guide, encouraging us to see the world anew.

Caspar Henderson on

Essays & Memoir | Granta 162

The Golden Record

Caspar Henderson

‘The two copies of the Golden Record were shot into space nearly fifty years ago.’

Caspar Henderson on music sent into space by NASA.

Essays & Memoir | Granta 162


Caspar Henderson

‘Often, a road is the least interesting path to follow.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 162

Barely Imagined Beings

Caspar Henderson

‘Monsters of one kind or another are woven into virtually all the cultures of which we have record.’