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The Philosopher and the Wolf

Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death and Happines
Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (65 ratings)

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Summary

This fascinating book charts the relationship between Mark Rowlands, a rootless philosopher, and Brenin, his extraordinarily well-travelled wolf. More than just an exotic pet, Brenin exerted an immense influence on Rowlands as both a person and, strangely enough, as a philosopher, leading him to reevaluate his attitude toward love, happiness, nature, and death. By turns funny (what do you do when your wolf eats your air-conditioning unit?) and poignant, this life-affirming book will make you reappraise what it means to be human.

©2009 Mark Rowlands (P)2015 Audible, Ltd.

Critic reviews

"This year's most original and instructive work of popular philosophy...a remarkable portrait of the bond that can exist between a human being and a beast.... Rowlands is] a rare contemporary philosopher who is able to learn from everything he experiences in life, not just books and academic journals. That is what makes The Philosopher and the Wolf so refreshing." (Financial Times)
"An extraordinary memoir." (Daily Mail)
"A powerfully subversive critique of the unexamined assumption that shape the way most philosophers - along with most people - think about animals and themselves." (Literary Review)
"Rowland's memoir is life-affirming, engrossing, thoughtful and moving...The Philosopher and the Wolf could become a philosophical cult classic." (TLS)
"Nothing short of human existence, survival and our relationship to all other creatures is examined here and it's all written in a beautifully elegiac way. The heart-strings will be pulled and the mind stimulated."(City AM)

What members say

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Great book, a look at life

Thank you Mark, fascinating book, great narration and what an impact Brennan had on your life, amazing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 15-02-20

Well narrated, frank and touching memoir

A lovely memoir of the author’s time with a wolf, interspersed with philosophical musings. There were times when the philosophical musings became slightly abstract and tedious but overall, this is a lovely book and there are more than enough wolf anecdotes to keep it interesting.

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Love this book

All sides of this book are fantastical thought provoking understanding laughter and tears truly love it I’ve listened three times

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Beautiful and thought provoking

I’ve never “read” a philosophy book until the end. Someone recommended this book and because it is about a wolf, an animal I am drawn to, I read it. It has been one of the most moving books I’ve ever encountered and came just at the right time in my life to help make complete sense of the changes happening around me. The last few chapters I read whilst out at sea, in the Bay of Biscay and I’m not ashamed to say that it moved me to tears. I recommend reading it in this kind of solitude and completely absorbing yourself in what Mark is trying to convey.

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Sorry it's finished!

I listened to this book over the course of a couple of days and really enjoyed it!
The story is interesting (at times fun, intelligent, sad or thought-provoking) and it is very well expressed. There are a few forays into philosophy which I largely found interesting and worthy of inclusion.
The narration is very good - well-paced and expressive and I found a great fondness for all the main characters, particularly the wolf in question!

I would happily recommend this book.


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Brilliant

This book amazed me. I found it touching and humorous, which I expected. I didn't expect to find it so deeply moving and powerful, illuminating aspects of myself and my experience through his exploration of himself, his wolf, and what it means to be either. ..Or both. The narrator does an exceptional job, and I am left feeling like I just had a precious conversation with the author in which he taught me about life and my self.

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Best book I've downloaded

I love this book. As a former philosophy student I've missed thinking about the big questions in life. This book presents an interesting, funny and accessible story. I can't wait to get hold of Mark Rowlands next book.

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The Wolf knows best.

Not quite what I thought it would be. But still a gentle way to introduce philosophy and remember a very close companion of many years. I, personally would have liked to hear more about Brennan but what I have learnt about life and how to live it.

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A philosophy so well framed !

The author may be a fool, but it brought us a magnificent expose of animal and human motivations in life.
Excellent read for every dog owner and anybody to enjoy some philosophical challenge.

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An entertaining memorial to a mans dog.

Ñot what I expected. Rather long winded in places and pragmatic. But if you like a tale about a man and his cherished dog its quite a charming epitaph. The philosophy is a bit harď to digest. Overall an entertaining tale but thats it.