> Skip to content

'Natural history at its funniest, most curious, enlightening and heartfelt...like going on safari with Gerald Durrell, Rachel Carson and Redmond O'Hanlon' Nicholas Crane

This story is a quest for an animal so rare that a sighting has never been recorded.

The Somali golden mole was first described in 1964, but the sole evidence for its existence is a tiny fragment of jawbone found in an owl pellet. Intrigued by this elusive creature, and what it can tell us about extinction and survival, Richard Girling embarks on a hunt to find the animal and its discoverer - an Italian professor who he thinks might still be alive...

Richard's journey comes at a time when one species - our own - is having to reconsider its relationship with every other. He delves into the history of exploration and cataloguing and the tall tales of the great hunters, traces the development of the conservation movement and addresses central issues of extinction and biodiversity.

Reviews

That rarest of delights: a roaring book of huge importance written by a master storyteller exploring our fragile relationship with the animal kingdom, offering insights into how a hopeful future could yet be snatched from the jaws of despair. Not a hint of preaching, not a whiff of worthiness. A great story written not by an idealist but by a pragmatist with a heart of gold with a clear eyed view of the world.

Tim Smit

The Hunt for the Golden Mole is a wonderful book. At one level it is a detective story in which Richard Girling is on the hunt for a very rare creature. But it is much more than that: an understated but passionate advocacy for the biodiversity of the planet which combines lightly worn scholarship with a compelling argument. Overall it is a tour de force

Jonathan Dimbleby

An informed and informative, provocative and rousing work

Caspar Henderson, Sunday Telegraph

This is a book that bursts into life from the first page… Rousing, fascinating… Utterly engaging

Camilla Cavendish, Sunday Times

This book is a sobering, riveting read: part quest, part travelogue, part scientific debate and part much-needed environmental call-to-arms

Sarah Barrell, National Geographic Traveller

I loved this book. This is natural history at its funniest, most curious, enlightening and heartfelt. I couldn’t put it down. It was like going on safari with Gerald Durrell, Rachel Carson and Redmond O’ Hanlon … I was alternately wide-eyed with wonder, appalled and then tickled to laughter. It’s beautifully written. And it’s powerful. An elegy to every living thing on this remarkable planet. Impossible to finish without being uplifted by the wonder of the natural world and driven to do something about its plight.

Nicholas Crane, writer and co-presenter of Coast

A gloriously readable, boundlessly fascinating shaggy dog story about the author's quest for one of hte world's more recently extinct species...what makes this book so wonderful: using his eye for detail, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, teaching you to care about the little things.

James Delingpole, Mail on Sunday

delightfully written and a splendid romp through one man’s mole-hunting search among the wilds of animal taxonomy

Daily Express

At the heart of this delightfully meandering book is a history of how we find and catalogue species, and a thought-provoking examination of our changing attitudes to wildlife

BBC Focus

Fascinating

New Internationalist

Elegiac and personal… Highly recommended

Henry Nicholls, BBC Wildlife

A stirring tribute to the marvel of all living creatures

Sunday Times Summer Reading

Entertaining and provocative

Robin McKie, Observer

Exciting, breathless

Kate Saunders, Saga Magazine

[Girling] writes with verve and passion and he makes his case persuasively, with knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment… Brimful with facts and arguments

UK Press Syndication

A thought-provoking study

Julia Richardson, Daily Mail

A delight to read

4 stars, Independent On Sunday

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099571933

    June 15, 2015

    Vintage

    320 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781448104734

    June 5, 2014

    Vintage Digital

    320 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

Also by Richard Girling