The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

Format: E-audio book
Publisher: Recorded Books
Length: 9 hours
Genre: Non-fiction / Memoir
Rating: ★★★★★
Get it at: Your library || Goodreads || Amazon || Barnes & Noble

In this astonishing book from the author of the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig, Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus’ surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature: and the remarkable connections it makes with humans.

The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.

Having never met an octopus myself, I really had no idea what this book would be about… I figured it would be chockful of scientific facts and other incomprehensible subjects or entirely focused on new-age beliefs, but I was absolutely wrong.

The Soul of an Octopus is so much more than a dry retelling of scientific studies and commonly held beliefs about cephalopods. It is a look into the very heart and soul of these creatures, offering a glimpse into the daily lives of these amazing and truly alien creatures both in the wild and in captivity.

The author presents the idea that octopuses and other sea creatures have the ability to think and feel in ways we may never truly be able to comprehend. They form relationships with creatures that should be treated as prey, can be both playful and judgemental with different caretakers, and are some of the most caring mothers in the animal kingdom… giving their lives to protect and nurture their eggs at the end of their short lives.

Sy Montgomery is the type of woman I think everyone should desire to meet. She is adventurous, driven, and passionate about her work and it showed in every word she narrated in the audio book of The Soul of an Octopus.

It was such a pleasure to listen to her stories about first gentle Athena, and then motherly Octavia and curious Kali and finally the energetic Karma, about her trials and triumphs when it came to diving, and the lifelong friends she made along the way.

If you enjoy stories about animals and their relationships with humans or if you’re just curious about octopuses, then I highly suggest you read The Soul of an Octopus as soon as you are able! 😀

I was, at times, laughing at Sy’s stories of these beautiful creatures and heartbroken as she mourned their deaths. She has such an amazing way with words that I can not wait to read another of her books.

3 thoughts on “The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

  1. This book sounds so interesting and I like your review of it! I love the octopus and it’s probably my favorite sea creature. Is this a picture book? The cover looks like it could be.


    1. Thank you, it is SO very interesting!!! Octopuses have always been an intriguing creature to me, so I was really looking forward to this book and it did not disappoint. You know what? My favorite sea creature is a cryptid, lol. #selkie

      Sadly, this is not a picture book, though the author does have a number of children’s titles. I listened to the audio version, which is read by the author, and it is very well done.

      Liked by 1 person

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