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How to Catch a Mole

Wisdom from a Life Lived in Nature

By Marc Hamer
Narrated by Marc Hamer / 3 hours 43 minutes
Bookseller Recommendation

How to Catch a Mole

“Sublimely touching (and with the softest of hands), this book has that balance of warmth and cold that makes for good nature writing. Hamer’s observations demonstrate both a refusal to look away and a tender love for the environment around him. His memoir of a life spent catching moles waxes and wanes, at times gruesome, sensual, violent, and awestruck. This is a book for fans of the way that Mary Oliver lived and talked about her life.”

Tattered Cover image Afton Montgomery, Tattered Cover

Kneeling in a muddy field, clutching something soft and blue-black, Marc Hamer vows he will stop trapping moles—forever. In this earnest, understated, and sublime work of nonfiction literature, the molecatcher shares what led him to this strange career: from sleeping among hedges as a homeless teen, to toiling on the railway, to weeding windswept gardens in Wales.

Hamer infuses his wanderings with radiant poetry and stark, simple observations on nature’s oft-ignored details. He also reveals how to catch a mole—a craft long kept secret by its masters—and burrows into the unusual lives of his muses.

Moles, we learn, are colorblind. Their blood holds unusual amounts of carbon dioxide. Their vast tunnel networks are intricate and deceptive. And, like Hamer, they work alone.

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