Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet PDF Book by Will Hunt PDF ePub

Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet

by Will Hunt
3.86 • 944 votes • 191 reviews
Published 29 Jan 2019
Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet.pdf
Format Hardcover
Pages288
Edition3
Publisher Spiegel & Grau
ISBN -
ISBN13-
Languageeng



Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet Ebook Description

Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet PDF Book has good rating based on 944 votes and 191 reviews, some of the reviews are displayed in the box below, read carefully for reference. Find other related book of "Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet" in the bottom area.

A panoramic investigation of the subterranean landscape, from sacred caves and derelict subway stations to nuclear bunkers and ancient underground cities—an exploration of the history, science, architecture, and mythology of the worlds beneath our feet.

When Will Hunt was sixteen years old, he discovered an abandoned tunnel that ran beneath his house in Providence, Rhode Island. His first tunnel trips inspired a lifelong fascination with exploring underground worlds, from the derelict subway stations and sewers of New York City to sacred caves, catacombs, tombs, bunkers, and ancient underground cities in more than twenty countries around the world. Underground is both a personal exploration of Hunt’s obsession and a panoramic study of how we are all connected to the underground, how caves and other dark hollows have frightened and enchanted us through the ages.
In a narrative spanning continents and epochs, Hunt follows a cast of subterraneaphiles who have dedicated themselves to investigating underground worlds. He tracks the origins of life with a team of NASA microbiologists a mile beneath the Black Hills, camps out for three days with urban explorers in the catacombs and sewers of Paris, descends with an Aboriginal family into a 35,000-year-old mine in the Australian outback, and glimpses a sacred sculpture molded by Paleolithic artists in the depths of a cave in the Pyrenees.
Each adventure is woven with findings in mythology and anthropology, natural history and neuroscience, literature and philosophy. In elegant and graceful prose, Hunt cures us of our “surface chauvinism,” opening our eyes to the planet’s hidden dimension. He reveals how the subterranean landscape gave shape to our most basic beliefs and guided how we think about ourselves as humans. At bottom, Underground is a meditation on the allure of darkness, the power of mystery, and our eternal desire to connect with what we cannot see.


PRAISE FOR UNDERGROUND:
“A mesmerizingly fascinating tale . . . I could not stop reading this beautifully written book.”—Michael Finkel, author of The Stranger in the Woods
“Few books have blown my mind so totally, and so often. In Will Hunt’s nimble hands, excursion becomes inversion, and the darkness turns luminous. There are echoes of Sebald, Calvino, and Herzog in his elegant and enigmatic voice, but also real warmth and humor. . . . An intrepid—but far from fearless—journey, both theoretically and terrestrially.”—Robert Moor, New York Times bestselling author of On Trails
“Underground left me, for days, wanting to go there—down, down, down, into the moisture and the mystery. It succeeds as reportage, as memoir, as historical survey and philosophical reflection. Will Hunt is a generous and literate mole man, beckoning us always to look lower.”—Ted Conover, author of Newjack
“An unusual and intriguing travel book, into the world beneath the world we know . . . a vivid illumination of the dark and an effective evocation of its profound mystery.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Underground is for anyone who’s ever peered into a crack in the earth and felt that peculiar blend of unease and curiosity. Read this and you will never look at the ground beneath you in the same way again.”—Steve Rinella, author of MeatEater and American Buffalo
“Will Hunt explores the subterranean world in all of its historic and psychological grandeur. This tour de force just might make you want to pull on a pair of rubber boots and strap on a headlamp to get a peek at the places we've forgotten.”—Scott Carney, New York Times bestselling author of What Doesn’t Kill Us

Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet Reviews

Nicolaus
- Lebanon, OH
5
Thu, 07 Feb 2019

“Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet” is an extraordinarily well-researched book about the cavernous realm just beneath us. Will Hunt is our Virgil, guiding us into and through the subterranean world, and enthusing this tour with erudition, vitality, and an explorer’s yearning to explore our world and our place in it.
Will Hunt’s writing masterfully evokes W.G. Sebald; he mixes travelogue, biography, autobiography, history, science, documentary, and literary criticism. And in Underground Hunt’s writing evinces an encyclopedic knowledge and excitement of all things subterranean. Underground succeeds in giving us a panorama of the places below us and these spaces relate to humans throughout history.
Anaxagoras said, “The descent to hell is the same from every place.” Underground shows us that all descents into the spaces beneath us, also are descents and explorations into what it means to be human.

R
- Warwick, RI
5
Wed, 02 Jan 2019

This non-fiction work starts off as a personal, memoir exploration of the author's preoccupation with subterranean worlds and expands into a much broader investigation, which ultimately explores the very roots of human spirituality. A unique and poetic and illuminating read.

Jessaka
5
Tue, 19 Feb 2019

Will Hunt spent time in the N.Y. underground, the subway tunnels. Revs did as well. Revs was a graffiti artist who spent many years using N.Y. City as a canvas. He became famous, but not in a way that made him money. Then Revs took a ladder, paints, and other tools of his trade into the subway tunnels at night when no one was watching. He picked out the most obscure sections, tose filled with darkness, to begin writing his book. With a paint roller and yellow or white paint, he made large book pages; his ladder came in handy. Then he took a spray can of black paint and began writing his life down. Will Hunt copied down his writings, but hed found it dangerous to dodge the trains. He met Revs once, and he tried to ask him questions about his art in those tunnels, but Revs wasn’t interested in talking. You can find some of those pages online by typing Revs, N.Y. City, Subway, and Diary.
Will Hunt had spent years checking out underground cities and caves. It was quite a journey. In Paris he found the underground city and ventured below. It was what people called the catacombs, only it really wasn’t a burial place, not the kind we think of. He walked for miles and miles, and found rooms upon rooms. He learned that some of the people of Paris go into these catacombs to have parties, to even watch movies. Then there was a room where he found human remains, bones. Long ago there had been a plague. There were so many deaths that they could not bury all the bodies, so they threw the bodies down a hole above ground that landed the bodies in a room below, down in the catacombs. Life had lost its sacredness.
Then Will went to Australia to see a cave there, one that the Aboriginal people were still able to protect. It was an ochre mine. The Aboriginals believe that they came up from these caves in the beginning of time. Even some of the Native Americans have this belief. There are actually creatures living in that darkness, creatures with no eyes. I ask, “How can a human, who had evolved in the caves, more than likely with no eyes, come out into the light and survive?” I have this vision of their sitting at the mouth of the cave in the sunlight feeling its warmth and the fresh air, fearing to venture no further, but after thousands upon thousands of years, developing eye sight. I especially like their belief that they went upon the earth along songlines (paths) singing songs, bringing the nature into existence. I think of the Creator as singing songs that brought the universe into existence.
My favorite chapters were those on the caves, a topic that did not draw me to this book; it was the underground cities that had caught my interest. When Will writes, you see it all, you feel it all. First there were the cave paintings, which I had always found to be beautiful when seeing them in books or on the walls of a class room at college. Then there were the two bison sculptures made of clay from the cave. Whenever people came into the cave, Tuc d'Audoubert, they felt a sense of worship. A sacredness. It was in these caves that the cave dwellers had their religious ceremonies. They danced themselves into trances, seen by the footprints that had remained in the cave all these years. But what is more, being in a dark cave, in total darkness can cause the mind to expand. You get visions.
And so I end this review with a couple of my own stories:
When I was growing up in Paso Robles, CA there was the Cumming’s Mansion. Kids had stories about it. It was now abandoned, the man had, and his wife was in a rest home. Teenagers used to break into the house, so Mary and I thought, “Let’s try it.” We went to the back of the house during the day and began tearing boards off one of its windows. We climbed in and looked around. People had thrown things around. It was a mess. We went into the kitchen, and I saw a door, opened it, and found it led down to the cellar. I could see wine kegs, but that was all. We had not brought a flashlight, so we didn’t venture down the dark stairs. If we had, perhaps we would have found the tunnel, but we had not heard of it or perhaps we would have both brought flashlights.
Years later my mom sent me a newspaper article on the Cumming’s Mansion because she had known of my interest in it. I wish that I still had that article. It said that Mr. Cummings had dug a tunnel from the basement to the lot across the street as an escape route. Who knows what he feared? Anyway, some high school kids had been in the tunnel and had started a fire by accident, so they closed up the opening to the tunnel. The house is no longer there, and it certainly would have made a wonderful museum.
Then my husband told me a story of going to Chinatown in S.F. right after he first t of Nam. He was with his high school friend Jesse. Jesse’s older brother, Raymond, had asked them to come with him for protection. They packed guns. To Raymond led them into a Chinese restaurant, through the back room and then down stairs leading to an underground city. There was a very long hallway that had rooms on each side, and he could smell opium coming from the rooms. Raymond then went into a room by himself while they stayed out in the hall. Raymond later told him that there were prostitutes and opium dens down there and you could walk for a long time and come up in various parts of Chinatown. But it was a dangerous place, because you had to be either with a Chinese man or have some other business there. My husband felt it unwise to return.
So I had hoped that Will Hunt had also heard of the underground city in Chinatown and had ventured there, but he hadn’t. What other cities do we have in America or around the world that people don’t know about?
I have heard of underground cities in the past, so my interest in this book. What I didn’t expect was that this book was also about caves that the author had visited, and this section of the book turned out to be much more fascinating than the underground cities, because early man not only painted the cave walls, he also made animal sculptures from its clay, and then held religious rituals in them. What is more interesting is that the author stated that when you are in total darkness your mind can expand and cause you to have visions. Listening to his and other people’s experiences while visiting these caves, made them seen very sacred.
I also found it interesting that the Aborigines in Australia and some American Indianals believe that they originally came from the caves. I doubt this because if you have evolved in darkness, like the animals in the caves, you wouldn’t develop eye sight, which I feel is needed in order to survive above ground, but then again, there could be an explanation that would prove me wrong.
The author first went to Paris’ underground city, which I believe he said was 200 miles long. He first had to find a guide to help him find a way to get in, and when he did he walked much it. There were rooms and more rooms. One room was full of human remains, bones. There had been a plague centuries ago, so they dropped the bodies down a hole into this room and then covered it up. Mext, he mentioned how people sneak down to these catacombs and have parties in some of the rooms, even showing movies.
I was fascinated by the subway system in N.Y. City, and how a man named Revs went into the underground where the subway trains run and there he painted pages of a book on the walls, and wrote his autobiography on them. I would love if the author of this book would publish them. He could call it Revs’ Life and other Graffiti. What Rev had done was paint the pages using white or yellow paint, and then with black spray paint he wrote about his life. (After I wrote this, I went online and found that someone had actually put his online. You can read it here: https://publicdelivery.org/revs-autob... )
Graffiti can be interesting. I had a boyfriend in Berkeley in the 70s who wrote for the Berkeley Barb, an underground newspaper. He asked me if I would go into the women’s restrooms in town for him and write down the graffiti that I found interesting. He wanted to write an article on graffiti for the Barb. I remember one piece of graffiti in the Sproul Hall women’s restroom on campus. It was something about Nixon, saying that he had a crooked dick. And then I recall one in the Renaissance Cafe where one woman had written, “My mother made me a lesbian,” and another woman wrote under that, “If I give her a needle and thread will she make me one too?” Pricelessw. Revs’ graffiti was also priceless.
And then there were what they called “The Mole People,” people who can’t stop digging. One man dug under his house for 40 years, just making tunnels. His back yard was piled high in soil from his diggings. His neighbors must have loved him.
I have my own stories: There was the Cumming’s Mansion in my home town of Paso Robles, CA. When I was a teenager, I had heard that it was empty and boarded up, so my friend Mary and I broke into the house by tearing boards off one of it’s windows. We had not heard about the underground tunnel, and since we had no flashlights, we were afraid to go down into the basement, but if we had, maybe we would have found it. Years later my mom sent me a newspaper article on the Cumming’s Mansion because she had known of my interest in it. I wish that I still had that article. It said that Mr. Cummings had dug a tunnel from the basement to the lot across the street as an escape route. Who knows what he feared? Anyway, some high school kids had been in the tunnel and had started a fire by accident, so they closed up the opening to the tunnel. The house is no longer there, and it certainly would have made a wonderful museum.
Then my husband told me a story of going to Chinatown in S.F. right after he got out of Nam. He was with his high school friend Jesse. Jesse’s older brother Raymond had asked them to come with him in order to protect him. He had business in Chinatown. So they all packed guns and headed for Chinatown. Raymondher led them into a Chinese restaurant, then through the back room and down stairs leading to an underground city. My husband said that there was a very long hallway that had rooms on each side, and he could smell opium. Raymond then went into a room by himself while they stayed out in the hall. He learned from Raymond that there were prostitution and opium dens there, and that you could walk for a long time and come up in various parts of Chinatown. My husband only went twice with them, and then he got married and went to college. He has no idea what had happened to Jesse after that as they lost contact with each other, which was really for the best. S
n in France they fell in awe.
I have heard of underground cities in the past, so my interest in this book. What I didn’t expect was that this book was also about caves that the author had visited, and this section of the book turned out to be much more fascinating than the underground cities, because early man not only painted the cave walls, he also made animal sculptures from its clay, and then held religious rituals in them. What is more interesting is that the author stated that when you are in total darkness your mind can expand and cause you to have visions. Listening to his and other people’s experiences while visiting these caves, made them seen very sacred.
I also found it interesting that the Aborigines in Australia and some American Indianals believe that they originally came from the caves. I doubt this because if you have evolved in darkness, like the animals in the caves, you wouldn’t develop eye sight, which I feel is needed in order to survive above ground, but then again, there could be an explanation that would prove me wrong.
The author first went to Paris’ underground city, which I believe he said was 200 miles long. He first had to find a guide to help him find a way to get in, and when he did he walked much it. There were rooms and more rooms. One room was full of human remains, bones. There had been a plague centuries ago, so they dropped the bodies down a hole into this room and then covered it up. Mext, he mentioned how people sneak down to these catacombs and have parties in some of the rooms, even showing movies.
I was fascinated by the subway system in N.Y. City, and how a man named Revs went into the underground where the subway trains run and there he painted pages of a book on the walls, and wrote his autobiography on them. I would love if the author of this book would publish them. He could call it Revs’ Life and other Graffiti. What Rev had done was paint the pages using white or yellow paint, and then with black spray paint he wrote about his life. (

thefourthvine
- The United States
3
Sun, 14 Apr 2019

And this is why it is inadvisable to take recommendations from Overdrive, I guess, because I'm sure this book would be great for someone, but it was a resounding meh for me.
The book is part travelogue, part philosophical meandering, and here's the thing: I am always here for travel stories, but you have to earn your wittering on about the human psyche and the universal urge and blah blah numinous liminal holy blah. You also have to keep the ratio of actual narrative to things you think about when you can't sleep at night pretty high. Hunt does not do those things, and so this is not the book for me. The travel bits were interesting enough, but I am going to need to spend a LOT of time reading about spaceships and/or banging to take the taste of Hunt's Beliefs About Caves and the Way All Humans Feel About Them away.

Bill
- Annapolis, MD
5
Sun, 30 Dec 2018

One of the best works of non-fiction I've read in a while. Elegantly written, meticulously researched. Hunt went everywhere for this book! So many discoveries to be made about the world's caves, catacombs, mines, sewers and other holes in the ground. And it's beautifully illustrated. Recommend a hundred times over.

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