The Soul of an Octopus - Sy Montgomery

The Soul of an Octopus

By Sy Montgomery

  • Release Date: 2016-07-12
  • Genre: Nature
Score: 4.5
From 64 Ratings


Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction * New York Times Bestseller * A Huffington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year * One of the Best Books of the Month on Goodreads * Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Book of the Year * An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year

“Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus does for the creature what Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk did for raptors.” —New Statesman, UK

“One of the best science books of the year.” —Science Friday, NPR

Another New York Times bestseller from the author of The Good Good Pig, this “fascinating…touching…informative…entertaining” (The Daily Beast) book explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans.

In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food.

Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques. With her “joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures” (Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick), Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.


  • One if the Best Reads and Most Informative Books

    By AverageHomoSapien
    Beautifully written with a great story that completely changed my view on octopuses. It captures the readers attention and places them into this entertaining yet sad story. It is a great book that reads like a fantasy tale, only these events happened and the intelligence of an octopus wasn’t exaggerated. Everyone should read this in order to realize that we aren’t necessarily the superior species and these marine creatures are just as incredible as us.
  • Mind expanding

    A mind expanding journey into the world of octopuses, thoroughly enjoyable. Having grown up in literally the center of the continent, this book increased exponentially my appreciation of the oceans.
  • Loved it

    By Mayzd
    Such a great book. Highly recommended