I would say the soul of an octopus is more of an autobiography of sorts - it describes the author’s encounters with the octopus, her fascination with them, the community she forms around them and the overall heartfelt love for them. The author’s observations of the octopuses behavior, the descriptions of her dives and the feelings of the community are very vivid. This story is reinforced by facts about what is know about the octopuses, and more-than-liberal sprinklings of speculations and conjectures. I felt that the discussions (speculations) around consciousness were a bit shallow and not the core tenet of this book.

That said, I quite liked this book. To me, it quite effectively conveyed the awe-inspiring characteristics of the octopus as well as the seeming alien-ness of life in the ocean1. And it sufficiently inspired me to add snorkeling and scuba-diving to my bucket-list of things to learn and areas to grow in, so I would chalk this up as a good book to read.

Footnotes:

  1. My Octopus Teacher is a good visual accompaniment to this book. The author of the book and Craig Foster (the host) resonate quite a bit in their feelings, which made me even more excited about the whole thing.