Cry of the Wild

Reviewed by D McKendrick

Polly Pullar and Charles Foster in conversation on stage at Wigtown Book Festival 2023

Charles Foster in conversation with Polly Pullar, by D McKendrick

The talk by Charles Foster on his latest book, Cry of the wild, was a genuinely interesting one with a behind-the-scenes chat on how he researched the eight animals featured in the book.

The event featured his true opinions on the animals, most notably his opinion on foxes. He believes that the creatures are great tutors, with much to be learned from them in the way they lived. A quote from his book used in the foxes' section that was mentioned was ‘the streets oozed with calories’. He said this to try and reflect the bountiful waste of a human city, its litter and refuse being used to feed the supply of so-called urban foxes. The interviewer, Polly, revealed one of her favourite characters in the book, the human girl. Without revealing too much, Charles said that he enjoyed her possible redemption through the saving of an otter.

He later regaled the crowd with stories of him standing for hours on a boat watching through binoculars for a pod of orca that was growing scarcer day by day.

Telling stories of his taxidermy exploits as a child, he went on to read us a short extract from the book itself. He finished his interview by saying that his books are written to bring global problems down to a local scale, to bring them closer to home. This is all in preparation for his book coming out soon, The Edges of the World, that we can hope to see at festivals in the future.