The paperback of the Sunday Times bestseller that reveals how the earth became the shape it is today. This book will change the way you see the world -- permanently. The face of the earth, criss-crossed by chains of mountains like the scars of old wounds, has changed constantly over billions of years. Its shape records a remote past of earthquakes, volcanos and continental drift, and the ongoing subtle shifts that bring our planet alive. Richard Fortey introduces us to the earth's distinct character, revealing the life that it leads when humans aren't watching. He follows the continual movement of seabeds, valleys, mountain ranges and ice caps and shows how everything -- our culture, natural history, even the formation of our cities -- has its roots in geology. In Richard Fortey's hands, geology becomes vital and exhilarating and unmistakably informs our lives in the most intimate way.