The Last Eel

The story of the eel (Anguilla anguilla) fascinates us. What seems to be the main source of fascination is how little we know about this slimy, snake-like and slivering fish. What we do know by now is that the eels are disappearing, European eels is said to have lost well over 90% of its numbers the last ten years. It is one of the species that may be extinct in our lifetime (like the Dodo, the Geir-bird or the Mammoth).

The Norwegian author, journalist and sports fisherman Torolf Kroglund tries to find out why – starting on an remote island in the middle of Norway – and then travels through Europe, and to the Sargasso sea to find answers, in a journey that is both a personal one and a quest for big answers. He not only finds the extraordinary tale of the eel but is also able to connect this unto a bigger and broader perspective. The Last Eel will show the close connection between culture and nature, between use and protection – and also how every living creature on earth, even the more unlikely and ugly, reflects man and mankind doings and undoing’s. A book that combines personal storytelling with narrative nonfiction in a manner lastly seen in books like The Sheperd’s Life, H is for Hawk and The Sixt Extinction.

It is essentially the consistent environmental perspective, combined with the close, personal writing style that makes the book an engaging experience.


Torolf Kroglund is behind one of autumn’s most exciting books within nature writing. The Last eel is a small artwork for us with heart for nature, and especially for fish and animals. (…)

The Last Eel is like a perfect cocktail consisting of abundant facts (spirits), narrative (mixed water) and politics (a fresh lemon slice).

Fredrik Sjöberg