Book - 2019
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Taking us nearly from pole to pole-from modern megacities to some of the most remote regions on the earth-and across decades of lived experience, Barry Lopez, hailed by the Los Angeles Times Book Review as "one of our finest writers," gives us his most far-ranging yet personal work to date, in a book that moves indelibly, immersively, through his travels to six regions of the world: from Western Oregon to the High Arctic; from the Galápagos to the Kenyan desert; from Botany Bay in Australia to finally, unforgettably, the ice shelves of Antarctica. As he takes us on these myriad travels, Lopez also probes the long history of humanity's quests and explorations, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada, the colonialists who plundered Central Africa, an enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific, a Native American emissary who found his way into isolationist Japan, and today's ecotourists in the tropics. Throughout his journeys-to some of the hottest, coldest, and most desolate places on the globe-and via friendships he forges along the way with scientists, archaeologists, artists and local residents, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780394585826
Characteristics: xiv, 572 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.


From Library Staff

From pole to pole and across decades of lived experience, Lopez delivers his most far-ranging, yet personal, work to date. Horizon moves indelibly, immersively, through the author's travels to six regions of the world: from Western Oregon to the High Arctic; from the Galápagos to the Kenyan deser... Read More »

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Oct 08, 2020

This is Lopez’s magnum opus, the result of his life’s work and the most influential book I’ve read in a long time. I'm a long time reader of Mr. Lopez, but this book rocked my point of view. What can I say? This is the best book of the year, best book of the century. Wide ranging from Skraeling Island to Antarctica, Australia to Africa, Lopez’s lyrical writing is a joy, his perspective of history is unique and compassionate, his clarity of vision is stunning. Especially memorable is his description of diving off the Ross Ice Shelf. If you haven't yet read this gem, you're in for a real treat.

Jul 08, 2020

Horizon covers six places Mr Lopez has visited over the years. Some places he has returned to several times. He is a master of poetic description and wonderfully evokes the sense of being there, whether he is looking for meteorites in Antarctica or camping near a clearcut on the Oregon coast, overlooking Cape Foulweather. Each place also serves as a jumping off point for a wide range of musings and speculations covering history, science, the glory and foolishness of exploration, western civilization’s impact on the world, and his own personal successes and failures among other topics. My only criticism is he can switch topics so often in the space of a few paragraphs that it becomes disorienting. Overall, highly recommended.

May 13, 2020

Nature writer Lopez revisits most of the world’s continents that have been scenes of his study and writing in his long career, all while asking those eternal questions ‘who am I?’ and ‘why am I here?’

This is a book to read slowly. There’s so much to contemplate and savor to say nothing of what I learned. Our need as a people to connect and empathize with each other is the thread binding all the book’s many subjects together. Brilliant.

Jan 09, 2020

I thought the below comment was pretty dismissive of one of our great nature writers. Yes, it's a "privilege" to travel and write, but I don't think Barry Lopez's extensive travels (Australia, Antarctica, Kenya) are mere self-indulgence. He seeks to experience and understand nature and our relationship to nature and then, like all good writers, convey that experience to his readers. He does approach it in a more intuitive and personal way rather than a scientific (not that he doesn't appreciate it) way. It does run a little long (over 500 pages), but few people write as eloquently and lyrically about nature as he does. Also, he lives in Oregon.

Jun 17, 2019

As a memoir, it is a disappointment. Although not intended, the listing of a series of trips and explorations, just becomes a list of "look at me and my life of privilege". He's gone to dozens or hundreds of places where none of us will ever get a chance to go. In doing so he has contributed more to global warming and pollution than a hundred normal people. And worst of all, he has done all of this on other people's dimes; he went to the Arctic and got to pretend to be an archeologist, he got to go to Africa to pretend to be a an human anthropologist, he got to go to Antarctica to pretend to be pretend to be a meteorologist searching for bits from outer space. All this imposing on real professionals and diverging resources from real science so that he can write little written beatific messages to us, the great unwashed. Complete with 6 pages of acknowledgements it reads as a catalog of an indulged life. Am I jealous, yes, I'd give an arm for just one of these opportunities.


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