Horizon

Horizon

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."--Amazon.com
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780394585826
0394585828
Branch Call Number: 910.4 LO
Characteristics: 1 volume.

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Gary Kines
Jun 18, 2019

I'm reading Horizon at the moment and, despite the fairly glowing descriptions of the book offered above, I find this work a tad ponderous. In the first part are twenty-odd pages about Captain James Cook, and other sections make reference to Cook and his exploration notes. Then Lopez jumps to a recent adventure of his own, then falls back to an early encounter, then drags up a historical figure and spends several pages about him, then compares him to Cook, followed by a vague reference to a conversation Lopez had with someone, and so on.
He is a good writer (sixteen-plus published works testify to that) but I guess in an autobiography I'm expecting more narrative of a personal and family nature, and less encyclopedic trivia about sea depths and mountain heights. I've reached the middle of the book and I find myself skimming, skipping pages in search of personal information or writing habits. I guess Horizon has become somewhat tedious, and at this point I'm not sure if I'll read it to the end. I've read Lopez's Arctic Dreams and one of his fiction works, so I thought I knew what to expect; however....
I'm a constant reader, always have a couple of books on the go, but I don't enjoy struggling with a writer's scatter-gun approach to a story; I'm unlikely to rave about this book to friends.

c
chinook24
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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