Horizon

Narrated by: James Naughton
Length: 22 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (138 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of the Best Books of the Year:
The New York Times • NPR • The Guardian

From pole to pole and across decades of lived experience, National Book Award-winning author Barry 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 desert; from Botany Bay in Australia to finally, unforgettably, the ice shelves of Antarctica.

Along the way, Lopez probes the long history of humanity’s thirst for exploration, 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. And always, throughout his journeys to some of the hottest, coldest, and most desolate places on the globe, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world.

©2019 Barry Lopez (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"At once reverie and urgent appeal, Horizon is beautiful and brutal - a story of the universal human condition, set in some of the most distinctive places on earth. Lopez [searches] both memory and meticulously recorded field notes, mining accumulated wisdom, seeking glimmers of hope. One of the strongest messages in Horizon is that without learning to embrace diversity, without listening to the tales told by cultures other than our own, we risk obliteration. Lopez’s reverence for exploring every corner of the world is infectious, [and] his knack for making friends in the most unlikely places resonates long after you turn the last page. ‘Are we not bound,’ he asks, ‘to learn how to speak with each other?'" (The New York Times Book Review)

"Sublime, dreamlike. One of America’s foremost naturalist writers, Lopez is a welcoming host as he brings you across the world.... Above all else, he wants us to consider. To find context and connections. To think about where to go from here. To take our time. Horizon is a contemplation of Lopez’s belief that the only way forward is compassionately, and together." (NPR)

"Beautifully composed [with] steady intellectual rigor - a capacious blend of popular science, travel writing and autobiography. There is no discernable limit to Lopez's curiosity: he writes with equal enthusiasm about human origins, the search for the edge of the expanding universe, classical music, arctic archaeology, Impressionist painting and Aboriginal rock art. He is at his best writing about natural history, where his scrupulous research and talent for lucid exposition make the business of scientific fieldwork come alive. The book is rendered with gorgeous prose, and spiked with humor.... Extraordinary." (The Wall Street Journal)

What listeners say about Horizon

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  • Overall
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Brilliant Wise and Thought Provoking

I rarely write a review of a book, but I felt compelled by the excellence of this one. Barry Lopez summarizes a life loving and travelling to every corner of our threatened earth. In a very personal, poetic way he touches the heart as well as the mind as he travels through time and space to not only visit the places and people he cherishes, but puts them into a framework of history and inevitable change. It is a book that I will read time and again thinking and savoring his life and endless perspective. Barry Lopez is not only a brilliant writer, but has lived a brilliant life, something he portrays in every anecdote. Are there negatives? Perhaps it is not a page turner, a thriller in the thrill a minute sense, but with patience it is more than rewarding. I would give it many more stars if I could.

To me the reading was balanced and modulated in no way getting in the way of the authors thoughts.

9 people found this helpful

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Awesome Education. will read again

an awesome education. compelling from beginning to end. will read again to learn more than I could get in first pass

5 people found this helpful

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WonderFull❣️

Barry Lopez is the gold standard for essayists & travel authors. I think of him as a complete human being: full of wonder & awe, meticulous & precise, historical & progressive, factual & poetic, observant & contemplative, thoughtful & fallible...all in all he is deeply human and his writing is the most delicious blend of art, philosophy & science. Don’t know if there is such a thing, but there should be a category for soulful writers like BArry Lopez: the UNESCO World Heritage Writers or Chroniclers of the Earth & Humanity.

This book is a clarion call to care for the world, for humanity with an unabashed sense of wonder and warmth of heart. Don’t get cynical and stay engaged!

3 people found this helpful

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Preachy

The travel and history parts are excellent, but the intervening sermon is annoying. I agree with most everything he says, but he says the same thing over-and-over with too many words.

6 people found this helpful

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book is great, recording isn't

excellent book, but the recording makes the narrator's "S" sounds very harsh, almost unlistenable at times and very distracting from the story itself

4 people found this helpful

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self indulgent. arrogant. repetitive. verbose.

self indulgent. arrogant. repetitive. verbose. I generally like Lopez stuff but this was so self important and frankly over written I could not even finish it. Lopez use of language has always been elegant but here it's like he threw the dictionary at the wall repeatedly.

1 person found this helpful

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Wise and important

Barry Lopez is not just an astoundingly learned polymath. He is a wise elder, whose meditations on places and peoples and history need to be absorbed and heeded.

1 person found this helpful

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Absolutely Magical

an enchanting combination of beautiful writing and exquisite narration.

Mr. Naughton, you are in possession of the best voice on the planet. Please, please, please narrate all of the works of Barry Lopez for me.

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Long and unsatisfying

I am not sure what to make of this book. At times I wanted to stop listening, but I plunged ahead. The narrator has a rather soothing voice which kind of masks the odd content of the book. The book brings up various instances of how cruel man is to his fellow man. How perceived privilege has caused some people to treat the indigenous (people and animals) like crap. The weird thing is that the author seems to be a man of privilege. He seems to be able to travel anywhere, anytime, any place with few boundaries or limitations. Somehow, being told about privilege by someone of privilege just seems wrong. I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure out what the point of the book was or is. All I know is that was disappointing

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Wonderful writing

This is a book everyone should read or listen to. It is beautifully written and very appropriate for our times. It gives me hope that if we can come together as a species and learn from each other with respect and compassion , we may be able to survive these troubled and troubling times.