Originally published in 1986, Arctic Dreams is a collection of essays about the northernmost part of the earth, with an examination of the land, wildlife, peoples and history of the arctic. It was also a National Book Award winner, so what’s not to love?
Well, I didn’t love it. I was looking to travel (through the book) to the North Pole, observing the wonders of the natural world there. I was happy to receive historical background on Arctic exploration, and a scientific look at the environment. But there’s something about Lopez’s writing that represents more arrogance than a true scientist should have. Rather than being humbled by nature and what he (and the science community) doesn’t know, the book felt like a lecture with a few interesting narratives thrown in.
His writing is beautiful, and I appreciated his research on the varied arctic topics covered, but I couldn’t stomach his condescending attitudes.
3 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2001