Barry Lopez's National Book Award-winning classic study of the Far North is widely considered his masterpiece. Lopez offers a thorough examination of this obscure world - its terrain, its wildlife, its history of Eskimo natives and intrepid explorers who have arrived on their icy shores. But what turns this marvelous work of natural history into a breathtaking study of profound originality is his unique meditation on how the landscape can shape our imagination, desires, and dreams. Its prose as hauntingly pure as the land it describes, Arctic Dreams is nothing less than an indelible classic of modern literature.
Bethany M. reviewed Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape on
Barry Lopez provides an insightful look into the world of the Far North. The book was focused more upon the anthropological and human geographical aspects of the region rather than the physical aspects, which was surprising. Lopez provided beautiful imagery of the arctic throughout the novel and gives some really interesting perspectives on the native Eskimo culture. A particular quote on the Eskimo people was "On a day-to-day basis, they have more fear...They are afraid because they accept fully what is violent and tragic in nature. It is a fear tied to their knowledge that sudden cataclysmic events are as much a part of life, of really living, as are the moments when one pauses to look at something beautiful." Lopez has a very poetic style of writing, but at times gets a bit carried away with his in depth descriptions on the landscape. However, through this poetic writing style he really captures the awe and wonder of the land.