on 16 December 2013
I came to this book out of idle curiosity and love of the cover design. I soon became absorbed. I hadn't in all honesty given a great deal of thought to light and dark before and this book has changed that. In beautifully clear, often poetic prose, the writer draws on science, history, literature, research, anecdote and personal experience to examine our relationship with darkness and light. The loss of darkness and the preponderance of poorly designed lighting and their effects are made very clear. I have to admit that as a proud 'reclaim the night' marcher in the 80s, I tended to fall into the 'light the night' camp. I still think that the author could have canvassed the views of more women in this regard (although in fairness he does give examples of women with fearless and the probably more typical not so fearless approaches). The book also looks at the impact our lighting has on the environment and other creatures, giving real food for thought. I have to confess that I was never keen on bats before but the book's changed my view on them too.
I finished The End of Night feeling desperate to 'celestial vault' and keen to seek out and properly experience darkness. I doubt anyone would feel differently, so beautifully does the writer describe the experience. A very worthwhile and well written read which may well change how you think and see the world. Bravo.
on 19 November 2013
Compelling account of the author's journey around the globe in search of the beauty and vital importance of dark skies at night. Reading this book changed my life for the better; educating, entertaining and motivating me to seek out, preserve and appreciate dark skies for the stars they reveal, and for the natural rhythm of human and animal life they sustain. The topic might seem dry, but Paul Bogard's writing style is so immediate and chock full of interesting facts, historical references, anecdotes and lovely descriptions that I remained enthralled from first page to last. "The End of Night" is wonderful in the true sense of the word: full of wonders. And the message is crucial to life as we know it on this blue planet we call Earth. It's the sort of book I want to press into the hands of everyone I know, urging them to "Read it, and pass it on. You won't regret it!"
on 17 August 2014
This is a wonderful book..very readable. Since borrowing it from the library and reading it last January it has also had a transformative affect on my life...Looking at the page of illustrations of acceptable and non acceptable lighting I glanced at the security lights surrounding hoarding on the building site opposite our London flat and realised how unnecessarily light polluting they were. I notified the builders and within a week they had modified the lighting. This summer we have been in Québec and thanks to this book have visited the first International darkness reserve at Mont Megantic and had a fabulous time viewing the sky at night in real darkness. I was very taken by Paul Bogard's reflections on viewing old cities in moonlight as would have been seen 500 years ago and now have a thread of reason to visit towns and cities and reserves in other countries where darkness is being conserved. I have been pestering my local bookstore (not only Amazon) and bankrupting myself buying up this book to give as presents. The subject matter is very, very important. Buy this book and do something about the lighting pollution near you!
on 11 May 2014
This is the book that will open your eyes to a very significant subject that you probably never thought of .
For serious amateur astronomers and people interested in the change of our ecological system, or simply somebody who cares, this book is a serious work highlighting the significant effect our lighting policies over the years have done to the world.
Bogard studies the historical development of public lighting, loss of the night sky, environmental dangers caused by light pollution and suggests well thought of remedies.
Highly recommended read.