- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Fourth Estate (20 Aug. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 000717179X
- ISBN-13: 978-0007171798
- Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 3.1 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,094,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet Hardcover – 20 Aug 2007
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'A surprisingly fascinating read.' The Independent
'I enjoyed this book as much for the crazed asides as for the upsetting insights…an informative, fascinating and thought–provoking read.' Sunday Times
'Morton is as compelling and eloquent in describing the evolution of landscape as he is at describing the evolution of life itself. He moves easily from explaining cosmological theories to describing the chalky meadows around Lewes. Photosynthesis is, as Morton eloquently describes it, 'an everyday miracle, needing nothing but sunlight, air and leaves - and eyes taught to make sense of them.' This book will, quite literally, change the way you see the world as it teaches you to understand the importance of that everyday miracle that we all depend on.' The Sunday Telegraph
'Photosynthesis is, as Morton eloquently describes it, 'an everyday miracle, needing nothing but sunlight, air and leaves – and eyes taught to make sense of them'. This book will, quite literally, change the way you see the world as it teaches you to understand the importance of that everyday miracle that we all depend on.' Sunday Telegraph
'Everything you could possibly want from a popular science book. There is wonder here, and intellectual excitement; clear explanation and lyrical writing; and much new insight into how the world works, linking the very small and very large.' The Independent
Praise for ‘Mapping Mars’:
‘A wonderful work of intellectual history and a permanent addition to the Mars bookshelf.’ Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the ‘Red Mars’ trilogy and ‘The Years of Rice and Salt’
More praise for ‘Mapping Mars’:
‘Splendid…the best factual book on Mars that money can buy.' New Scientist
'A remarkable book…to read this book is to become infected with a fascinating which I hadn't realised Mars held.' James Hamilton-Patersons, London Review of Books
'A beautifully intelligent meditation on place, and on the paradoxes of place that apply to a place like Mars…it will be around for a long time to come.' Francis Spufford, Evening Standard
From the Back Cover
Wherever there is greenery, photosynthesis is working to make oxygen, release energy, and create living matter from the raw material of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. Without photosynthesis, there would be an empty world, an empty sky, and a sun that does nothing more than warm the rocks and reflect off the sea.
Eating the Sun is the story of a world in crisis; an appreciation of the importance of plants; a history of the earth and the feuds and fantasies of warring scientists; a celebration of how the smallest things, enzymes and pigments, influence the largest things, the oceans, the rainforests, and the fossil fuel economy. Oliver Morton offers a fascinating, lively, profound look at nature's greatest miracle and sounds a much-needed call to arms illuminating a potential crisis of climatic chaos and explaining how we can change our situation, for better or for worse." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a unique and fundamental primer of the earth, its history and where we fit into the picture, the most entertaining and unputdownable that I have ever read. With huge implications for technology in the future, I challenge sixth form students to read this book and not want to be part of the new plant science revolution. Biology now joins physics as exciting atomic-level science; the only science that will feed the world.
Yes, there is the odd mistake not discovered by editors (the Kew botanist J Hooker is Joseph, not John.) And I got very cross with his teleology - he implies that human progress needed the change from hunter gatherer to cereal eater. He doesn't discuss the downside of this, the move to enslaving and 'farming' people for tax and labour inside villages, and depriving them of the old right to find free food or land to raise food. But it's an interesting point this, that without carbon dioxide levels rising in the old stone age from their low levels 18000 years ago, grasses like wheat and rice would not yield enough to be worth growing and eating.
Give this book to every young person as a bluffer's guide to the earth and everything on it; and as a brilliant introduction to science, to conservation, to the possible futures of your life. It's a very readable, enthralling account of life and everything.
' Asked about what plants did to their environment in the Devonian, Bob Spicer gives an answer that is, as he points out himself, very Gaian. Life changed the planet in such a way to make it more to life's liking.'
See what I mean.
As a Lewes guy, I particularly enjoyed his description of walking around our Downs.
This book is deserving of a full review, which is beyond my scope. Go on! Place your order, you won't regret it.
What I found was a very good, but variable read. My main criticism was that this book took 141 pages to set the scene in it's historical context before even starting on the main course. This is too long!
However, the remaining two thirds are a shining example of popular science writing at it's best. Morton has a really good sense of what makes an interesting statistic - he has spent time to justify his facts with the figures. I found most of the subject matter to be very original.
The pace of the narrative progressively quickens, along with the salient details. By the final chapter on global energy, Morton has reached a sprint. One wonders if he realised he was exceeding his word count after the first section, then cut to the chase - making the majority of this book a gripping read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this while studying for my Biology A-Level. It wasn't relevant to my course completely, but provided background/context to a few of the topics we learned about. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Jazmin
fascinating insight into how research takes place and the characters involved.Published 2 months ago by PAUL GRIFFITHS
First, I would like to thank Amazon for sending me a replacement since the original book I ordered never arrived (well, probably arrived and probably stolen from the building... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Kristijan Sašilo
arrived quickly well packed as described and no hassles
This seemed to correspond with some of the more philosophical discussions I have with my dad. Read more
Well written. But this subject cries out for diagrams illustrating the processes of photosynthesis etc. I needed to look on-line for these.Published on 10 May 2014 by R.L.Foster-Smith
My sister bought me this book for my birthday. It starts off going into a lot of detail about the biochemistry of photosynthesis which is relatively hard reading. Read morePublished on 16 Sept. 2011 by Laurie Neale
This book describes the processes of photosynthesis in more detail than I have found in other popular science books. Read morePublished on 4 Sept. 2011 by Galileo meets the Pope
Don't be deceived by the quirky title or illustrated cover into thinking this is a trivial work. It isn't! Read morePublished on 22 April 2010 by D. A. Wright