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Good Reads  Earth System Sciences  Atmosphere  Climatology

On Time and Water A History of Our Future

Nature Writing
By: Andri Snær Magnason(Author), Lytton Smith(Translated by)
347 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Serpent's Tail
On Time and Water
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  • On Time and Water ISBN: 9781788165532 Paperback Jun 2021 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
  • On Time and Water ISBN: 9781788165518 Hardback Aug 2020 Out of Print #255081
Selected version: £9.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Icelandic author and activist Andri Snær Magnason's 'Letter to the Future', an extraordinary and moving eulogy for the lost Okjökull glacier, made global news and was shared by millions. Now he attempts to come to terms with the issues we all face in his new book On Time and Water. Magnason writes of the melting glaciers, the rising seas and acidity changes that haven't been seen for 50 million years. These are changes that will affect all life on earth.

Taking a path to climate science through ancient myths about sacred cows, stories of ancestors and relatives and interviews with the Dalai Lama, Magnason allows himself to be both personal and scientific. The result is an absorbing mixture of travel, history, science and philosophy.

Customer Reviews


Andri Snær Magnason, master storyteller and environmental activist, is one of Iceland's most celebrated writers. He has won the Icelandic Literary Prize for fiction, children's fiction and non-fiction and his books have been translated into more than thirty languages.

Nature Writing
By: Andri Snær Magnason(Author), Lytton Smith(Translated by)
347 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Serpent's Tail
Media reviews

"Magnason's moving and heartfelt paean to glaciers turns the science of the climate crisis into a story of personal loss"

"I loved this book so much – it is a cerebral tale, well told and unabashedly philosophical. It is dark, funny and grim."
The New York Times

"On Time and Water is about connections – across generations, cultures, landscapes, and species – showing us how delicate are the networks on which our survival depends, how precariously all natural life is poised on the brink of destruction. Combining memoir, interviews, literature, and science to give words to a catastrophe too enormous to comprehend, this book is a letter of farewell to lost worlds and a passionate appeal to preserve what remains."
– Anuradha Roy

"Andri Snær Magnason's perspective is unique and compelling. He tries to understand, and tries to make the reader understand, why the climate crisis is not widely perceived as a distinct, transformative event in the manner of, say, the fall of the Berlin Wall or the attacks of September 11, 2001. The fundamental problem, as this book elucidates, is time. Climate change is a disaster in slow motion, and yet "slow" is a great deal faster than many people seem able to comprehend."
– Erica Wagner, Economist

"One of the most original and thought-provoking books about the climate crisis – or any subject – in ages. I met Andri in Iceland in 2019, he's remarkable. I recommend the book, it's mind-expanding."
– Johann Hari

"Andri Snær Magnason combines intimate history and collective mythology, personal essay and exploration of memory, geography and environment, to bring the elusive reality of climate change painfully and dangerously close to each of us."
– Paolo Giordano, Corriere della Sera

"A wonderful and important book."
– Roman Krznaric

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