Labeling his book a manifesto, a word that suggests fiery polemics, does Mr. Eklöf no favors. He’s a much quieter author than that, taking his readers by the hand for a snapshot survey of light pollution around the world, then offering a modest program of reform ... Mr. Eklöf is really more of a rhapsodist than a scold, tempering peril with possibility ... Given the stakes outlined in The Darkness Manifesto, one wonders why it’s so long on diagnosis but short on prescriptions. Mr. Eklöf’s 'manifesto' for change, tucked at the back of the book, is only two pages.
The Darkness Manifesto is a compelling title, but the book does not read like a strident decree. It takes us on a gentle if sometimes meandering journey: poetic and philosophical at times, intimate and expansive at others.
Eklöf expresses his fears with cogent clarity ... Eklöf is at his best when writing about wildlife, in a style that is sometimes elegiac and often urgent. (Plaudits to his translator Elizabeth DeNoma).
... well-researched and surprisingly lyrical ... I’d have liked greater detail about how this can be achieved; though there is a manifesto at the end of the book, it’s more motivational than practical. Even so, The Darkness Manifesto is a powerful contribution to our understanding of the harm we’re causing, and a clarion call for change
Agreeably in love with darkness, Eklöf is not entirely a sentimentalist about it ... Eklöf’s book is made most memorable by the sometimes wild eccentricities of the life-forms it chronicles ... The Darkness Manifesto has, beyond its ecological arguments, a particular moral temperament. Eklöf does not merely think that too much artificial light is bad for our ecology, which it doubtless is; he thinks that light, and our preference for amplifying it, is in itself morally dubious ... We can wonder if what human beings mainly experience as improvements must, in every instance, be subordinated to the 'welfare of the planet,' a concept that is itself available only to humans. Nor are Eklöf’s examples always exemplary ... Inevitably, what presents itself as empirical inquiry reflects a cultural mood.
A compelling case against our colonial expansion into and trashing of the night ... Eklöf’s own reflections... are sensitive and intelligent, and never intrusive. He lets the evidence speak for itself.
Eklöf’s book is concerned with—and greatly concerned about—light pollution, and he brings us an awful warning. A plethora of awful warnings, in fact ... In its way a beautiful and even consolatory work of almost-art. Eklöf writes with the precision and allusiveness of a poet. The book gives off a low nocturnal rustle, and reading it one seems to be holding one’s breath, as in a darkling forest. The chapters are short, consisting mostly of three or four pages, yet each one is packed with astonishing and awe-inspiring facts.