...he takes his readers on an idiosyncratic and wonderful walk through his joy of nature. Like some of the greatest nature books, from Thoreau’s Walden to Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, it’s a personal book that describes McCarthy’s own journey while at the same time folding his experiences within a broader context ... The Moth Snowstorm is an inspiring book, and I salute McCarthy for his boldness. Rather than the dire, dry statistical projections often heralded to make the case for conservation, he turns boldly to joy — to imagination and emotion.
...this is a profoundly troubling book ... I found joy following McCarthy’s stories, particularly those of the futile attempts to return salmon to the Thames and the tragic loss of sparrows from London ... His personal revelations are moving, and The Moth Snowstorm left me as grief-stricken as any environmental journalist must be.
He’s as approachably learned on his subject as you’d expect a longtime environmental correspondent to be; but his sentences are long and sensuous—great sauntering accumulations of clauses and images, heaving with a poetic yearning to capture the passing abundance of the natural world ... McCarthy is in a state of astonished grief at this situation, and his eloquence and persuasiveness is such that I found myself wondering how any of us manage not to join him there, how we ever manage to think of anything else ... Part of the experience of reading The Moth Snowstorm, for me, mixed in with all the pleasure and anxiety, was a creeping guilt at my own inability to feel such a heightened connection with the natural world.