Eating the Sun

Eating the Sun

Oliver Morton

Pub date
Fourth Estate
B Format 129x198mm
480 pages
Download jacket

Book Overview

‘Eating the Sun’ is the story of the discovery of a miracle: the source of life itself. From the intricacies of its molecular processes to the beauty of the nature that it supports, ‘Eating the Sun’ is a wondering tribute to the extraordinary process that has allowed plants to power the earth for billions of years.

Photosynthesis is the most mundane of miracles. It surrounds us in our gardens and parks and countryside; even our cityscapes are shot through with trees. It makes nature green – the signature of the pigments with which plants harvest the sun; wherever nature offers us greenery, the molecular machinery of photosynthesis is making oxygen, energy and organic matter from the raw material of sunlight, water and carbon dioxide.

We rarely give the green machinery that brings about this transformation much thought, and few of us understand its beautifully honed mechanisms. But we are dimly aware that those photosynthetic mechanisms are the basis of our lives twice over: the ultimate source of all our food and the ultimate source of every breath we take. ‘Eating the Sun’ will foster and enrich that awareness. And by connecting aspects of photosynthesis that are vital to our lives, to the crucial role its molecular mechanisms have played through more than two billion years of the earth’s history, ‘Eating the Sun’ will change the way the reader sees the world.

About the author

Oliver Morton is a science writer and journalist. He has written extensively for New Scientist, Nature and a range of national broadsheets.


  • ‘A fascinating and important book.’ Ian McEwan
  • ‘Morton is as compelling and eloquent in describing the evolution of landscape as he is at describing the evolution of life itself. This book will, quite literally, change the way you see the world.’ 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.’ Jon Turney, Independent
  • ‘An informative, fascinating and thought-provoking read.’ Sunday Times
  • ‘A fascinating read.’ Independent
  • ‘When you are done with this book you will see the world differently and understand it better. Going directly to the most important question of our time – the origin of the carbon/climate crisis – and delving deeply into it, “Eating the Sun” transcends science writing as we usually think of it.’ Kim Stanley Robinson
  • ‘”Eating the Sun” could not be more timely, and firmly establishes Oliver Morton as one of the world’s finest science writers.’ Steven Shapin