Desert Solitaire
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Desert Solitaire
Edward Abbey
Biography & Memoir
Jul 26, 2018
Written in the middle of the 1960s, yet composed largely from journals kept a decade earlier during the author’s summers as a backcountry ranger at the Arches National Monument (“among,” as he puts it, “the hoodoo rocks and voodoo silence of the Utah wilderness”), Desert Solitaire evokes the paradoxical loveliness of the harsh, hostile landscape with awestruck exactitude and visceral intensity. Edward Abbey’s attention to the desert flora and fauna, to the ancient rock formations and the ever-present weather, to the pleasures of both solitude and company, brings a bracing alertness to the episodes he describes in the linked essays that organize his narrative. Despite its canonization as something of a backpacker’s bible, Desert Solitaire is too quirky, cranky, and idiosyncratic to be stereotyped as a nature lover’s handbook. While the spare majesty of its setting provides a stunning inspiration for Abbey’s work, his meditations have as much to say about society, civilization, and culture as they do about nature.
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Oct 28, 2018
This book is the reason I left the East Coast 25 years ago and never went back.
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Nov 5, 2018
Independent cuss..!
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Dec 31, 2018
a beautiful book
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As a frequent bushwalker in remote places, I can empathise with his feelings for country. He describes this area well
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Fascinating and emotionally connected working create a wonderful reading experience.
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Got my dog eared paperback from the discard pile at a Baptist book store 30 years ago. I've read it five or six times. Sparked the re-wilding process of my young suburban soul.
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Time understanding a landscape that's totally foreign to me.
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Superb writing, vivid imagery and some great stories written with a wry humor!
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Just a beautiful book. Read while hiking southern Utah.
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Apr 7
I love Ed Abbey's tales of the earth and nature. he is a wonderful writer and funny. I have read this book at least a handful of times and my copy is tattered and dog-eared like only a few other books in my collection.
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Abbey's thoughtful, anecdotal work on the wilderness and our relationship with it moved me to a whole new understanding of our national parks.
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Stunningly original and engaging.
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Aug 27
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Heartrending and thought provoking. A very very good book to look at how 2 tribes deal with problems in Africa
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Good reminder about the importance of wild places.
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Planning to go to Utah, sounds like a interesting read about an area I can go to.
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