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Abbey, Edward Desert Solitaire

ISBN 13: 9780671695880

Desert Solitaire

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9780671695880: Desert Solitaire
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Hailed by The New York Times as “a passionately felt, deeply poetic book,” the moving autobiographical work of Edward Abbey, considered the Thoreau of the American West, and his passion for the southwestern wilderness.

Desert Solitaire is a collection of vignettes about life in the wilderness and the nature of the desert itself by park ranger and conservationist, Edward Abbey. The book details the unique adventures and conflicts the author faces, from dealing with the damage caused by development of the land or excessive tourism, to discovering a dead body. However Desert Solitaire is not just a collection of one man’s stories, the book is also a philosophical memoir, full of Abbey’s reflections on the desert as a paradox, at once beautiful and liberating, but also isolating and cruel. Often compared to Thoreau’s Walden, Desert Solitaire is a powerful discussion of life’s mysteries set against the stirring backdrop of the American southwestern wilderness.

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Review:

Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, the noted author's most enduring nonfiction work, is an account of Abbey's seasons as a ranger at Arches National Park outside Moab, Utah. Abbey reflects on the nature of the Colorado Plateau desert, on the condition of our remaining wilderness, and on the future of a civilization that cannot reconcile itself to living in the natural world. He also recounts adventures with scorpions and snakes, obstinate tourists and entrenched bureaucrats, and, most powerful of all, with his own mortality. Abbey's account of getting stranded in a rock pool down a side branch of the Grand Canyon is at once hilarious and terrifying.

From the Publisher:

The year before I began working at Random House, I took a roadtrip with a friend from college. One night we spent sleeping under the stars on the side of the road, about one-hundred feet from the edge of the Grand Canyon. That night has stayed present for me. And so when I saw the deep desert reds and the striking blue sky of the cover of DESERT SOLITAIRE sitting in the office, I had no choice but to pick it up. Riding through the insides of Manhattan, tunneling through to work, I have been carrying this book with me. I keep closing my eyes and hearing the wolf call, the swish of the wind through the brush and seeing the great vast distances, feeling the heat of the day on my skin and the dry cool descent of desert night. In reading this book I am coming to a whole new understanding of the ecology of the desert west. Edward Abbey went alone to the desert as a seeker of a greater knowledge of himself, but also to dwell in a nature unfiltered, unpersonified, on its own terms. The desert is bigger than any of us, filled with intimate moments. This book will take you there.

Jason Zuzga
Ballantine Editorial

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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