Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness Paperback – Special Edition, 12 July 2018
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- ASIN : 0008283311
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780008283315
- ISBN-13 : 978-0008283315
- Customer reviews:
‘His masterpiece. Despite its stated purpose as a eulogy to a lost world, it seems hardly to have aged at all. Part of the book’s staying power resides in the synthesis Abbey created between the American desert ― the red-rock canyons, “Abbey’s country” ― and the beautiful, hard-chiselled prose, as rough and gorgeous as the land itself, that he used to celebrate its harshness and mystery. None have matched his style’ Salon
‘Like a ride on a bucking bronco . . . rough, tough, combative. The author is a rebel and an eloquent loner. His is a passionately felt, deeply poetic book . . . set down in a lean, racing prose, in a close-knit style of power and beauty’ New York Times
‘An American masterpiece … part memoir, part meditation on nature, part crusty and slightly mad cultural commentary’ New Yorker
‘An uncommonly beautiful love letter to solitude and the spiritual rewards of getting lost. A miraculously beautiful book’ Brain Pickings
‘Edward Abbey is the Thoreau of the American West’ Washington Post
’Abbey’s voice, like that of Thomas Paine in Common Sense, never fades away … President Trump, please read Desert Solitaire’ Douglas Brinkley, New York Times
About the Author
Robert Macfarlane won the Guardian First Book Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, and The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award for his first book, Mountains of the Mind (2003). His second, The Wild Places (2007), was similarly celebrated, winning three prizes and being shortlisted for six more. Both books were adapted for television by the BBC. He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Abbey uses this book as a platform not only to make observations about the geography, fauna and flora of Utah, but as a place to vent his spleen at the destruction of the natural world, and the dehumanizing nature of our society. The book is also filled with humor, pathos, and great sensitivity. His prose is elastic, conversational at some points, poetic and profound at others.
Desert Solitaire is a master piece of non-fiction. Abbey moves from topic to topic with ease. Each piece stands alone, but they are interconnected. In a relatively short amount of space, he writes strongly and convincingly about a host of topics. For this skill, we can forgive him his obvious misanthropy. He hates everyone.
I am a huge annotator of books, and love to highlight and mark comments next to passages in all my books that I want to return to. The whole book is like that for me. Every sentence shows the rare, sublime mystery of shadows, lights, passing moments of a living and breathing planet that accepts and watches all who travel through, inviting them to delve into the secrets and profound truths that only the wilderness can teach us. Now more than ever, we need to remember why America is so unutterably fragile, beautiful and worth protecting.
But I never looked forward to it and had to force myself to finish. The author himself kept getting in the way of his own stories. I'm not even talking about his political rants (which I expected and were interesting to consider, even if I didn't always agree). I felt like I was listening to a teenager trying to impress me with how he's so rough and rugged, that he can hike 40 miles in 2 days fueled only by a can of beans and a blade of grass and half a bottle of water. I strained my eyes from rolling them too many times.