Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness

Desert Solitaire A Season in the Wilderness 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

  • Title: Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
  • Author: Edward Abbey
  • ISBN: 9780191361968
  • Page: 470
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • 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.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.

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      Published :2019-06-12T02:52:04+00:00

    About "Edward Abbey"

    1. Edward Abbey

      Edward Paul Abbey 1927 1989 was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views.Abbey attended college in New Mexico and then worked as a park ranger and fire lookout for the National Park Service in the Southwest It was during this time that he developed the relationship with the area s environment that influenced his writing During his service, he was in close proximity to the ruins of ancient Native American cultures and saw the expansion and destruction of modern civilization His love for nature and extreme distrust of the industrial world influenced much of his work and helped garner a cult following.Abbey died on March 14, 1989, due to complications from surgery He was buried as he had requested in a sleeping bag no embalming fluid, no casket His body was secretly interred in an unmarked grave in southern Arizona.

    511 thoughts on “Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness”

    1. Desert Solitaire seemed the right book to take along on a trip to the southwest in September 2009. Abbey writes of the beauty of the southwest. As a ranger at Arches National Park he had a close relationship with some of our country’s most exquisite scenery. In the 18 essays that make up the book, he offers not only his appreciation for the sometimes harsh environment of Utah and Arizona, but his notions on things political. Those are not so compelling. He tells tales of people he has known an [...]

    2. Part Walden, part Mein Kampf Desert Solitaire (1968) is to a certain extent sand-mad Edward Abbey's homage to the beauty of the American Southwest and to the necessity of wilderness but mostly, the book is an autobiographical paean to the sheer wonder of Abbey himself. Like the pioneers, prospectors, and developers who preceded him, Abbey lays claim to all the canyonlands and Four Corners region of southern Utah and northern Arizona: "Abbey's Country" he calls it, and he seeks to fill every tw [...]

    3. Any discussion of the great Southwest regional writer Edward Abbey invariably turns to the fact that he was a pompous self-centered hypocritical womanizer. And those were his good qualities (just kidding, Michelle). He advocated birth control and railed against immigrants having children yet fathered five children himself, he fought against modern intrusion in the wilderness yet had no problem throwing beer cans out of his car window, He hated ranchers and farmers yet was a staunch supporter of [...]

    4. Anyone who thinks about nature will find things to love and despise about Desert Solitaire. One moment he's waxing on about the beauty of the cliffrose or the injustice of Navajo disenfranchisement and the next he's throwing rocks at bunnies and recommending that all dogs be ground up for coyote food. He says "the personification of the natural is exactly the tendency I wish to suppress in myself" (p. 6) and then proceeds to personify every rock, bird, bush, and mountain. He's loving, salty, pet [...]

    5. This is one of the few books I don't own that I really really really wish I did. I love this book. It makes me want to pack up my Jeep and head out for Moab. I love Abbey's descriptions of the desert, the rivers, and the communion with solitude that he learns to love over the course two years as a ranger at Arches National Park.Abbey explores environmentalism and government policies on the national parks. It wasn't my favorite part of the book, but he manages to do it in such a way that it's not [...]

    6. Almost all my friends who have read this book have given it five stars but not written reviews. Hey friends. *poke*I feel like this book has been recommended to me numerous times, enough to compel me to buy it one day from , where it has festered unread in my Kindle library for at least a year. But the universe was commanding me to read it, three mentions in 2015, so I buckled down to read it. My only wish is that I had been reading it IN Utah so I could have seen some of the places mentioned in [...]

    7. The only problem with waiting so long to read a seminal work, by a seminal author, is that you have the idea in your head who they will be. This? I kept thinking. This is the controversial Edward Abbey? This is what’s considered polemic? What, this good-humored common sense?More funny than it has a right to be. More alive. Also, what Abbey held up himself as his standard: interesting, original, important, and true. A deep respect for our wilderness— and more importantly, our wildness— and [...]

    8. Why didn't I read this book sooner?? I asked myself.e I was meant to read it now. Right now, as I am looking at the arches and canyons described - as they are so fresh in my mind just returning home. As I can hear the canyon wren's song and feel the sun and breeze and snowflakes on my face.With the Navajo sandstone dust still in my boots. Now was the perfect time.

    9. With great difficulty, I sometimes think about my own mortality, the years I have left on earth, how with each year that I get older, the years remaining disproportionately seem shorter. Admittedly, it's a depressing train of thought to entertain, and makes me want to crawl under a proverbial rock and die also has a sickening domino effect with my thoughts then residing in the eternal questions of life—why am I here, what is my purpose in life, etcd all the anxieties and regrets that go along [...]

    10. I wanted to like this a lot more than I was able to. Abbey includes some beautifully poetic writing about the desert landscape at times and if that remained the central focus of the book, it would be fantastic; however, the other focus of Desert Solitaire is Abbey himself and, at least based on the way he presents himself here, I just don't like Edward Abbey. He's pompous, both racist and sexist, hypocritical, and a rabbit murderer. He's not the kind of company I want to keep.

    11. Humanist/misanthrope, spiritual atheist, erudite primitive, pessimistic idealist – not that these traits are incompatible. As descriptions of the author, Edward Abbey, they hint at a complicated man struggling to reconcile the contradictions he finds in himself. He embraces an individuality that defies categorization, and that often places himself in an uncomfortably ambivalent relationship with the reader. It is a point worth confronting because DESERT SOLITAIRE is in part a memoir of Abbey's [...]

    12. In his early 30s in the late 1950s, Edward Abbey worked as a seasonal ranger at Arches National Monument (now Arches National Park) in east Utah. He lived in a trailer from April-September; his responsibilities included maintaining trails, talking to tourists, and, at least once, had to go on a search party to find a dead body. Remember that anecdote when you're working whatever summer job you have this year and feel like complaining about it. At least you didn't have to go look for and help car [...]

    13. I'm not sure why everyone loves this book, or Edward Abbey in general. I couldn't even finish this. He is a macho hypocritical egomaniac, hiding behind the veil of saving the earthtally thumbs down.

    14. I'm sorry, I know I should finish Book Club books. But they guy is an arrogant a**hole and I'd rather spend my little free time reading something I enjoy.

    15. with Edward Abbey. 4|25|2008: The day I finally finished Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey.Usually I read books very quickly and all at once. Most books don't take me longer than a few days to finish. I just love stories so much that I don't like to stop once I've started. Desert Solitaire, however, has taken me years to get through. I've started it half a dozen times, and every time I love it, but when I set it down I don't pick it back up again. Then in a month or tw [...]

    16. If I had more courage, "Desert Solitaire" would change my life. If I were to do what I felt, I would give up everything else, go outside and stay there. But because I'm too beholden, too afraid, too old? I am merely and simply renewed in my conviction that there are a million different ways to be, and a billion more ways to see. Edward Abbey's ode (or elegy as he calls it) to the desert, specifically Arches in Moab, the canyonlands of Utah, is like they say (they, in this case, is the New Yorker [...]

    17. Edward Abbey has a wonderful love of the wild and his prose manages to actually do justice to the unique landscape of the West. That said, I don't like him. He contradicts himself quite often in this book - hatred of modern conveniences (but loves his gas stove and refrigerator), outrage at tourists destroying nature (but he steals protected rocks and throws tires off cliffs), animal sympathizer (but he callously kills a rabbit as an "experiment"), etc. His "Monkey Wrench Gang" also upset me - h [...]

    18. Edward Abbey was an outspoken wilderness advocate, and his nonfiction writing falls somewhere between Thoreau and Hunter Thompson. "Desert Solitaire" is classic Abbey, written in the latter 1960s, when he was about 30, and it recounts a handful of summers spent ten years earlier in and around Arches National Monument in southeastern Utah. Here he was a park ranger, when the park was still mostly undeveloped. Living in a small trailer, keeping an eye on the campers and tourists, he mostly relishe [...]

    19. This book is wonderful, amazing, and has absolutely no story line. It's an amorphous, stream-of-consciousness-like series of vignettes into Abbey's mind and world (as seen by that mind) while he was Rangering in Arches National Park in the 60's(?). I've guiltily thought and felt Abbey's rabid misanthropy for many years, and was pleased that he made it sound natural and reasonable. The book also had the amazing affect of making me happy and sad at the same time. I spent many weekends throughout m [...]

    20. This was my first Edward Abbey book. I read it while spending a somewhat lonely and isolatory summer conducting a reasearch project at my undergraduate school. After I read this book, I proceeded to clean out the library's entire collection of Abbey books. Abbey was completely irreverant, arrogant, and self-obsessed at times, and I love him. For anyone who's ever dreamed of escaping real life for a while and living all alone in the desert, this is the book for you. Well, because that's what Abbe [...]

    21. This man is such a hypocrite! He is preaching respect for the wild outdoor spaces, then he has the audacity to relate how he kills a little hidden rabbit just for the fun of it! His philosophy of locking up wild places with no roads, so they are only accessible to the fit hiker is also very exclusionary. Roads are tools, allowing old and young, fit and handicapped, to view the wonders and beauty of this country. Yes teach love and respect of this beauty and of the wildlife, but allow people to p [...]

    22. Took my sweet time reading this, leaving it in the car so I could read it whenever I was out with time to kill. A magnificent book that should be treasured. Abbey was brilliant, curmudgeonly, arch, impatient with tourists (an interesting aversion given that he was a seasonal park ranger at Utah's Arches National Monument -- before it was the National Park of today -- and thus responsible for answering their questions and explaining what they were looking at), utterly intolerant of paved highways [...]

    23. I know, I know. This is Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire. The favored book of the masses and the environmentalists' bible. I feel guilty giving it only 2 stars like I'm treading on holy ground. I purposely read this while recently traveling to Arches National Park, the VERY place he lived/worked while penning these deep thoughts. So I guess I set myself up for some magical, mystical moment to occur - only compounding my disappointments. Granted, he does write some good descriptions about being in [...]

    24. This is one of only four or five books that I can say truly impacted my life. Many years ago my boss saw me reading "The Monkey Wrench Gang" (which did not significantly impress me). He suggested "Desert Solitaire" as a much better example of Edward Abbey's work. I took his recommendation seriously, and have been thankful to him ever since.Having grown up in Idaho I had done a fair amount of backpacking in the mountains and forests, and I was somewhat of an outdoor enthusiast at the time. But th [...]

    25. Desert Solitaire is a classic of citizen naturalist writing. Despite being over 50 years old, the writing is so modern in style that it could have been written yesterday. Abbey's connection to the desert is real and alive and vivid.I was less persuaded Abbey's anarchist-libertarian political views, which often just seemed irrational. Though Abbey wants to protect the wilderness in its natural unimproved state, he hates the only entity capable of doing the protecting. He wants the park to exist, [...]

    26. Some people are armchair historians. I'm starting to think I’m an armchair outdoorswoman (it being two years since I've been on a proper backpacking trip). At first I found myself envying Abbey. Not just his chapter-long adventures, but his human need to be "out there" - way out there. He describes the eroded country, flash floods, runaway horses, footprints, quicksand, and the panic that comes when you are miles down a canyon with a dry canteen. It's not just a memoir, but instructional and p [...]

    27. Edward Abbey kept appearing as a recommendation to me in the form of several of his books and I finally picked one for my 50th birthday reading celebration project and I am glad I did. Desert Solitaire is about Abbey's time working at Arches National Park outside of Moab, Utah. I have visited Arches several times as well as the other National Parks and Monuments in Utah including Zion, Bryce, Bridges, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Glen Canyon, all of which Abbey refers to here. I am in love wit [...]

    28. Desert Solitaire has been on my reading list for ages, but I was hesitant. From other reviews I expected Abbey to be a thoroughly unlikable crank. Maybe I'm becoming an old crank too, because I empathize with Abbey's opposition to industrial development and tourism. My family spent our summers camping in upper Michigan, at a remote location between Hemingway's Two-Hearted River and Lake Superior. The campground could only be reached by driving for an hour on bone jarring, dust cloud making, suga [...]

    29. There are actually two books, or two perspectives, intertwined within Desert Solitaire. The first is a vivid story of the desert, the harsh yet rich environment that is truly just as beautiful as any other natural landscape including forests, oceans, or meadows. Abbey captures the beauty and the terror of this environment in his narrative and illustrates its effects on Abbey, and by extension, on all of us. The insights and knowledge that Abbey gained while living alone within this very bleak en [...]

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