Saturday, August 11, 2007

Desert Solitaire

Author: Edward Abbey

First line: This is the most beautiful place on earth.

Why you should read this book: Abbey's experimental sojourn in to the desert involved masquerading as a park ranger while injecting himself into the enviroment, injecting the environment into himself, and gulping up the landscape like a drowning man gasping for air. Describing the stark beauty of a single tree, a brutal stretch of sun-baked rock, or the tourists whose automobile culture encroach on the pristine splendor of his world, Abbey's book is vivid, angry, awe-inspired, and real. He warns his reader not to go looking for his eden, that technology has improved the wilderness right out of existence, and we have only the vibrant colors of his linguistic snapshots to haunt our future, reminding us how progress can take us further from perfection.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You believe everything worth seeing can be seen from the driver's seat of your SUV.

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