'My favourite book about the wilderness' Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild In this shimmering masterpiece of American nature writing, Edward Abbey ventures alone into the canyonlands of Moab, Utah, to work as a seasonal ranger for the United States National Park Service. Living out of a trailer, Abbey captures in rapt, poetic prose the landscape of the desert; a world of terracotta earth, empty skies, arching rock formations, cliffrose, juniper, pinyon pine and sand sage. ...
'My favourite book about the wilderness' Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild In this shimmering masterpiece of American nature writing, Edward Abbey ventures alone into the canyonlands of Moab, Utah, to work as a seasonal ranger for the United States National Park Service. Living out of a trailer, Abbey captures in rapt, poetic prose the landscape of the desert; a world of terracotta earth, empty skies, arching rock formations, cliffrose, juniper, pinyon pine and sand sage. His summers become spirit quests, taking him in search of wild horses and Ancient Puebloan petroglyphs, up mountains and across tribal lands, and down the Glen Canyon by river. He experiences both sides of his new home; its incredible beauty and its promise of liberation, but also its isolating, cruel side, at one point discovering a dead tourist at an isolated area of the Grand Canyon. In his own irascible style, Abbey uses his time in the desert to meditate on the tension between nature and civilisation, and outlines a personal philosophy that would come to heavily influence the environmentalist movement. Now published in a special edition to celebrate its 50th Anniversary, this classic seems remarkably prescient, and has lost none of its power.
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Abbey's prose is beautiful, his attitude is by turns lyrical, calm, angry. Whatever your politics, you will find thought-provoking material here on nature, the American frontier, and what America has done - for better and worse - to her natural resources.
This is required reading for those of us wishing to live on and with Earth. A hard-nosed individual, Abbey can be a whole lot self-centered and narrow minded. He preaches a lot from his pulpit focusing upon our relationship with Mother Earth. He has no patience with those who abuse our planet. He is hard to ignore by those who would like only to read the amazing books that he writes. He is a craftsman and a genius when it comes to language, our relationship with Earth and knows how to succinctly "paint" an image of the power, savagery, beauty, and delicacy of the impartial world we inhabit. Like chips, you can't read just one Abbey book. You'll probably go back for more. Time well spent. Makes your brain -or your"heart"-hurt. A must read. Cormac McCarthy used the same elements showing us redemption through pain and agony. Edward Abbey seems to suggest a more hopeful outlook. Barely. I won't read McCarthy again. I will re-read Abbey. Great book.
Feb 7, 2012
too much detail
This book did not have much meat in it and the discriptions went on a little to long. I was glad to finish it.
Crystal L L
Mar 24, 2011
Humorous and poetic
This book is well written. Abbey has a sarcastic sense of humor that is poetic with wonderful descriptions of the environment. This is a must read for people that have a love for environment and their surroundings. Abbey gets to the heart of problems with lucid insights and witty commentary. Read it!
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