by Edward Abbey
After living in Utah for a year, I finally felt compelled to read Desert Solitaire. It's part narrative, part description, and part essay (or polemic, depending on one's point of view). The theme tying these parts together is the high, desolate country in and around Arches National Park, where Abbey spent a summer as a park ranger. He muses on the stark beauty of the desert, the sickness of cities, the tragedy of the American Indian, the strange automobile culture that threatens not only the health and sanity of the vehicles' occupants, but also the pristine quietness of our national parks. This is a good book; if it's sometimes a little too preachy, or rough around the edges, these edges are usually softened by Abbey's cantankerous sense of humor. Recommended.
copyright © 2001 John Regehr