Jean's Reviews > Desert Solitaire

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
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's review
Feb 04, 2008

did not like it

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 personally experience wilderness and through this to develop this respectful attitude!
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07/28/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Ruby roads are for people that dont like to get out of their cars and walk around the beauty that we are destroying. he killed the rabbit, making sure he could survive if he were to run out of food. how many creatures have you killed to eat. are you a vegan? why not explore nature the way we were meant to? on our own two feet. if you can't you can watch nature at a respectable distance.

message 2: by Jean (new) - rated it 1 star

Jean Ruby - If you will read my comment better you will see that I am especially advocating roads for people who can't get out and walk through and enjoy the outdoors, such as the handicapped, the very old, and the very young. I hike frequently and am becoming more and more familiar with the Yellowstone back country. Admittedly I only do day hikes, since I don't think the bulging disc in my back would handle a heavy pack or sleeping out on the ground, but I have seen a lot of things that most Yellowstone visitors don't see.

Also if you will read Desert Solitude more carefully you will see that Edward Abbey did not kill the rabbit for food, but just to see if he could do it. I eat meat and enjoy it, but I also have respect for and love animals, and I would never kill a rabbit just to see if I could.

Ruby Thank you for explaining yourself better. I did read the passage again, and I still think that he killed the rabbit to see if he could if he ran out of food, armed with nothing but a rock. Death is a natural part of the world. Would you call a coyote a hypocrite because he eats rabbits, but hopes his home will not be destroyed? He was planning for future crises. I do agree that there should be roads for the handicapped and elderly, but I think that it should interfere with the natural world. Edward Abbey was explaining that paved roads were not necessary, and I agree with him. there were dirt roads, and I think that is fit enough for people that are elderly or disabled in some way. I apologize for the misunderstanding. I enjoyed this book, and I apologize that I did not make myself clear in my previous comment. I hope this proves to be clearer

Shelley Kresan When he killed the rabbit it was out an an abstract idea of "I wonder if it's possible." I am supportive of the idea of hunting for food. He brained that rabbit only out of curiosity. He makes it clear that the handicapped, out of shape people, children, etc. do not deserve to see the beauty of nature since they are unable to work for it. I hate over-development, but he goes against everything that the original idea of National Parks were trying to promote. When I started reading this I had no idea he was instrumental in the eco-terrorist movement. Figures.

message 5: by Kat (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kat Sauer Part of the philosophy of having no roads is to keep wild places wild. How wild does Yellowstone feel, sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, only stepping a few feet out of your car to snap some pictures of bison? Have you never gone somewhere, hiked to some overlook, and not been able to see a single man-made object in sight? There's a special magic in getting yourself out there, immersing yourself in the wildness, and being rewarding by amazing scenery that appears untouched by nature.
Yes, in the book he sounds immensely selfish, but part of this is wanting to protect the amazing places that he loves so dearly. For him it's Arches - and once it becomes 'industrialized' and filled with roads for tourists to lug themselves from one overview to the next without so much as stepping foot in the dirt, then the place just loses some of it's essential magic.
It's all about wanting to protect the wild places, and keeping them wild. Per his quote, "we need wilderness even if we never set foot in it".

message 6: by Quo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Quo There are many state & national parks that are fully accessible to all comers, including some where nature is an afterthought. My sense is that Abbey would prefer that a few of the most wondrous natural spaces be allowed to remain as they are but open to those willing & able to invest time & energy into a more thorough encounter with them, rather than allowing them to become theme parks with attractive scenery as a backdrop. Beyond that, awarding one star would suggest that the author said nothing of value in this book, constituting an aggressive dislike of Abbey's book.

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