Anthony's Reviews > Desert Solitaire

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
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's review
Jun 11, 2012

really liked it
Recommended to Anthony by: neighboor
Recommended for: Anyone interested in the American West
Read in April, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: once

Fantastic read!!! Anyone who has never gone to the Southwest will want to experience the American pioneering spirit and connect with this hostile environment on an intimate level. As Edward Abbey says quite pointedly, you must get out of your car and walk the land and feel its temperature and live within mother nature's different moods. I really enjoyed the detailed descriptions and romantic/nostalgic feeling I got reading certain sections of this novel. Having been out west before I am able to picture specific scenes vividly and imagine what it was like having the scorching sun shine down unrelentingly. The author portrays a seemingly open and inviting land with long history and great beauty, but I am glad he details some of the ease at which an individual can reach dire circumstances. The life and death facing each of us is more pronounced when taken from our creature comforts and thrust into nature's indiscriminateness. The contrast of abundant plant and animal life on islands among the desert is a good contrast to the hot, barren rock faces, labyrinthine landscape, and dryness of the American Southwest.
I appreciated Edward Abbey's candidness about the area he called home and how he felt free living in Spartan like housing. Simplicity is beautiful sometimes and allows one not to become distracted by their material surroundings and are better able to make a lasting connection with the land. I thought a strong message of this novel was that a person must live their life with balance. Time must be spent away from the hustle and bustle of civilisation to gain perspective and when a person comes back into society hopefully they will be more able to find meaning and contribute.

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