Mar 06, 09
Read in March, 2009
I know April is going to be sad at this. It was a good book, don't get me wrong-- but even if Abbey denies it, it's nature writing. I'm not big on nature writing, never have been. Perhaps it's because I'm one of the motorized tourists that Abbey bemoans and am in all honestly fairly indifferent toward nature, but regardless I found my mind drifting through some passages (tedious lists of desert flora for example). However, I was interested and invested through others, when Abbey slips into storyteller mode-- I can easily envision him at a campfire with a group of rapt listeners.
I also was put off by the slight... preachiness of the book. I felt like I was being constantly attacked by the author who seemed to hold himself in a much higher regard than the huddled motorized masses.
It's easier to badmouth a book than support it, and I want to point out that it was well written, obviously very heartfelt, and worthy of being on the shelves next to Thoreau, Emerson, or Muir (even if Abbey denies it).
I have to point out that I would give any of the aforementioned authors the same rating and critique-- nature writing is just not my cup of tea. For those who it is, I am sure Abbey's pivotal achievement will not disappoint.