Friday, January 24, 2020

Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey - An Autobiography

As a seasonal National Parks ranger in the late 1950s, Edward Abbey, in Desert Solitaire, describes his experiences and narrates a series of stories of his interactions with the people and wildlife in the National Arches Monument  now known as National Arches Park in the Colorado Plateau region of the desert South Western United States.

Abbey praises the natural environment of this area and preaches against any development in the form of modern revitalization for the purpose of enabling tourists to enjoy the Park with comfort. This, he believes would take away from absorbing the rustic natural wonder of this area.

He captivates the reader with his vivid descriptions of the flora, fauna and gigantic formations of stone sculptures. These wonders are formed, not by man, but by the natural erosion of this region. There is the balance rock, the three gossiping sisters, the courthouse and so forth are the named rock wonders situated in this Park.

He explains how he occupies his time alone on this tour of duty; he is anything but bored; instead he engages with the environment in ways that would make the reader envious of what it means to befriend nature, its surroundings and its inhabitants.

Desert Solitaire is a fascinating autobiography that leaves an indelible mark on the reader’s mind.

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