Books and Movies Reviews

Desert Solitaire

A reluctant nature writer, Edward Abbey writes of his experiences of, and personal philosophical developments during, his time in southeastern Utah's canyonlands.Abbey doesn't like to consider himself a nature writer, yet he clearly exhibits great strengths as a preserver of nature through his writings.
I have currently read the introductory material andfirst six chapters of his book Desert Solitaire.I was immediately drawn to his descriptions of the desert because of my own love for the outdoors, particularly the arid landscape and natural beauty of the desert.In thefirst six chapters he introduces the reader to his new home, a metal trailer residing miles away from any other people and anything "civilized."His only companions, the rocks, plants, a few ravens, some resident mice, a snake (and its friend) that he befriended, and a few other more-or-less elusive animals.
Abbey is clearly an educated outdoorsman, reciting the names of dozens of plants that comprise the fauna around his new home as well as the plants of other regions.He also lists off the names and classification of many of the geological resources of the area; he names rocks and minerals that the average, even fairly educated, person would not recognize.These rock and mineral descriptions drew me even deeper into his book due to my own interest in geology (although there were names that even I didn't recognize).
There have been different aspects of Abbey's book that I have enjoyed for different reasons, and some that have detracted enjoyment.I feel his visual descriptions of the plants, animals and rock formations are incredible, while his sometimes drawn out tangents are sometimes distracting.I particularly enjoy his brief interactions with the wildlife.When he asks the dear to join him, or queries the snakes about their behavior, the animal's only response is to walk, slither, or run the other dir…

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