Desert Solitaire

  • by Edward Abbey
  • Narrated by Michael Kramer
  • 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Desert Solitaire was first published in 1968, it became the focus of a nationwide cult. Rude and sensitive. Thought-provoking and mystical. Angry and loving. Both Abbey and this book are all of these and more. Here, the legendary author of The Monkey Wrench Gang, Abbey's Road and many other critically acclaimed books vividly captures the essence of his life during three seasons as a park ranger in southeastern Utah. This is a rare view of a quest to experience nature in its purest form -- the silence, the struggle, the overwhelming beauty. But this is also the gripping, anguished cry of a man of character who challenges the growing exploitation of the wilderness by oil and mining interests, as well as by the tourist industry.
Abbey's observations and challenges remain as relevant now as the day he wrote them. Today, Desert Solitaire asks if any of our incalculable natural treasures can be saved before the bulldozers strike again.


What the Critics Say

"Like a ride on a bucking bronco . . . rough, tough, combative. The author is a rebel and an eloquent loner. His is a passionately felt, deeply poetic book . . . set down in a lean, racing prose, in a close-knit style of power and beauty." (The New York Times Book Review)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wrong narrator for Abbey

I love this book - one of my true favorites - have read the actual book several times before downloading the audio version. I'm also a big fan of Edward Abbey - both his non-fiction and fiction work.

Unfortunately, Michael Kramer was a poor choice of narrator to capture the real sense of Abbey's prose. I've listened to many of Kramer's narrations of mystery and suspense novels, and he's fine for those. But, unfortunately, all wrong for Desert Solitaire.

I was disappointed, too, by Kramer's frequent mispronunciations, especially place names, throughout the narrative. Many of the local place names are tricky, I admit, but either the narrator and/or audio editor need to do their research!

Despite the unfortunate narration, I highly recommend Desert Solitaire. Better the book than this audio version, but better the audio version than not at all.
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- Todd Steele

I can almost smell the desert

I never heard Abbey talk but Kramer's reading matched the desert so well and matched the emotions of the book so perfectly l am almost afraid to find out what Abbey sounded like for fear of disappointment. Abbey brought the desert alive to me. The descriptions are so visual that I have to forgive the occasional sojourns into railing against society's ills.
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- Pamela Kennemore

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-22-2011
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio