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Blue Desert [KINDLE] ✽ Blue Desert By Charles Bowden – Thomashillier.co.uk In the promised land of the Sunbelt, people come by the thousands to escape the crush of Eastern cities and end up duplicating the very world they have fled Can the land remain unchanged In Blue Deser In the promised land of the Sunbelt, people come by the thousands to escape the crush of Eastern cities and end up duplicating the very world they have fled Can the land remain unchanged In Blue Desert, Charles Bowden presents a view of the Southwest that seeks to measure how rapid growth has taken its toll on the land Writing with a reporter s objectivity and a desert rat s passion, Bowden takes us into the streets as well as the desert to depict not a fragile environment but the unavoidable reality of abuse, exploitation, and human cruelty Blue Desert shows us the Sunbelt s darker side as it has developed in recent times where the land always makes promises of aching beauty and the people always fail the land and defies us to ignore it Blue Desert has no boundaries, no terrain, no topographical coordinates it is a state of mind inescapable to one who sees change and knows that nothing can be done to stop it.


10 thoughts on “Blue Desert

  1. Andrew Andrew says:

    Charles Bowden is one of those writers who deserve to be far, far better known I first heard about him through the equally underappreciated Scott Carrier, who deals with similar issues of environment, Western landscape, violence, and poverty These are all essays that explore the Southwest as it has evolved, through striking miners and cigar chomping bosses, Indians lost on their own land and the vast housing estates popping up across the Arizona desert, migrant workers, environmental protest Charles Bowden is one of those writers who deserve to be far, far better known I first heard about him through the equally underappreciated Scott Carrier, who deals with similar issues of environment, Western landscape, violence, and poverty These are all essays that explore the Southwest as it has evolved, through striking miners and cigar chomping bosses, Indians lost on their own land and the vast housing estates popping up across the Arizona desert, migrant workers, environmental protesters, king of the motherfuckers James G Watt look him up , and so forth Necessary reading on America as we know it.And reading Blue Desert 25 years after it was written, I can t help but think it presages a lot of our modern chaos re border policy, migration, marginalized workers especially marginalized workers of color and that typical Trump voter, the sausage skinned and polo shirted Sunbelter who cares farabout ensuring an even emerald tone on the Bermuda grass from holes 1 through 18 than about the life or livelihood of anyone on the maintenance crew


  2. Christie Bane Christie Bane says:

    I should not have read this book, really I should not have.But why would I say such a thing, if I gave it 5 stars, you must be wondering Well, because it reminded me too much of how much I love the desert I prefer to repress that awareness If I want to keep my job and my boyfriend, which I emphatically do, I MUST stay in Florida Neither of those two things can move to the desert Florida is a great place to live It s comfortable and beautiful and laidback But this book was completely infus I should not have read this book, really I should not have.But why would I say such a thing, if I gave it 5 stars, you must be wondering Well, because it reminded me too much of how much I love the desert I prefer to repress that awareness If I want to keep my job and my boyfriend, which I emphatically do, I MUST stay in Florida Neither of those two things can move to the desert Florida is a great place to live It s comfortable and beautiful and laidback But this book was completely infused with the harshness of the desert, and THAT is what I miss the most about it The murderous heat, the deadly mountains, the desert animals, almost all of which are sharp or poisonous in some way The way that you can be in serious danger of dying from heat when the clear air of the desert makes it look like an interstate or a town are just steps in front of you but you re really twenty miles away Words like these I wanted to roll in the dirt, eat the dust, stuff my mouth with sand, to lie there on the creosote flats in the 110 degree warmth and listen to the faint breezes work the slender winds of the greasewoodAt first light, the coyotes would give the dawn song, always a frail thing in this part of the desert, and I would brew coffee and watch color bleed back into the land I KNOW HOW HE FEELS Charles Bowden embraced all the typically less appealing parts of the desert Southwest, like I did He also sees the Southwest as an aberration, an artificial civilization that can t exist forever and that some day will be swallowed by the desert when the water runs out The desert is full of tokens of past civilizations, especially if you walk the remote parts of it like he did petroglyphs and pottery shards that have sat out for hundreds of years, just waiting patiently to be seen by some crazy desert rat or,likely, some migrant walking north I even understand the title, Blue Desert I know the exact quality of the light he s talking about, and I know the feeling it inspires too This was a great book, but kind of a dangerous one for me to read Tucson for me is like the ex that you can t quite get over but you lie to yourself and tell yourself you have because by all objective standards, the replacement is miles better This book was like the memory that you stuff down the memory hole if you re smart , reminding you just how intense it was, even if it really wasn t altogether good for you


  3. Jamie Jamie says:

    Bowden suits me so well because he s an observer in the manner I tend to be I am not a union man I am not the man who joins things I am not a company man I am not the man who ever believes in the corporation And I am not neutral I can run my blood hot over a subject and yet still be cool water, still not take sides I d rather observe the river, I d rather cross the river, I d rather observe it again from the opposite side I like, too much, the march of contradiction This book is f Bowden suits me so well because he s an observer in the manner I tend to be I am not a union man I am not the man who joins things I am not a company man I am not the man who ever believes in the corporation And I am not neutral I can run my blood hot over a subject and yet still be cool water, still not take sides I d rather observe the river, I d rather cross the river, I d rather observe it again from the opposite side I like, too much, the march of contradiction This book is fat with contradictions, Bowden promises, but sounds one steady note the land But observing the world in that way is wanting to experience itthan judge it That s what you find here Experiences Not judgements, occasionally opinions, occasionally strong opinions, but not conclusions, not solutions Just experiences Walk a hundred miles through the blue desert in order to understand Etc Here is the test, I think, if Bowden will suit you so well too I have been counseled at length by a friend who for decades has flourished as a freelance writer of nature stories He warned me to avoid all colorful references to the casino none of those clinking ice cubes in glasses of whiskey, he fumed and play it straight and be rich in technical information This is good advice that I find hard to follow I have yet to meet the casino that cannot seduce me The pits are so full of human greed and human hope and always there are these little touches the men in the glass room packing sacks of money and wearing smocks that have no pockets that make me glad to be a human being There are few places as honest as the rampant fraud and fantasy of a casino Here we let down our hair, our pants, our everything and confess to all our secret hungers


  4. Drea Drea says:

    well, i guess i ll go ahead and explain why i m rating this one so low it s certainly not the quality of bowden s writing there is an insufferable undertone of misogyny throughout this book it lies in what the author clearly chooses to omit the voices, stories, and perspectives of women his prose is excellent, his style captivating, so i find it hard to believe he lacks the necessary insight to extend empathy towards other genders after all, this collection comprises many examples of him well, i guess i ll go ahead and explain why i m rating this one so low it s certainly not the quality of bowden s writing there is an insufferable undertone of misogyny throughout this book it lies in what the author clearly chooses to omit the voices, stories, and perspectives of women his prose is excellent, his style captivating, so i find it hard to believe he lacks the necessary insight to extend empathy towards other genders after all, this collection comprises many examples of him demonstrating this for his fellow man


  5. Beckydham Beckydham says:

    Everything is true, and sometimes lyrical But it makes me wonder again what this kind of book looks like when it s written by a woman.


  6. Mark Walker Mark Walker says:

    Following in the steps of Edward Abbey, the author touts the majesty of the desert, as well as the darker side of development At the very beginning of the book, he expresses his love and concern for the desert, .My home is a web of dreams Thousands move here each year under the banners of the New West or the Sunbelt This is the place where they hope to escape their pasts, the unemployment, the smoggy skies, dirty cities, crush of human numbers This they cannot do Instead, they reproduce t Following in the steps of Edward Abbey, the author touts the majesty of the desert, as well as the darker side of development At the very beginning of the book, he expresses his love and concern for the desert, .My home is a web of dreams Thousands move here each year under the banners of the New West or the Sunbelt This is the place where they hope to escape their pasts, the unemployment, the smoggy skies, dirty cities, crush of human numbers This they cannot do Instead, they reproduce the world they have fled I am drawn to the frenzy of this act Published in 1986, this would be Bowden s third book length work He writes with a reporter s objectivity he was a journalist and yet unfettered passion for both the desert s beauty and the unavoidable reality of abuse, exploitation and human cruelty The author paints a poignant picture of the invisible people who try to cross the border between Mexico and the U.S over this unforgiving desert, They cross a hot desert, a dry desert, one of North America s benchmarks for thirst, and they cross with one or two gallons of water They walk thirty, forty, fifty, sixty miles in order to score The line here means not six points, but a job..Here are the rules Get caught and you go back to Mexico Make it across and you get a job in the fields or backrooms Don t make it and you die He goes on, Nobody pays much attention to this summer sport The players are nameless and constantly changing and so there is little identification with them or with their skills and their defeats The players are brown, and this earns them a certain contempt and makes the attraction difficult to sell to spectators A new edition of the book includes a foreword by Francisco Cantu, a former border guard and the author of NY Times best seller, The Line Becomes A River He provides additional insights into Bowden s work, We see the version of Bowden that he would likely most want us to remember someone who did their best to be an honest witness, someone who was haunted by modernity and his place in it, someone who grappled with his demons by gazing deeply into the desert One of Bowden s most important books, Blue Desert continues to remind us of the cruelty and beauty of the world around us


  7. Robyn Robyn says:

    3.5 stars Raw and powerful but I m not sure my heart can suffer a second reading.Within the beauty of the desert lies the ugliness of man this is the essence of Bowden s Blue Desert Women are objectified, men are beasts, and the desert spares no one There are complex issues presented here, often in an objective manner The loss of native lands and ways, the loss of wilderness, the loss of humanity, and the loss of hope Greed Development Border crossings Injustice From Black , pa 3.5 stars Raw and powerful but I m not sure my heart can suffer a second reading.Within the beauty of the desert lies the ugliness of man this is the essence of Bowden s Blue Desert Women are objectified, men are beasts, and the desert spares no one There are complex issues presented here, often in an objective manner The loss of native lands and ways, the loss of wilderness, the loss of humanity, and the loss of hope Greed Development Border crossings Injustice From Black , page 144 We are beginning to realize what we have lost with our wonderful inventions and our monstrous new powers We are becomingandaware that our civilization destroys the foundations that support it by devouring the earth and the things of the earth But we don t have the courage to back away, to stop, to restrain ourselves I know I don t The 2017 foreword by Francisco Cant lends context to the book, originally published in 1986 I d recommend reading the foreword if you re contemplating whether or not to embark on this journey of essays While I anticipated some of the book s darkness, I was not prepared for the multiple mentions of rape and pedophilia Bowden s work as a reporter journalist often took him to the underbelly of humanity


  8. Jenna Jenna says:

    Absolutely critical reading for anyone traveling to or moving to the southwest It s your responsibility to understand the complexities of the landscape and your role in it, and Bowden will help Beautiful, raw and honest piece of literature.


  9. Chelsea K Chelsea K says:

    3.5 stars.


  10. Kirk Astroth Kirk Astroth says:

    Bowden writes passionately about the Sonoran Desert, the people, plants and animals who live here And he laments its destruction My favorite line Ot is not that we are too busy running ever to look back at the ghosts trailing behind us or down at the ground where the writhing beasts shudder with their last convulsion of life We haven t got time for this nature stuff We were born to drive, not park Particularly great was his final chapter on hiking across the desert from Mexico to Tacna Bowden writes passionately about the Sonoran Desert, the people, plants and animals who live here And he laments its destruction My favorite line Ot is not that we are too busy running ever to look back at the ghosts trailing behind us or down at the ground where the writhing beasts shudder with their last convulsion of life We haven t got time for this nature stuff We were born to drive, not park Particularly great was his final chapter on hiking across the desert from Mexico to Tacna like other migrants seeking a better life across the blue desert And they were prepared and almost didn t make it


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