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.
“The book is surely an experience you should try.”—New Mexico Historical Review
“There is much that is solid and thought-provoking in this readable book, and virtually everyone will find something of interest.”—Science Books & Films
“You have this eerie feeling of being present in the Arizona desert . . . painfully engaging.”— Los Angeles Times
“Bowden is literally a voice crying in the wilderness. . . . it’s wonderful to listen to him talk.”— New Times
“An unconventional but enthralling picture of the frenzy of modern life and its victims . . . a real gem.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Bowden manages to write about these unfashionable topics with humor, style, laconic compression.”—Edward Abbey
“The best book about the West this year . . . full of irony and mysticism and that eerie, spooky quality of the desert we all love.”—California Magazine