The Voice Crying in the Wilderness is one of those books that I have long wanted to read but never quite got to until this week. I wish I had read it when I was younger. I’m glad I didn’t start reading it until now.
Abbey was a writer of some repute authoring books like The Monkey Wrench Gang and The Brave Cowboy.
A naturalist, well-educated and well-read, Abbey was also a truth teller, a writer who pulled no punches, a man frequently described with a single word – iconoclast.
He was, also, a man who kept a journal for 21 years, jotting down thoughts, observations and ideas and eventually coalescing all into the small but powerful book of which I am writing, today.
This small volume looks like an easy read and it is. It’s also a deep, insightful, belly-laughing, terrifying and sad read.
Abbey saw, really saw his world, the world around him and the world we live in. Divided into categories like Government and Politics, Life and Death and Money, etc, Abbey’s book doesn’t just report what he sees, it shares what he thought, his philosophy, if you will.
But The Voice Crying in the Wilderness went a bit further because Abbey’s insights are, in some cases, more than 30 years old and yet, spot on for today. For example, the current and terrible economic situation – 1% of the United States population owning 42% of the financial wealth of this country, might resolved or at least ameliorated if we followed this insight of the author’s:
“If America could be, once again, a nation of self-reliant farmers, craftsmen, hunters, ranchers and artists, then the rich would have little power to dominate others. Neither to serve nor to rule. That was the American Dream.”
Abbey’s predictive powers appear to be like those of the best science fiction writers, writers like Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Theodore Sturgeon, Sturgeon once told me that sci fi was predictive because it was based in science. Sturgeon called it “scientia fiction.”
In coming weeks, I will be sharing other Abbey insights that I find compelling, telling or just plain funny. Do you have a favorite Abbbey quote? Please feel free to share it, here!