Desert oracle. Volume 1, Strange true tales from the American Southwest

by Layne, Ken, 1965-

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
South Park Library Travel TRAVEL US GENERAL LAY
Location  South Park Library
Collection  Travel

The cult-y pocket-size field guide to the strange and intriguing secrets of the Mojave--its myths and legends, outcasts and oddballs, flora, fauna, and UFOs--becomes the definitive, oracular book of the desert

For the past five years, Desert Oracle has existed as a quasi-mythical, quarterly periodical available to the very determined only by subscription or at the odd desert-town gas station or the occasional hipster boutique, its canary-yellow-covered, forty-four-page issues handed from one curious desert zealot to the next, word spreading faster than the printers could keep up with. It became a radio show, a podcast, a live performance. Now, for the first time--and including both classic and new, never-before-seen revelations-- Desert Oracle has been bound between two hard covers and is available to you.

Straight out of Joshua Tree, California, Desert Oracle is "The Voice of the Desert": a field guide to the strange tales, singing sand dunes, sagebrush trails, artists and aliens, authors and oddballs, ghost towns and modern legends, musicians and mystics, scorpions and saguaros, out there in the sand. Desert Oracle is your companion at a roadside diner, around a campfire, in your tent or cabin (or high-rise apartment or suburban living room) as the wind and the coyotes howl outside at night.

From journal entries of long-deceased adventurers to stray railroad ad copy, and musings on everything from desert flora, rumored cryptid sightings, and other paranormal phenomena, Ken Layne's Desert Oracle collects the weird and the wonderful of the American Southwest into a single, essential volume.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "The desert is a powerful cocktail of breathtaking beauty, brutality, and mystery. Layne serves it straight-up in this collection of essays dedicated to his cherished, arid homeland. Some passages explore the harsh reality of desert life. Stories tell of dangerous creatures, extreme temperatures, and isolation that result in missing (or dead) tourists. Other essays discuss murderers, quacks, outlaws, and even cults that exploited the desert's solitude to conceal and commit their immoral deeds. Further macabre topics include local lore about UFOs; the terrifying cryptid known as the Yucca Man; and La Llorona, a grief-stricken ghost. Veering from the morbid, other pieces showcase the desert's role as muse, providing inspiration to writers, artists, and musicians like Marta Becket, William S. Burroughs, Marty Robbins, and Edward Abbey. Overall, this collection is a soulful love letter to the rugged landscape of the American Southwest. Layne implores readers to preserve and protect the enigmatic and wild desert. Reading this book is like swapping tales around the campfire under a star-filled sky. Recommended for Art Bell fans and naturalists."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Layne (Dignity) delivers a playful potpourri of lore, obscure facts, geographic meditations, and conservationist advocacy in this eclectic collection of desert-themed essays. The author presents the desert as a home worthy of protecting and suggests it is a source of meaning. "There is purpose waiting out here, for anyone who comes in honest pursuit of it," he writes in the introduction, and the essays that follow tell how he and others found such purpose. An empathetic essay on "wandering philosopher" Edward Abbey imagines wilderness as "a haven for outlaws," and essays on UFOs and the Yucca Man tackle myths with humor and curiosity. Several pieces provide something of a cultural history of the American Southwest, covering the legacy of Marty Robbins's western music, William Burroughs's time in Los Alamos, and the cultish "Solar Lodge." Layne concludes with a poetically pitched message to keep the desert "a wild, open landscape available for our encounters with the mysterious and the divine." With his succinct, descriptive, narrative-driven prose, Layne creates a fascinating homage to the beauty of an often unforgiving landscape. (Dec.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Curiosities and wonders -- Mojave Desert.
Mojave Desert -- Description and travel.
Mojave Desert -- History.
Mojave Desert -- Miscellanea.
Trivia and miscellanea.
Publisher New York :2020
Edition First edition.
Other Titles Desert oracle.
Desert oracle radio (Radio program)
Strange true tales from the American Southwest
Language English
Notes "Much of this material first appeared, in various forms, in Desert oracle, issues 1-8, 2015-2019, and on Desert oracle radio, 2017-2019."
Description 287 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
ISBN 9780374139681
Other Classic View