The title here refers to a desert in the Southwest, and in and about it, the author skillfully intertwines a sensitive study of the region's ecology and his own story. This is an unconventional, but enthralling picture of the frenzy of modern life and its victims--people, beasts and the land. Bowden is a journalist somewhat ambivalent about his trade. However, he is adamant about the splendors of nature which man has demeaned and even destroyed. He begins with bats--where there were millions, now there are only thousands--whose young are victims of DDT. Then there are the antelope, protected, ironically, because they are on a government firing range. Why, the author asks, do people escape the ugliness of cities only to reproduce the world they have fled? The passion here is motivated by Bowden's poetic feeling for the land and those ""other"" creatures with which he shares this planet. Bowden talks, too, of the people--Indians, Mexicans, naturalists--and how they fit into this mural he has created. The issues of man vs. nature and man vs. himself are timeless ones in themselves, but what will linger on here is the beauty the author has found in the desert, his ""web of dreams."" A real gem.