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Good News Hardcover – October 20, 1980


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; 1st edition (October 20, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525115838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525115830
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,817,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Edward Abbey was born in Home, Pennsylvania, in 1927. He was educated at the University of New Mexico and the University of Edinburgh. He died at his home in Oracle, Arizona, in 1989.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 1997
Format: Paperback
Abbey's best work will always be his essays, but this novel is one of those "forgotten" dystopian classics that deserves much more attention. Forget Orwell's "1984." It's too European. Forget Levin's "This Perfect Day." It's too fantastic. Abbey has written the best post-apocalypse American novel to date. And his politics, as always, ring true. Up the rebels! An anarcho-classic
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R S Cobblestone VINE VOICE on April 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Edward Abbey graduated from the University of New Mexico with a MS in philosophy. His 1959 thesis was titled "Anarchism and the Morality of Violence."

Clearly, many of his books are a reflection of these earlier musings. Good News is his sci-fi expression of anarchism.

In Good News, society has collapsed, particularly in areas that were inhabited by high densities of humans, such as Phoenix, that required extraordinary infusions of energy, particularly west of the 100th meridian. Without energy, there was no water delivery, storage, and irrigation. No modern agriculture. No city infrastructure maintenance. No mega-transportation system.

No centralized government.

Jack Burns is on a mission to be reunited with his son, who he hasn't seen or contacted for over two decades. He travels with his friend, Sam, a Native American with unique powers. He falls into a crowd of anarchists who are fighting against a quasi-military government ruled by "the Chief". The Chief accepts execution and torture as necessary to maintain order. The anarchists want to destroy all records of government.

Abbey has written, "Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners." This philosophy is expressed in Ayn Rand style in Good News.

According to Abbey, this potential future is very dark, and humanity collapses as the strong bully the weak. The back cover of this book states "With this boldly satirical imaginary world, Edward Abbey asks us to look around and take stock of what we value before it is too late." I would not categorize this book as "satirical.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Houston Gray on March 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is not only one of Abbey's best novels but a great novel in its own right. As both a city and a country dweller I can not only relate but confirm much of his notion that cities are not nearly as healthy for a man's soul as the country is. In addition this is a great story about social decay and what it takes to over come the challanges that arise from such a situation. We have grown soft and forgetful of what our forefathers went through to create a country like ours and this book gives a realistic and easy to swallow insight into their frames of mind and their state of heart. This is the wild west and the futurama all mixed together with an iron fisted military group to boot. I still can't believe this was never made into a movie.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Willis on June 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Abbey is at his doomsday best with this tale that leaves a glimmer of hope that we can yet save ourselves. Say what what you want about Abbey (narcissistic, sexist, moody), the guy could write! He was also ahead of his time in his warnings about our abuse of the environment!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on June 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
Edward Abbey's novels displayed his Sagebrush-style conservationist ideals, and his near-Anarchist sentiments took greatest root here. This is a near-future dystopia tale in which a thinly described economic disaster has forced most people to flee Abbey's beloved desert southwest, leaving just a few hardy naturalist survivors trying to create a non-government lifestyle. Meanwhile the wasted city of Phoenix becomes the base for a big-thinking ex-military man who wants to take control of all of humanity and eliminate dissenters who stand in his way. This novel is overflowing with excellent and thought-provoking political philosophy, especially when it comes to the exact meaning of "freedom" and how that term is actually defined by whoever has power. Unfortunately, this book's politics may be a little outdated, because nowadays I suspect that a western power-hungry demagogue would be the exact ideological opposite of Abbey's villain here (this guy's a socialist). The novel has a few other problems, such as longwinded and tiresome monologues from the characters. Most of the action is rather predictable chase scenes, and the story is capped off by an inconclusive ending, which cries out for a sequel that never appeared. This is a very hard-hitting and thought-provoking novel, but Abbey's basic ideas are better defined elsewhere. [~doomsdayer520~]
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