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Hayduke Lives!: A Novel Paperback – September 4, 1991

Book 4 of 7 in the Edward Abbey Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ed Abbey's 1975 novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang, ended with a classic--and literal--cliffhanger: it left its hero, George Washington Hayduke III, clinging to a sheer rock face in the wilds of Utah as an armed posse hunted him down for his eco-radicalist crimes. Hayduke Lives! allows the grizzled Vietnam veteran another day in the sun, reunited with his old comrades Doc Sarvis, Seldom Seen Smith, and Bonnie Abbzug to battle the world's biggest earthmoving machine, the aptly named GOLIATH. Their principal foe, apart from that behemoth, is the fundamentalist preacher Dudley Love, the mastermind behind uranium mines, power plants, and other insults to Abbey's beloved desert. Abbey has great fun lampooning the pretensions of environmental activists, New Agers ("vee put flowers on zee Big Bucket, vee put flowers on zee driver's neck and hug heem? her? it? and kiss and luff and squeeze and make GOLIATH stop," says one starry-eyed European crystal gazer), and developers alike as he unfolds his tale of a motorized Wild West and its latter-day outlaw heroes. As full of improbable situations and noisy politics as Monkey Wrench Gang, Hayduke Lives! proves to be great fun for readers as well. --Gregory McNamee

From Publishers Weekly

Only apparently was Fool's Progress , a flawed but highly endearing novel, Abbey's swan song (he died last summer). Here, unexpectedly, is a posthumous sequel to the cult classic The Monkey Wrench Gang , unhappily, not the finest of farewells from a very original American writer. It is the sort of sequel that picks up all the characters years later; most of them--Doc, Bonnie, even Seldom Seen Smith--have more or less settled into respectability after their wild outrages against developers and ruiners of the Great Outdoors. Then along comes GOLIATH, the Giant Earth Mover, about to trample another precious wild canyon, and the fiercest of the old gang, George Hayduke, brings his friends unwillingly out of retirement for the biggest caper of their lives. It's ditzy, entertaining stuff, and Abbey, as always, strikes wonderful grace notes off the landscapes he loves. But the characters are a yard high, and the dialogue the sort that appears in bubbles over people's heads. Naturally the G.E.M. bites the dust, but in the course of the environmentalists' coup a man gets killed, contradicting what used to be the whole point of Abbey's writing: only machines died. This time out, his work seems a little sour and tired.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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"The Longest Ride" by Nicolas Sparks
In the tradition of his beloved first novel, "The Notebook", Nicholas Sparks returns with the remarkable story of two couples whose lives intersect in profound and surprising ways. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books (September 4, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316004138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316004138
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,235 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

Way too much ink wasted on verbiage.
Eagle3
Read "The Monkey Wrench Gang" first - that is where the characters are developed.
Michael Zinsley
If you have read The Monkey Wrench Gang this feels like the extra ending.
D. Hart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The name Edward Abbey is a foul couple of words for some, and is followed by foul language off the tongue of the same people. But, it shouldn't...both for his great body writings and for his fierce appreciation for everything that makes the American West great. "The Monkey Wrench Gang" and its sequel "Hayduke Lives" are classic American Literature as well as important social commentary on who we are and what should matter to us as a society and a country. (This review is for both books so might be a bit longer than usual.)

Yes, Abbey was an environmentalist; but, a he was also flawed just as we all are in this area - when he was younger on his first visit to the Grand Canyon, he rolled a tire over the edge because he could. He already appreciated the American West, but the human side of him did it anyway. Yes, Abbey was a curmudgeon; but, it worked - he got the attention of everyone, on both sides of any issue.

With "The Monkey Wrench Gang", Abbey spun a fantastic tale of a hodgepodge band of characters that were bound by a love for the west, and distaste for anything that they saw as ruining it. Bonnie Abbzug, the exile from the east who couldn't stand cheap talk and always wanted action; she found a place in the canyons of the Southwest where one could hear her own thoughts - unlike the canyons of New York that she fled. Doc Sarvis, M.D., a doctor with a passion for his hobby - the burning of any billboard that ruined everyone's view of the landscape (which were pretty much all of them). Seldom Seen Smith, a few wives, a Colorado River Boatman, and a few steps ahead of the Bishop...'nuff said.

And then there is George Washington Hayduke III...
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mike Smith on October 11, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "The Monkey Wrench Gang," Edward Abbey told the story of four friends who decide to do whatever possible to stop the explotation and overdevelopment of the West. Mainly, they blow stuff up and wreck machines, but they have a fun time doing it.
In "Hayduke Lives!," the sequel to that book, Edward Abbey returns to those characters and tries to stir them up to action once again, this time with the threat of a giant bulldozer about to destroy a beautiful canyon.
Yeah....
First of all, do not read this until you've read "The Monkey Wrench Gang" first. And even then, think about it carefully before reading this half-formed, rambling, disappointing sequel.
I loved "The Monkey Wrench Gang"--I've read it multiple times--and so the first fifty pages or so of this were just a lot fun to me, being reunited with the characters from that book.
But then, the story never really goes anywhere. The novel constantly digresses to describe sex scenes or Earth First! rallies, and it's not until page 270(!) of a 307-page novel that the four original members of the Monkey Wrench Gang finally reunite.
The book rambles on in an unfocused way that damages the characters that were so nicely formed in the first book, constantly digresses, and ultimately, unfortunately, becomes much more violent than "The Monkey Wrench Gang" ever did.
The writing is occassionally good--sometimes even great--and some of the scenes are exciting, but none of it ever goes anywhere. There are too many characters and not enough character development, and the whole thing with the bulldozer comes across as lame and cheesy, especially when the first book set up their next goal to be something much bigger and more exciting--the destruction of Glen Canyon Dam.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
Those who enjoyed The Monkey Wrench Gang will enjoy this sequel, which contains the same winning mix of ingredients as the original: biting satire, earthy humor, colorful characters, plenty of over-the-top action,and most importantly Abbey's underlying message that wild places are worth saving - even if one doesn't endorse the Gang's anarchistic approach. Those sympathetic to Abbey's lifelong cause of opposition to the forces of development and exploitation may also want to explore Carl Hiaasen's eco-terror comedies or the more complex and literary, but equally passionate, "Arcadia Falls" by Rand Johnson.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on September 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is definitely a worthy sequel to the classic Monkey Wrench Gang, though here Abbey's writing gets rather cranky and hyperbolic. The Gang has reunited, with crazy Hayduke working undercover and in a variety of subversive guises, to pull off the ultimate humungous eco-activist caper of the century. The villain is the hubristically enormous earthmoving machine G O L I A T H, which is literally moving mountains in Abbey's beloved slickrock country, at the behest of industrial and government lackeys. Abbey unleashes an unceasing torrent of his enviro-anarchist philosophy through the mouths of the characters, both the good and bad guys, though this leads to characters who often make huge voluminous speeches, as opposed to believable conversations.

Abbey throws in some perceptive criticism of less committed and under-informed nature lovers, while lambasting the typical money-hungry developers. This is great for the thinking reader, but unfortunately the book takes on a rather cranky and unforgiving tone overall. There are some plot problems, with under-elaborated characters such as the Colonel, the presence of the Monkey Wrench Gang book in this book's universe (Abbey does not explain this phenomenon well at all), and the presence of the mysterious Lone Ranger character, who is from a different Abbey book that I thought took place in a different reality and time stream. The shifting behaviors and attitudes of Bonnie and Hayduke in particular are also real problems in character construction. But in the end, if you're in the right frame of mind and of the proper political stance, Abbey's philosophy as contained here is incredibly thought-provoking. And the climax to this novel, in which the Gang pulls off an act of sabotage that's G O L I A T H in size and audacity, is hugely uproarious. [~doomsdayer520~]
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