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One Life at a Time, Please Paperback – February 15, 1988
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Some of the essays are very good--"A Writer's Credo" and "The Future of Sex," for example. Others, like "River of No Return," illustrate his trademark power to breathe extraordinary life into otherwise ordinary adventures. My main complaint is with the collection of essays in the section titled "Politics." In "A Writer's Credo," Abbey eloquently argues that it is the writer's responsibility to be a critic of the society in which he lives, so as to foster positive change in that society. But he seems to forget that to be effective, the writer must also persuade. The vitriolic essays in "Politics" may please existing ecodefenders but are more likely to alienate those important readers who are still undecided. If the result causes people to turn away from environmentalism rather than embrace it, they do more harm than good. Abbey himself seemed to recognize the danger of his ways in the excellent essay, "Mr Krutch.Read more ›
Abbey at his worst is better than most writers at their best. It is that simple.
Within his essay collections the introduction is always fun to read. Hunter Thompson hated writing "Introductions"; Abbey gloried in them. And, as usual, the best essay is presented first. I remember the first time I read "Free Speech". It was during my second marriage (a much abbreviated affair). The essay made me laugh out loud: I'd never read anything quite so personal, witty and rascally. It remains one of my favorite essays by Abbey. Wife Number Two failed to see the humor and, eventually, tired of me asking her along to climb a mountain or two on the weekends. I moved to the mountains to live in an "off grid solar cabin made of dirt"; she re-married a contractor with a house that has all the amenities of modern life. All happy!
And then there is the "Writer's Credo". All I can say to Abbey is: Amen!
Read Abbey. America's best, and most important, writer in my opinion (unless you love modern amenities).
Highlights and controversies:
Abbey has been called lots of things, but when he was accused of being "...arrogant, incoherent, flippant, nonsensical, nasty, and unconstructive..." after publishing an anti-cattle-on-western-public-lands rant, he commented, "'Nasty and unconstructive' - I love that" (p. 3).
"The rancher (with a few honorable exceptions) is a man who strings barbed wire across the range; drills wells and bulldozes stockponds; drives off elk and antelope and bighorn sheep; poisons coyotes and prairie dogs; shoots eagles, bears, and cougars on sight; supplants the native grasses with tumbleweed, snakeweed, povertyweed, cow[manure], anthills, mud, dust, and flies. And then leans back and grins at the TV cameras and talks about how much he loves the American West" (p. 17-18).
"And if the wilderness is our true home, and if it is threatened with invasion, pillage, and destruction - as it certainly is - then we have the right to defend that home, as we would our private quarters, by whatever means are necessary" (p. 31).
"'Paw,' says my little brother, as the old man loads the shotgun, 'let me shoot the deer this time.'
'You shut up,' I say.
Our father smiles. 'Quiet,' he whispers, 'both of you. Maybe next year.' He peers down the dim path in the woods, into the gathering evening. 'Be real still now. They're a-comin'. And Ned -' He squeezes my shoulder.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this collection of essays. It offers a diverse perspective of Edward Abbey, a more complicated picture than is presented in his most popular novels. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Austin Syme
I just like to read Edward Abbey. He makes me laugh and makes me think.
Anything he writes is worth reading. Fiction or non-fiction, its all good
Great service. Way ahead of schedule. Exactly as promised, exceeded all expectations. Excellent service.Published 16 months ago by Jhon Adams
Awesome book, very informative, no Complaints at all!! I can't put it down Great read for anyone looking for more info on the subject.Published on December 28, 2012 by Alexander Silvestri
Abbey as usual writes in a way as that I can hear him narrate the stories !His way of illustration thru the written word is as clear to me as if I were there myself. Read morePublished on February 10, 2011 by Valtco
This collection of essays is a wonderful snapshot of Abbey's talent. If you like these, try some of his books.Published on December 10, 2009 by Joshua Richardson
It is a collection of essays across the years. As usual in a book like this, it is uneven. Some essays are funny, inspiring, hard-hitting, others are dull. Read morePublished on January 5, 2009 by Darrel Drumm
Edward Abbey's curmudgeonly persona permeates this collection of essays organized by topic (politics, travel, books and art and nature love). Read morePublished on June 14, 2006 by Greg A. Locascio