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Hayduke Lives!: A Novel Paperback – September 4, 1991
100 (Fiction) Books to Read in a Lifetime
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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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Top Customer Reviews
Protecting the parks in The US seems to be a lost effort. The youth today are most anxious to throw rocks, break windows,turn over trash cans
And scream vulgarities. While Yellowstone, the Smokie Mts., et al, quickly turn into huge smog filled traffic jams. Sad. I salute Edward Abbey. However, he does not rest in peace. In
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.
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.
Read this only if you absolutely LOVED "The Monkey Wrench Gang," but even then, be warned that this might dampen your enthusiasm even for that book. It's pretty disappointing, especially coming from an author that we all know was capable of much, much better.