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The Monkey Wrench Gang (P.S.) Paperback – December 12, 2006
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Ed Abbey called The Monkey Wrench Gang, his 1975 novel, a "comic extravaganza." Some readers have remarked that the book is more a comic book than a real novel, and it's true that reading this incendiary call to protect the American wilderness requires more than a little of the old willing suspension of disbelief. The story centers on Vietnam veteran George Washington Hayduke III, who returns to the desert to find his beloved canyons and rivers threatened by industrial development. On a rafting trip down the Colorado River, Hayduke joins forces with feminist saboteur Bonnie Abbzug, wilderness guide Seldom Seen Smith, and billboard torcher Doc Sarvis, M.D., and together they wander off to wage war on the big yellow machines, on dam builders and road builders and strip miners. As they do, his characters voice Abbey's concerns about wilderness preservation ("Hell of a place to lose a cow," Smith thinks to himself while roaming through the canyonlands of southern Utah. "Hell of a place to lose your heart. Hell of a place... to lose. Period"). Moving from one improbable situation to the next, packing more adventure into the space of a few weeks than most real people do in a lifetime, the motley gang puts fear into the hearts of their enemies, laughing all the while. It's comic, yes, and required reading for anyone who has come to love the desert. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Mixes comedy and chaos with enough chase sequences to leave you hungering for more. --San Francisco Chronicle
Written over 40 years ago, it still provide the readers with comico-politico releaf, without having to resort to action to express their dislike or certain environmentally damaging policies. --Gilberto d'Urso
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The forces that they fought are even more in control these days, with even more weapons to discourage anyone getting in their way. I think Abbey was hoping this book would encourage more "eco-terrorisim" but except for an occasional strike against the dark forces, the battle has been lost. I live now in Scottsdale where Phoenix, once a medium size town of orange and grapefruit groves, farms and dirt roads when we moved here in 1948, has become another gigantic LA plopped down in the middle of the desert.
I recommend this to any and all who love the Sonoran desert. His descriptions of the merry band's travels through it are lyrical and show a great knowledge of the desert features and flora and fauna of the gorgeous and desolate canyon lands of Utah, and Arizona.
Although, usually at some point in all of Abbey's novels, I want to throw the darn thing against the wall.
Patrick Michael Murphy
ACROSS THE DESPERATE MILES