Nearly a half-century old now, Edward Abbey’s influential 1975 novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang, remains the classic novel of the environmental movement. A raucous work (credited with inspiring Earth First!, the radical advocacy organization), Cactus Ed’s most beloved fiction is the bold, boisterous tale of a rambunctious, ragtag foursome and their earnest efforts to save the American Southwest — by any means necessary — from the rapacious onslaught of developers. Abbey was a purposefully provocative writer and The Monkey Wrench Gang can indeed be polarizing, though his love for and devotion to preserving the American landscape (and most especially the desert Southwest) were emblematic of the era’s shifting attitudes toward environmental stewardship. If cartoonish hijinks and fictional sabotage aren’t your thing, however, the iconoclastic author’s nonfiction (most especially Desert Solitaire) is indispensable too. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
"A thing of beauty. . . . A wildly funny, infinitely wise, near to tragic tale of man against the bog god machine." Houston Chronicle
Edward Abbey's classic comic gem of destructive mayhem and outrageous civil disobedience — the novel that sparked the environmental activism movement.
Ex-Green Beret George Hayduke has returned from war to find his beloved southwestern desert threatened by industrial development. Joining with Bronx exile and feminist saboteur Bonnie Abzug, wilderness guide and outcast Mormon Seldom Seen Smith, and libertarian billboard torcher Doc Sarvis, Hayduke is ready to fight the power — taking on the strip miners, clear-cutters, and the highway, dam, and bridge builders who are threatening the natural habitat. The Monkey Wrench Gang is on the move — and peaceful coexistence be damned
"Excellent high adventure." Playboy
"Mixes comedy and chaos with enough chase sequences to leave you hungering for more." San Francisco Chronicle
"Ribald, outrageous and, in fact, scandalous." Smithsonian
About the Author
Edward Abbey spent most of his life in the American Southwest. He was the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the celebrated Desert Solitaire, which decried the waste of America's wilderness, and the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, the title of which is still in use today to describe groups that purposefully sabotage projects and entities that degrade the environment. Abbey was also one of the country's foremost defenders of the natural environment. He died in 1989.