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The Monkey Wrench Gang

The Monkey Wrench Gang

Написано Edward Abbey

Озвучено Michael Kramer


The Monkey Wrench Gang

Написано Edward Abbey

Озвучено Michael Kramer

оценки:
3/5 (671 оценки)
Длина:
16 часов
Издатель:
Издано:
19 мар. 2012 г.
ISBN:
9781452676913
Формат:

Описание

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, M.D., 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!
Издатель:
Издано:
19 мар. 2012 г.
ISBN:
9781452676913
Формат:

Об авторе

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.


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3.1
671 оценки / 34 Обзоры
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  • (5/5)
    There are two ways to review this book.

    One, as a novel. Edwards Abbey writes a blazing, funny, madcap zany story of a group of four anarchist friends, hell-bent to stop the development of the southwest wilderness by crushing dams, bridges, power plants and anything else they can. On the run from the local Mormon do-gooder Search&Rescue crew, the FBI, the National Park Service and anybody else they run into, the quartet is likeable, entertaining and extremely enjoyable.

    The dialogue is massive. Dialogue drives the book, and it never clunks and is often wildly witty. There are more turns of phrase that make you gasp and laugh than anything else I've read.

    The one female character is written perhaps a bit more sexist than you would find today, though she is certainly her own woman. The three men are all unique and grand personalities.

    Monkey Wrench Gang compares well to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - less trippy, but just as grand and impactful. Less weird, more witty.

    Second, as a call-to-arms for environmental anarchism: I suspect that to some, this novel is dangerous. The characters should be darker, less idealistic. The impact of their approach should be interpreted more brutally.

    But.

    I think the novel provides a challenging commentary on American consumerism and our unwillingness to stop and consider the cost of our lifestyle. That it's packaged in a fun adventure story with amazing dialogue makes it all the more subversive.
  • (4/5)
    Edward Abbey has wit to burn and a hearty appreciation for the joys of wordplay. His voice is assertive; he’s a man with something to say! And he’s determined to have fun saying it, which is great good luck for readers of his novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang.Aside from provoking laughs, Abbey gives us a destructive fantasia. It is kin to the childish revenge fantasies even the most anodyne of adults can harbor, with a plot consisting of one demolition after another. Out of demolished machinery and wrecked infrastructure is fashioned his fictional polemic. The “gang” consists of an at times ill-disciplined group of saboteurs: Doc Sarvis, the money behind the enterprise; Bonnie Abbzug, love interest and spunky monkey-wrencher; a practitioner of plural marriage called Seldom Seen by his patient and widely dispersed wives; and ex-Marine George Hayduke. The gang ranges the red rock lands of Utah and Arizona to destroy the machinery that destroys the rivers and landscapes the author loves (and how can he not love them?). Hayduke, in particular, seeks vengeance with fire in his heart, and after spending time with him you get the feeling that a Hayduke in rut would boink an armadillo if doing so could help the cause somehow.All in all, a novel that will be best enjoyed by people who display, have wish for, or remember having, a little anarchy in their souls.
  • (5/5)
    This is a book that I will remember for a long time, The story is entertaining, as are the characters. I firmly believe the author intended that the story have a moral, but I have no idea what it is.
  • (3/5)
    I vaguely remember reading Abbey's novel when it first came out in the 1970s. Rereading it, it did not live up to expectations; there is something dated about the whole enterprise, from Abbey's cardboard characters (particularly the villain) to the wreckage of the landscape in order to destroy machinery that is wrecking the landscape. I know this novel inspired a number of ecological and environmental movements, but still, it's just not up to his non-fiction, especially "Desert Solitaire".
  • (4/5)
    Apparently, this is a book that many eco-activists use as there go to guide for stopping large, environmentally unfriendly projects, either public or private. I don't know how much of this type of activity is done today, however, I really would applaud the destruction of bill boards...As for the story itself, we have a bunch of loner type characters, from Hayduke, a Vietnam Vet, who came home with a felling of not belonging, and needing a purpose. Than there is "Seldom Seen" Smith, a Semi Morman with three wives. He runs a rafting business, and is upset about the damming of his river. There is Dr. Sarvis who is a middle aged doctor with a vendetta against billboards, and his lovely assistant, lover, keeper, and all around gal, Bonnie Abbzug. She is originally from New Jersey, and is looking for purpose, just like the rest of the gang.Overall - this is a funny book. From the Morman criminal patrol, trying to catch them, to the lengths Hayduke will go to get revenge on a (possibly) false arrest. At times it is sad, plowing over beautiful, untouched land. Over all, a well written book.
  • (5/5)
    Perhaps if any book could be called THE Environmental Classic, this book should certainly be in the top contenders for the title. Abbey's gang of lovable misfits sets out to save the world, one fence at a time, and ends up in adventures both amusing and disheartening at the same time. Probably the greatest of all Abbey's novels, and a rollicking tale of the new west.
  • (4/5)
    As relevant today as it was 40 years ago. Message loud and clear, written in delightful prose, to protect our earth. To stop the destruction of our land and preserve nature. To prevent big business from raping our land, mountains, rivers, prairies for profit.
  • (4/5)
    Oh, sure, there are a zillion things wrong and politically incorrect about this book. An ecological tale in which people strew the desert with beer cans and the only female character is best known for her fine ass? But...it is funny, and sad, and was a pivotal book for a generation of eco-activists. So I still tell my young forest defender friends to go ahead and read it.
  • (4/5)
    I read this book in an environmental history class. It was very clever and witty, as well as environmentally concerned. A great read that is definitely worth anyone's time who is interested in environmentalism.
  • (4/5)
    Who doesn't like a tale of a band of misfit do-gooders? Abbey does not really show off the same ability to write for the mind like with Black Sun, but the flawed characters and their "adventures" certainly do keep that itch going to read more.
  • (4/5)
    Love the concept, love the story, love the ideals- but Ed Abbey isn't the greatest of writers. At times he literally just starts listing things and seems to rattle on until he realizes what he's doing and pulls himself back into the story. My only other gripe is with the Hayduke character- although one of the heroes he's very hard to like. I'm a big fan of the "lovable rogue", but Hayduke is more of a "gross, sexist, redneck rogue" than a lovable one. The other three main characters are fantastic though and definitely pick up the slack!
  • (5/5)
    Violent in writing if not necessarily in the actions described, this book deals brilliantly deals with the difficulty of acting when the political system is seen not to be responsive to the problematic relationship between business and the environment. Humourous, topic and relevant
  • (5/5)
    Perhaps if any book could be called THE Environmental Classic, this book should certainly be in the top contenders for the title. Abbey's gang of lovable misfits sets out to save the world, one fence at a time, and ends up in adventures both amusing and disheartening at the same time. Probably the greatest of all Abbey's novels, and a rollicking tale of the new west.
  • (1/5)
    Utter dross. Environmentalists who litter the highway with beer cans? Really? The main character is a self righteous toddler. Don't waste your time.
  • (4/5)
    When I was about 12 years old, my dad took my sister and me camping in Southeast Utah. We took my dad's Ford truck with four wheel drive to Canyonlands National Park and went on various roads, back roads, dirt roads, and roads that were barely roads at all. We bumped around the slick rock of Ernies Country, and went up a narrow and twisty dirt road with a sheer cliff on one side. It terrified my sister and I so that we buckled into the middle seat together and sang hymns the whole way down. We camped underneath one of the needles, and slept in sleeping bags under the stars. Before night fell, my dad took us to the edge of the canyon and peered over the edge into The Maze. As we looked at it, he told me the story of the climax in The Monkey Wrench Gang. I knew I would have to read this book. Standing there on the light side of dusk, and in fact that whole trip, hymns and all, is one of my favorite childhood memories.And so it was with a fond recollection of my times in Northern Arizona Southeast Utah I read The Monkey Wrench Gang, a book about the beauty of this unforgiving dessert and the environmental anarchists that love it.The plot is simple - in the mid 70s, 4 characters unlikely to hang out together under normal circumstances - a young new age hippy woman, a liberal doctor/processor, a Vietnam vet turned wildman, and a Mormon polygamous white water river tour operator - have a chance meeting and hatch a plot to disrupt the building of dams and bridges, logging, and other industrial pursuits. Along the way they have various adventures while trying to evade the authorities.The book is very comedic, and I found myself chuckling at various points throughout. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to sympathize with these characters who didn't seem much like me and were involved in destructive illegal activity. And yet I did find myself rooting for them all along the way.The book kept me guessing til the end. Would they get caught or not? Would they evade the police? How would they do it? I wondered if the author would let them get caught to pay for their crimes or not. I found the ending to be very satisfying and it left me with a smile on my face.I'd recommend this book to any person familiar with Southeast Utah. It really brought back some wonderful memories. This book is also for anyone who loves nature or hiking. Even if you would never dream of blowing up a dam, the characters' passion for unspoiled wilderness is contagious.
  • (5/5)
    One of my all-time favorite books.
  • (4/5)
    This isn't something I'd normally read, but I ended up really liking it. The characters are funny and larger than life, but the message is one that is very timely. It's one of the few books I've ever convinced my husband to read.
  • (5/5)
    This is one of my all time favorite books. The opening chapter is a classic and it certainly catches ones interest. There is an anarchic edge to the book which I appreciated. I believe that Edward Abbey's deep love for wild things and the desert shines through.
  • (5/5)
    Even if you're not an Earth First! sympathizer, this is an excellent, rollicking adventure tale from a unique jaundiced perspective, with memorable characters and a naturalist's eye for the desert's austere beauty.
  • (5/5)
    "Few arguements are more dangerous thant the ones that simply 'feel' right, but can't be justified" -SJ GouldIn a phrase, this sums up my objections to "the monkey wrench gang" philosophy. The book, which is rather well written and an interesting read, I feel inspires entirely the wrong set of ideas about the wrongs of environmentalism as radical culture. The essential underlying theme, spelled out in certain places, is that if you're "fighting the man" you need not think about the consequences of you actions.Essentially the book details the adventures of 4 members of the monkey wrnech gang, their personal environmentalism avenger group, with requisite anarchic yet gentle and peace loving feelings and a love of nature. Their unlikely meeting ends with them inexplicably trusting one another, at which point they decide to wreak havoc on the evil corporations and governments who are despoiling their lands by... get this, destroying "The Man's" heavy machinery and spilling the oil and gasoline into the groundwater. Of course, this involves burning various toxic substances, causing all sorts of destruction, while driving around in their nice, gas guzzling Buicks and Cadillacs.All in all, an interesting read to understand the essential moral bankruptcy of the anarcho-environmentalist movement. Their lack of integrity is only rivaled by, (and a reflection of) their lack of thinking about how to realistically cope with a world not of their own design.
  • (4/5)
    Entertaining story & interesting premise with attractive descriptions of the beautful desert country. Four different characters seek to put a monkeywrench in the churning of the western environment for the right reasons.
  • (4/5)
    Tag says it all really. Story of a bunch of ecoteurs travelling around the SW of the USA wrecking stuff. Well told in a kind of sort of ironicish way. Entertaining and inspiring.
  • (5/5)
    Edward Abbey has the ability to make you laugh while breaking your heart. This tragicomedy about 4 unlikely individuals who decide to stop the onslaught of unbridled development, is a must-read for those of us who would understand why ecoterrorism exists.
  • (5/5)
    Long but very good. Interesting and thought provoking. It is a classic.
  • (5/5)
    What fate befalls the cult classic over time? Forgotten is one option, trapped in time is another. Retention of status quo is probably the most pure, the book ‘rediscovered’ every generation or so. The other two I can think of relate to books that continue to attract attention: they become considered gimmicks, cult classics remembered, often because of the movie based on it. And, probably but too rarely, they become part of the canon. Readers decide on these categories one way or another, which is a complicated matter it would be boring to explicate: suffice it so say that the reader is overburdened by the extraordinary number of great books available. In the 19th century you could read all the great books still. You would read Carlyle because you ran out of material. Now you read Carlyle, and maybe Braudel, but Montaigne will remain unread on the toilet shelf which you put there so you could look at your Toynbees, also forever unread. And why not, given that when you were 22 you dropped out of university to read Spengler. Your literature is extremely important, so you make sure you read at least one Dostoevsky besides Crime and Punishment, maybe the same month you add Middlemarch to Mill on the Floss, but maybe not, because you’ve decided you need to read at least a few of the great Latin American writers, meaning at least ten books and a half year of reading. And don’t forget German literature. You can say damn the Goethe and Hoffmannia, I will stick with this dramatic century, but after Berlin Alexanderplatz through Gunther Grass you find there are a billiard table of great works remaining. Maybe save time and go back to Goethe and Hoffmann.It needed to be said.The best of us remain on page 149 of The Anatomy of Melancholy and lie about Cervantes and Rabelais figuring we got the idea a couple decades ago when we dashed through the first two hundred pages of each. So over and over again we meet well-meaning literati who ask, not meaning to be impertinent: You haven’t read Angle of Repose? And we meet well-meaning literati who say, here: this is one of the great forgotten books, the author drowned himself in the Seine, and hand you The Blind Owl. And you have a glorious summer following some cat’s advice and read the Ching ping mei and the Monkey novel.It’s not a bad life, but you probably have been missing out on about fifty books you had to dismiss in order to read as many as you have. You decided, for instance, that The Monkey Wrench Gang was a gimmicky book, probably a movie with Jon Voigt. I make such connections—Deliverance, wackiness and the out of doors—eco sabotage comedy…But luckily I can make other connections. By means interesting but elided here I came to meet the biographer of Aldo Leopold and no I have not read The Sand County Almanac. His name is Curt Meine, and he writes essays in the tradition of Leopold yet with current knowledge of how the United States rambles on over the best of historical ideas, at most having to fix a flat (Leopold was probably a broken bottle). I decided that perhaps better than filling the Leopold gap with the popular book, the classic, I would read the biography, and I have been and still am, slowly, as other books need reading as ideas come together. One of those books my brother bought for my 14 year son: Doug Peacock’s Grizzly Years, which was surprisingly thoughtful and well-written, and which had a great deal more to say to me than any book about observing bears is expected to. In the book, he mentions Ed Abbey a couple times, and I figured it was probably that guy Edward Abbey, author of Desert Solitaire and The Monkey Wrench Gang, but thought little of the connection until mentioning the book in a mail to Curt Meine who said Hayduke of Monkey Wrench Gang was based on Doug Peacock. Then my brother told me the same thing.So now let’s go back. The whole mess started with something I tried not to mention in order to streamline this review: I decided I need to write one more novel, a giant one, about the US, this one to be called The Assassination of Olof Palme, this one to rid myself of all of my own autobiographical burdens and to go beyond the intentions of my most recent book about the U.S., The Manifold Destiny of Eddie Vegas, which tries to fictionally explain how the U.S. got the way it got. But there was, I realized after over a year, too little of the way it got, how it is. Before long I realized Nancy Reagan would have to be a character, Alzheimer’s a broader characteristic, and, to do it all right, C. Wright Mills would have to be a fulcral character in the novel. I don’t generally use real folk as characters, now I had two of them. So I got a biography of Mills and a new copy of The Power Elite, and then realized it could not begin there, at least not my research, or the spurring of my recollection. I would have to read the great and enduring biography of Thorstein Veblen by Dorfman. Soon after that book arrived in the mail the story with Meine began and it was clear that the third biography preparatory to beginning the novel was that of Aldo Leopold.Imagine my surprise then when pressed by circumstance at its heaviest and most manipulative into reading The Monkey Wrench Gang that I found about halfway through the book a paragraph consisting of the words of one of the four main characters, Doc Sarvis, more or less explaining how the U.S. works, concisely eliminating the need for most people to read The Power Elite. Doc pretty much says it all. But by then I was not at all surprised at the intellect of Abbey, whose book seems to have gotten the reputation as a non-literary, near literary, important gimmicky cult book, mostly important for being ahead of the story on eco-activism. It turns out, though, that Abbey was also a terrific writer, and this book one of the best nature books, among other features, ever written. His relentless need to describe extraordinary landscapes is exceeded by his ability to do so. And his characters, though none of them written to match a Karamazov, are as real and interesting as can be, the dialogue smart, funny, dead on. And the mark of what I take to be the best comic writers—he’s willing to toss in the worst possible jokes, which, because they are literature’s fart jokes, actually are funny:Bonnie Abbzug and Hayduke are arguing, Hayduke misleads the vultures of capitalism by using the nom de guerre Rudolf the Red. Hayduke felt rain. Bonnie didn’t.“Am I Rudolf the Red or ain’t I?”“So?”“Well, goddammit, Rudolf the Red knows rain, dear”“Say that again?”I assume the story is well enough known, that the gang in question is a group come together deciding to sabotage disastrous ecological activity, sabotaging machines, blowing up pursuit vehicles like helicopters, shutting down hideously gigantic coal operations, with an eye on bridges and ultimately an absurdly placed dam, the Glen Canyon in case you don’t know. And I will tell you that this book has something to say, something to suggest, something to actively do to improve your life, which is rare among literary works (I think of Zorba, a book that can literally improve your life), and that thing is this: if you get the chance, blow up that fucking dam! Abbey himself apparently was coy about the effect his book had on a generation of activists tired of bourgeois Sierra Club environmentalism (Abbey takes an effective, funny shot at S.C. toward the end of his book), a faction of which took up lawless destructive eco-activism. Abbey clearly approved. And of course he did. This book makes its case and the case is that it is time to start the revolution without them, start sabotaging the techno future. I didn’t need that message, but I won’t go into my own night activities here, but had the message of Abbey been heeded and the mechanisms of the power elite headed off, global warming would have been a footnote by now. Instead, The Monkey Wrench Gang needs to be required reading for all humans before they reach puberty or the planet is doomed.
  • (5/5)
    The 4th or 5th time I've read the book....probably the last. Still an excellent read, full of one-liners, but sad all at the same time. Humans never learn and we continue to mess up our home for money/power. Most people alive on this planet, even the so-called environmentalists, don't seem to care. This is a good book, but that's all it is, a book. Virtually nobody that I know is or has done a thing to make life on this planet a bit better....and I worked for the NPS for 15 years! Sad....
  • (4/5)
    Zany characters and a zany plot make for a fun read.
  • (4/5)
    Another book I have no idea when I finished it or why it didn't get a review. I liked it, of course. How could a crazy hippie like me not like this book? I have fantasies about keeping a chainsaw in the back of my car and cutting down billboards now. Note to Homeland Security: if billboards are destroyed in my area, it's totally a coincidence. I have an alibi.
  • (3/5)
    Considering that I hated this book at the beginning, it definitely grew on me a lot more as the narrative progressed. Essentially, a group of strangers who happen to be "environmentalists" (of various sorts with varying motivations) find each other and set about a quest to wage a war on the machinery of progress and restore the surrounding environment to what it once was by destroying bridges and a very critical dam that we are all familiar with. It's a novel that set off an environmental warfare movement, and which, as I said, I hated at the start.I hate going into too much detail in reviews like this, but suffice it to say that the narrator is extremely opinionated, the characters have varying levels of hypocrisy and crudeness, and much of the humor falls flat for me as a reader. More than that, it lacks a real satisfying ending. Yet, somehow, I did find myself pulled into the hijinks and unbelievable series of events as I continued to read. Abbey certainly does have a talent for writing and clever turns of phrase at times, and I could not help but want to know what happens next.This is not one that I would have continued reading of my own volition; it was assigned for my class; yet, it is a book that I at least was not left regretting having read. There are doubtlessly better options, but in terms of "Western novels," it is actually a quite good option, and most of my class enjoyed it far more than I did.
  • (5/5)
    The Grand Circle tour is not complete without this!

    I just spent the last two weeks crawling around Natural Bridges, Moab, Capitol Reef, and am now heading to the North Rim. It is an experience to both read about these areas through the eyes of Abbey and see them first hand. If you are in Moab, you must stop by the bookstore on main street - it is a treasure!