The Monkey Wrench Gang

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Dream Garden Press, 1985 - Fiction - 356 pages
12 Reviews
Ex-Green Beret George Hayduke returns 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. They (the Monkey Wrench Gang) take on the strip miners, clear-cutters, and the highway, dam, and bridge builders who are threatening the natural habitat in this is a comedic novel of destructive mayhem and outrageous civil disobedience.
 

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Once again I can't find the proper thumbnail for my 1976 Avon first paperback edition of The Monkey Wrench Gang. Also, I don't know how I went so long without reading this book -- it is wonderful, visceral, vulgar, propulsively thrilling, and so so funny. I *loved* it. I do kind of want to see R. Crumb's illustrations now that I know that the edition I wound up choosing to illustrate this review exists.  

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One of the best books I've ever read. Captivating. Awesome.

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Contents

The Aftermath
11
A K Sarvis M D
17
George W Hayduke
23
Seldom Seen Smith
35
Ms B Abbzug
44
The Wooden Shoe Conspiracy
55
The Raid at Comb Wash
69
Haydukes Night March
91
Hayduke and Smith at Play
101
Search and Rescue on the Job
117
Doc and Bonnie Go Shopping
126
Back to Work
134
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About the author (1985)

Edward Abbey was born January 29, 1927 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Home. After military service in Naples, Italy, from 1945-47, he enrolled in Indiana University of Pennsylvania for a year before traveling to the West. He fell in love with the desert Southwest and eventually attended the University of New Mexico, where he obtained both graduate and post-graduate degrees. Abbey was a Fulbright Fellow from 1951-52. Abbey was an anarchist and a radical environmentalist; these positions are reflected in his writings. His novel Fire on the Mountain won the Western Heritage Award for Best Novel in 1963. Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness, considered by many to be his best work, is nonfiction that reflects Abbey's love for the American Southwest and draws on his experiences as a park ranger. Among his best-known works are The Brave Cowboy (1956), The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975), and The Fool's Progress (1988). In 1966 The Brave Cowboy was made into a movie titled Lonely Are the Brave, starring Kirk Douglas. Two collections of essays have been published since his death in 1989: Confessions of a Barbarian in 1994 and The Serpents of Paradise the following year. In 1987, Abbey was offered the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, but he declined. Abbey died in March 1989, near Tucson, Arizona, from complications following surgery. He did not want a traditional burial but rather requested to be buried in the Arizona desert, where he could nourish the earth which had been the subject of so many of his works.

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