Led by the intrepid
Hayduke, a motley gang wages war on the big yellow machines that have come to
destroy the landscape they love. One of
my favorite scenes in fiction is Seldom Seen Smith praying on the cement
walkway of Glen Canyon Dam for its destruction.
God does not comply so the gang sets off to take matters into their own
hands. As Abbey said, “One man alone
can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity there ain’t
nothin’ can beat teamwork.” Of course things get completely
out of hand. Hilarious, outrageous, passionate, and totally full of himself,
Edward Abbey was an original. He was
vehemently opposed to the construction of the Glen Canyon dam, a dam that
obliterated Native petro glyphs and is now viewed by quite a few as a
mistake. Too late for all that pretty
landscape, it has been drowned for a long time now. Abbey pours all the rage and furor of his opposition
to despoiling wild places into his fiction.
Edward Abbey defies definition, he is not about to fit into any neat
little box. An impassioned
environmentalist, he was also known to shoot television sets and litter the
desert he adored with their debris. His
fictional characters are as likely to toss beer cans out the window as they are
to cut down billboards littering the side of the highway. Ed Abbey was one of those guys who eat up
life in great big gulps. In his fiction
he lets us have a little taste of what it is like to live large. One of my favorite quote’s from Ed may also
please you. “May your trails be crooked, winding,
lonesome, dangerous leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise
into and above the crowds.”
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!
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.