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The Monkey Wrench Gang (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 29 Jul 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (29 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014118762X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141187624
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Edward Abbey was born in Pennsylvania in 1927 and spent most of his life in the American southwest. His books include the celebrated Desert Solitaire, which established Abbey as one of the country's foremost defenders of the environment. Edward Abbey died in 1989.


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First Sentence
Dr. Sarvis with his bald mottled dome and savage visage, grim and noble as Sibelius, was out night riding on a routine neighborhood beautification project, burning billboards along the highway-U.S. 66, later to be devoured by the superstate's interstate autobahn. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Forget Indiana Jones....The Monkey Wrench Gang would make any of the Speilberg/Ford IJ franchise films look like earnest Chekov plays if it ever made it onto the silver screen.
Abbey writes a cinematic epic charged with humour,passion and love.
The love of wilderness and the loathing of capitalist 'progress' which sees the great canyons and deserts of the American South West raped in the name of commerce.
Abbey's hostility towards the corporate/government sponsored eco vandals and his direct action response articulated in the pages of TMWG, inspired those who shared his vision to create a powerful environmental group 'Earth First'.
Now... How many books can claim to have started a green revolution !
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Format: Paperback
This is one of those books that takes over your life for the days that you read it, getting time to spend with this book will be a priority.

Although written in 1975 it doesn't seem dated, in fact far from it as Abbey's attitude to environmental concerns isn't very PC and so refreshing from that point of view. He is able to describe the feelings of the desert with a rare clarity and mix that with the horrors of industrial exploitation of the landscape.

It may have an environmental theme, but the main thrust of the story is a high octane adventure, made appealing because the protagonists are such an odd ball collection of characters.
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By A Customer on 18 Jun. 2002
Format: Paperback
The Green political movement does not have its equivalent of the Communist Manifesto, possibly because it does not have a single ideological strain. What it does have is The Monkey Wrench Gang for inspiration, to return to when campaigning and personality politics has left you jaded.
Telling the tale of an odd-ball quartet of radical environmentalists (monkey-wrenchers, so-called because they stick a literal and metaphorical monkey-wrench into the machinery of environmental degradation) as they look for ever more effective and devastating ways of preventing the rape of the American wilderness.
Accusations of racism and sexism would not be completely unfounded but Abbey was exploring new political terrain...
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Format: Paperback
Abbey's manifesto for the eco movement is a balls out, twelve-bore, roller-coaster of a tale with a serious political and philsophical message.

Four well-meaning but equally troubled misfits from society, ageing surgeon Doc Sarvis, his much younger tent-dwelling girlfriend Bonnie Abbzug, outdoorsman and bigamist "Seldom Seen" Smith and crazy as a mud-bug US army veteran George Hayduke, stumble through the Arizona wilderness causing mayhem and destroying the monsters of industry that are ruining their much-loved land.

There's plenty of dynamiting and smashing, burning and crushing, and Abbey delights in the technical details of how to effectivly vandalise any number of large structures and machinery. There are night time escapades a-plenty and tense flights from the clutches of law enforcement.

The other side of this boys-own tale though, is a sensitive peaan to the beauty of nature and the lost wilds of the authentic Old West. Abbey knows his pinyon pines from his cottonwoods and the descriptions are often deeply touching and evocative. It is a human story too, describing the blossoming of love and friendships amongst these tough old whack-jobs.

Read it then go out and plant a tree and tear down a billboard.
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Format: Paperback
I first encountered this book whilst travelling in Utah and Arizona many years ago. However, it remains a firm favorite and is a book I have recommended to many friends. Edward Abbey paints a picture of how we are destroying our environment with little regard for anything but monetary value. However. he wraps this message in a exciting story that is a is so much more than just a campaign gimmick. It is far from a 'heavy' read but underneath it packs a powerful punch.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Monkey Wrench Gang is the story of a group of eco-warriors who seek to prevent exploitation of the American wilderness, using sabotage. It had its moments: some were very funny and some made me, as a tourist to Lake Powell many years ago, feel very guilty. However, my eyes did glaze over at the detailed descriptions of a bulldozer's mechanisms, and the nth chase through the canyons.

I was not sure whether all the places mentioned are real, and failed to find them on Google Maps. A map would have helped greatly.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An amazingly good yarn even if you ignore the eco message. I first read it when it came out, (1975)? and it shaped the world view of an eighteen year old. The inherent evils of global capitalism simply wasn't newsworthy back then and I've sadly watched as thing have got worse however, it is comforting to know the Lone Ranger is still out there fighting for the wilderness!
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Format: Paperback
If Hunter S Thompson was an environmentalist, he'd be a paid-up member of The Monkey Wrench Gang.

A great read.
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