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on 18 September 2011
All the characters from The Monkey Wrench Gang return for another eco-farce played out amongst the canyon country of the Four Corners region of the good ole US of A.

A very funny book that pokes fun at both sides of the Industry v Environment divide. Plenty of memorable characters and slapstick moments which had me laughing out loud a couple of times (a very rare occurrence for me when I'm reading - unless I'm reading The Viz of course).

There is a serious side to it too with its hypothesis that the destruction of the environment cannot be stopped by human beings because consumption is like a gigantic machine that has enslaved mankind and from which there is no escape.

Overall, I enjoyed this more than Monkey Wrench.
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VINE VOICEon 9 October 2005
I'm pretty high up in the Edward Abbey disciple stakes. The man's a brilliant writer...a sage...a prophet...a wit...a revolutionary and an inspiration to anyone who shares his green vision.
Furthermore,his political incorrecetness and his determination to plough his own furrow mark him out from the vegan fascists who do so much to damage the cause of envirionmentalism with their po faced fundementalism.
After saying that.'Hayduke Lives' is a disappointment after the wonderfully cinematic vision of 'The Monkey Wrench Gang'. Ed is going through the motions.A contrived and rather silly final excursion for the gang.
Goes to show....quit while your ahead. Thank God Abbey continued to write fine essays-published in various collections- right up to his death.
If you haven't read Abbey yet. Don't start with this novel. It could be your last and his genius doesn't deserve that.
4 people found this helpful
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on 26 January 2015
after the all-time great genius of TMRG *****, such a let down. cauld kale rehet, as we say in Scotland. or revisiting your own... but not a bad 'holiday read' for green sympathisers
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on 18 August 2011
I've actually just re-bought this book because I couldn't find it in a library over here in the UK. It's great. I love it. My favorite author!
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on 15 April 2010
Hayduke Lives! is not as good as its predecessor, The Monkey Wrench Gang, but it is at least as interesting.

TMWG is more original and more exciting. Hayduke Lives! is slower and has more characters, many of the of peripheral importance to the story, but it probably does have a more exciting ending.

TMWG is the book that gave birth to the radical environment movement Earth First! By the time he wrote the sequel Earth First! was almost a decade old, and here Abbey gets to comment on the movement he inspires - and I think we can safely say he loves them all.

The result can be a little confusing. The fictional gang meet along the way the non-fictional Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First! as well as another real eco-warrior who appears on the last page (I won't give the game away by saying who). There is also an appearance by Earh First!'s ideological nemesis Murray Bookchin, fictionalised as Bernie Mushkin, who in a rant about eco-fascism name checks Abbey himself.

You may not agree with Abbey's endorsement of ecological sabotage, and the gunplay towards the end of the book moves things on in a darker direction than TMWG, but you can't fail to be inspired by Abbey's deep love of the American southwest. The gang's reactionary tendencies probably jar with other progressive readers like myself, but they also provide a welcome contrast to idea of eco-warrior as liberal go-gooder.

An interesting and inspiring read.
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on 29 June 2006
I absolutely loved the Monkey Wrench Gang and thought it was well written, funny, well-paced and so satirical and cynical that it put shame to anything previously written. To me, it should've ended as it did, on a cliffhanger... literally.

The sequel is a more virile, hated stab at the failings of Earth First! that was created in Abbey's image and is a much slower-paced book as Abbey has a tendency to wallow in his general irritation by everything. The same characters return, Sarvis, Seldom Seen, Abbzug and of course Hayduke to tackle the GOLIATH carving it's way across Arizona and destroying nature in it's path. However, not a lot really happens except Hadyke trying to round everyone up for a second run and Earth First! (and a hidden "Fuzzy Bookchin" guest appearance!) making a mess of their own chaos. But then again, Abbey wanted a Christ-like organisation in his image and when it didn't live up to his expectations he was a little disenchanted and disillusioned.

Despite the lack of exceptionalism that made "The Monkey Wrench Gang", "Hayduke Lives" does have some exceptional moments, and without trying to give too much away, Bishop Love munching on uranium, getting his ever-so-needed 12th wife and a spy on the gang to make sure they don't get up to no good means that there are some great laughs to be had on the way.

"Hayduke Lives" is a bit of a confused book but doesn't leave to the imagination what the end of "The Monkey Wrench Gang" did and should have done so it drags it's heels at time. That said, I read terrible reviews slating the book, went out and read it anyway and am now slating it - so give it a read anyway to have an opinion about it. It's not Abbey's best work and it's patchy but for the sequence with the GOLIATH at the end it's worth a go.
2 people found this helpful
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on 12 June 1999
Much as I enjoy Edward Abbey's work, I was very disappointed by this book. True, the characters are there, but nothing much happens to them. And sure, there is some monkey wrenching in defense of what is really important, but the story itself is barely there at all -- a succession of small and extraordinarily repetitive vignettes. There are humorous moments, mostly when he is poking fun at himself, but they're few and far between. Lots of sexual meandering, natural description of the Four Corners area, the usual avalances of wordplay, and some violence (most corporate, but a final Lone act that seems gratuitous). It's still Ed Abbey, but he's nowhere near his best. Given that it's only available in a pricey trade paperback, I'd skip it. The two stars are relative to his other work, not to books in general.
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on 8 June 1998
This book was not as much a continuation of Monkey Wrench Gang as it was a reunion event. The gang gets back together for one final BANG!! Other than that, the novel stands as a wonderful window into the early days of Earth First! This is an essential read for anyone who gives a damn about the wilderness.
4 people found this helpful
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