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am 28. April 2015
In dieser wunderbaren Edition kommt ein Traumteam zusammen! Der kritische Griesgram und Zyniker Edward Abbey und der kongeniale Illustrator Robert Crumb! Das Visionäre Buch nimmt den Kampf gegen die Zerstörung unserer letzten Naturparadiese zum Thema, und inspiriert Widerstand und Action gegen Grosskonzerne und deren Helfer in Politik und Establishment.
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am 20. Juli 2000
This is the first fiction by Abbey that I've read. That it almost reads like a true story largely stems from the keen sense and accurate knowledge of Colorado Plateau geography that Abbey had. His description of the gnarled and surreal landscape---and the interplay of light, sky, and rock---especially of the Canyonlands area of Utah, is so vivid that it harks back to his compulsively readable nonfiction work in "Abbey's Road", "Down the River", "One Life at a Time, Please", and the like. Readers who fancy this setting will benefit from the author's expert familiarity with the Southwest.
I couldn't help but notice that there is a little (or maybe much) of Abbey in every male character of the book: Doc Sarvis' intellectual ruminations and academic bent, Seldom Smith's knowledge of almost every nook and cranny of the canyonlands and the Four Corners area, and George Hayduke's unfettered and no-holds-barred love for the desert and penchant for irreverence, the ultimate desert rat and indestructible desert Rambo. Bonnie Abzzug personifies people, myself included, who love the desert yet do not seem to be sure exactly what to do to stop its corruption, exploitation, and destruction.
A lot of non-PC thoughts, ideas, and convictions nothwithstanding, the book leaves me wondering how much more of the desert can be paved, accessed, bridged, and defaced before we realize it's too late. The characters represent the extreme end of those who feel that "enough is enough".
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am 20. Juni 2000
While I consider myself an environmentalist (and I'm vitally interested in the issues presented in this book), I'm amused that most of the reviews here seem to center entirely on The Monkey Wrench Gang's political message. As fascinating and complex as that message is, that's not why I loved the book. This is great writing! One example: The chapter in which Hayduke first returns to canyon country is one of the greatest in all literature, period.
I can't agree with those below who call this writing sloppy, amateurish, two-dimensional, etc. Yes, this book has a unique style (different even than Abbey's other works), but to me it is marvelously evocative of the anarchist desert-rat spirit of a certain segment of 1970's southern Utah's population. To put it another way: There was a group of people who are captured by this book in a way that no other art form of any kind has ever done. They still exist today, although they've largely been swallowed up by the new Cappuccino crowd who populate a Moab that Abbey would barely recognize.
Like John Muir before him, Abbey's writing has always been overshadowed by his message, and that is more apparent here than anywhere else. Someday, though, this book will be as much a testament to a lost time and place in the American West as Muir's "The Mountains of California".
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am 9. Juni 2000
I view Abbey the writer much as I would view Hitchcock as a director. Both always seem somewhat amateurish when I look at their products the their final form. Abbey provides only the character development he deems necessary to get his point across. (That issue alone could spark the writing of volumes - see "Coyote in the Maze - Tracking Edward Abbey in a World of Words").
That most reviews here seem to have missed the point may indicate a weakness on Abbey's part, (as well as the reader's.) Even so, it doesn't detract from the message itself. There are important things to be learned in this work about the relationship of human with machine, but I'm not going to tell you what they are. I will say this: If you think this book is strictly about a battle between environmentalists and developers, you need to go back and read it again.
This book comes packaged in a suspenseful, exciting yarn, that entertains on several levels. And it's no surprise that for some, the question of "Why rage against the machine?" is not adequately answered. For those of you interested in exploring further, I recommend reading some other works by Abbey, in particular "Desert Solitaire", before reading this one. You won't regret the time spent.
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am 21. April 1997
Edward Abbey really out does himself in this book.
He melds his four main characters;(George Hayduke, Doc.Sarvis, Seldom Seen Smith, and Bonnie Abbzug), into the story with great skill.
George Hayduke has a great love of the desert south west and an even greater hate of the destruction that greedy corporations are doing to the land he loves so much.
The story is full of chaos and commedy, yet it is a real eye opener. You will come away from this book with a new respect for our environment. Now no one should take this book too serious, it after all is a fiction novel; however,you are sure to wonder if there is some real truth in some of the decriptive vandalism. I must say that it would be unwise to try any of this vandalism yourself as it could cause you to spend a great many years in the pokey.
Hayduke calls his group eco-warriors and in many ways they are, but we must remember these acts are illegal. We must also remember that what big corporations are doing to our earth is even a greater crime.
I reccomend this book to any one with a sense of humor and a love of nature and the preservation of it.
Enviromental groups such as we have today,may not have been created without the influence of people like Edward Abbey, John Muir, and yes even Hayduke and his eco-warriors.
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am 12. März 1999
There is only one book I have read three times in my adult life (and the fourth is soon!). I first discovered the Monkey Wrench Gang while working at a bookstore in Billings, MT in 1976 and having a customer turn me on to it. Then I reread it when hired by the Bureau of Reclamation (Bu-Wreck), and finally, during the depths of divorce-induced depression. It is funny, wise, sad. It is intensely visual, and the first time I read it, I cast the movie--Walter Matthau was Doc, Jane Fonda was Ms Abzug, Robert Reford was Seldom Seen, and only Dustin Hoffman could be Hayduke. I actually cannot believe that a movie has not been made before. Now I live in the southwest, and begin to understand where Abbey was coming from, and his cleverness in using humor to preach what is essentially a sermon of despair. Man's greed IS changing the desert, and not for the best. Please, read this book--laugh, enjoy,cry. Then pass it on to everyone you see--before it is too late.
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am 4. März 1999
This is definitely a different book. For a fifteen year old like me, it makes damn sure that we realize that the crap the media fills the world with aint true at all.
I read Desert Solitaire over the summer, and enjoyed it thourougly, leading me to check out MWG from teh school library.
Too many people try to peg Abbey as a naturalist. He's not. He says so in the forward to "Journey Home" (which I started last night). They then try to peg him as a "social terrorist," though I don't see what their reasoning is behind that. This book proves that though he was motivated to do so, he also had the common decency to not blow up bridges or other such nonsense. He stopped at burning billboards.
Really, the greatest purpose of this book seems to be that it reminds people that there are some of us left-wingers out here. If that's the most it does, I think that Abbey would still be satisfied.
Austin Erlewine
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am 7. April 1999
The Monkey Wrench Gang is something that readers of Ed Abbey have come to expect: crude behavior combined with a social message. This book is often criticized for being "too different" from Desert Solitaire because of the destructive message that it sends. I think Abbey's intention was to create a unique, adventurous book that would draw SOME kind of reaction, positive or negative. As a nature writer, his position is obviously going to that of contempt and loathing for government. But I think that his message was to get readers thinking about what could or should be done about the preservation of the environment. I will definitely read this book again sometime down the road. Ultimately, if you like adventure and colorful characters, buy this book. You won't be disappointed!
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am 26. Dezember 1998
I am reluctant to give this book five stars, because it is really not all that well-written, and certainly does not compare to Desert Solitaire. However, it is a timeless book, and is as relevant today as it was twenty years ago. The Canyonlands area (which is one of the most beautiful regions in the world) is still being threatened by morons who want to build condominiums all along the Colorado River and destroy what little remains of the wild places in America. Therefore, in spite of my belief that Edward Abbey is not a great fiction writer, I feel that this book will always be worth reading, so long as it continues to inspire people to fight against the senseless desecration and commercialization of our nation's wilderness.
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am 29. Januar 1997
Not only did this book start Earthfirst and raised our consciousness about the Environment but it all singlehandedly took Environmentalism out of the hands of the granola crunching, self-righteous, potsmoking, banner waving, Leninist hippies and gave it to the cowboys where it belonged. None of the characters are vegetarian or whiny like most Environmentalist Stereotypes but hark back to the real man macho bullshit that has been critiqued, criticised and deconstructed to death. Abbey melds these two strains of thought and made environmentalism cool again. Maybe you don't want to go out and break a bulldozer that is trying to do away with swampland, but after this book you will buy a spare set of wire cutters---just in case..
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