by Edward Abbey ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 30, 1989
Times have changed since obstreperous environmental essayist Abbey penned The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975). Now, Abbey (d. 1989) lies buried in the Arizona desert he fought to save, and the real-life radical environmental group Earth First!--inspired by Abbey's original monkey-wrenchers and portrayed as ragtag heroes in this new posthumous adventure in ""ecotage""--is in big real-life trouble with the F.B.I. Doc Sarvis, the genial cardiologist who burned billboards and financed the environmentally minded monkey business of the original gang, has settled down. Husband of fellow monkey-wrencher Bonnie Abzug, father of one son (with another on the way), he has become a peaceful, bike-riding pediatrician who nurses powerful love-hate memories of George Hayduke, the ex-Green Beret ringleader of the gang who wanted to keep the American Southwest ""as it was."" Likewise, ""Seldom Seen Smith,"" randy wilderness tracker and Mormon polygamist, wants to keep his three wives happy and his scrawny body out of jail. Then, George Hayduke reappears--visible at first only in random acts of terrorism against a giant fuels conglomerate that seeks to mine uranium on the Arizona border. Enter Bishop Love, a fat Mormon cattleman and despoiler of the Earth. Not only is he promoting uranium mining, he's promoting Goliath, an earthmoving machine bigger than a couple of football fields. The obscene spectacle of Bishop Love and Goliath (Love even eats a chunk of plutonium in a town meeting to prove that it's safe) helps Hayduke reunite the old gang for one last fling. When demonstrations by Earth First! (the rowdy ""hoi poloi of the environmental movement"") fail to stop Goliath, the gang has some backhanded tricks up its sleeve--a proper exit for ""wilderness avenger"" Hayduke. A rowdy, funny, indulgent sequel, teeming with messy subplots and righteous emotion for Mother Earth. It should tug at the heartstrings of all ecological warriors, especially the embattled members of Earth First!, since they clearly inspired Abbey as much as his feisty characters inspired them.
Pub Date: Jan. 30, 1989
Page Count: -
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1989
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