ONE LIFE AT A TIME, PLEASE by Edward Abbey

ONE LIFE AT A TIME, PLEASE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A grouping of minor essays, sometimes amusing, often curmudgeonly, from the idiosyncratic sage of the sagebrush (Desert Solitaire, 1968; Good News, 1980; Down the River, 1982; etc.). In his ""Preliminary Remarks,"" Abbey calls these generally short essays ""occasional pieces"" and goes on to add: ""If there's anyone still present whom I've failed to insult, I apologize. Cheers!"" But the affronts aren't major--more in the way of mischievous potshots. In ""Immigration and Liberal Taboos,"" Abbey bravely bucks (as he would have it) the liberal tide, and comes out strongly against illegal aliens, especially South and Central Americans, who are messing up the border states and overcrowding the country (but perhaps the funniest thing about the piece is Abbey's description of how the New York Times, which had commissioned it for its Op-Ed page, stiffly refused to even consider it). ""Blood Sport"" is a fairly predictable attack on killing for pleasure--Abbey grew up in rural Pennsylvania during the Depression, when men killed only to feed their families. But in ""San Francisco Journal"" he's in high form again, attacking overpopulation, the fencing-in of the land, and the high incidence of homosexuals performing ""deviant"" acts. Abbey is still best when it comes to his environmental beat--in his description of a rafting trip down Idaho's Salmon River (""River of No Return"") one even believes him when he advises: ""Drop your analyst--drop him/her like a cold potato--and make tracks for the nearest river."" He rounds things out with a series of relatively mild essays on art and literature. Not as hearty fare as some earlier Abbey, but still pickings enough to please longtime fans.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1987
ISBN: 0805006036
Publisher: Henry Holt