Best of Edward Abbey

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Overview

In 1984, the late great Edward Abbey compiled this reader, endeavoring, as he says in his Preface, "to present what I think is both the best and most representative of my writing-so far." Two decades later, it remains the only major collection of his work chosen by Abbey himself, a rich feast of fiction and prose by the singular American writer whom Larry McMurtry called "the Thoreau of the American West" and whom Alice Hoffman hailed as "the voice of all that is ornery and ...
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Overview

In 1984, the late great Edward Abbey compiled this reader, endeavoring, as he says in his Preface, "to present what I think is both the best and most representative of my writing-so far." Two decades later, it remains the only major collection of his work chosen by Abbey himself, a rich feast of fiction and prose by the singular American writer whom Larry McMurtry called "the Thoreau of the American West" and whom Alice Hoffman hailed as "the voice of all that is ornery and honorable."

Devoted Abbey fans along with readers just discovering his work will find a mother lode of treasures here: generous chunks of his best novels, including The Brave Cowboy, Black Sun, and his classic The Monkey Wrench Gang, and more than a score of his evocative, passionate, trenchant essays-a genre in which he produced acknowledged masterpieces such as Desert Solitaire. There is even an excerpt from a novel he was working on in 1984, eventually published as The Fool's Progress. Scattered throughout are the author's own petroglyph-style sketches.

Abbey went on publishing new work until his untimely death in 1989 at age sixty, so this new edition includes a selection of later Abbey: a chapter from Hayduke Lives!, the hilarious sequel to The Monkey Wrench Gang; excerpts from his revealing journals; a little-known account of a trip to the Sea of Cortez; and examples of his poetry. A new foreword by Doug Peacock-Abbey's close friend and the model for the flamboyant activist Hayduke-offers a fond appreciation of this larger-than-life figure in American letters.

One of the most popular and celebrated contemporary authors selects 31 of his favorite pieces--both fiction and nonfiction--including selections from such bestsellers as Desert Solitaire, The Brave Cowboy, The Monkey Wrench Gang, Abbey's Road, Down the River, The Journey Home, and more. Includes 11 line drawings.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578051212
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books
  • Publication date: 7/15/2005
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 458
  • Sales rank: 403,433
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward Abbey was born in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and first bummed his way west in 1944. His love of the desert took root during his undergraduate years at the University of New Mexico. After a Fulbright scholarship took him to Scotland, he lived mostly in the Southwest, except for brief stints in New York.He worked at many jobs--often as a ranger or fire lookout--until the success of The Monkey Wrench Gang allowed him to focus on writing. His best-known books include Desert Solitaire,Down the River, and The Journey Home.
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Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Notes from the Arroyo
The Author's Preface to His Own Book xv
From Jonathan Troy (1954) 1
From The Brave Cowboy (1956) 5
From Fire on the Mountain (1962) 15
From Desert Solitaire (1968) 25
Cowboys 26
The Moon-Eyed Horse 40
Havasu 54
The Dead Man at Grandview Point 65
Bedrock and Paradox 74
From Appalachian Wilderness (1970) 81
Appalachia 82
From Black Sun (1971) 95
From The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975) 101
Seldom Seen at Home 102
From The Journey Home (1977) 107
The Great American Desert 108
Death Valley 118
Manhattan Twilight, Hoboken Night 131
Telluride Blues-A Hatchet Job 143
From Abbey's Road (1979) 155
Anna Creek 156
The Outback 174
A Desert Isle 188
Sierra Madre 201
Down There in the Rocks 219
Science with a Human Face 224
In Defense of the Redneck 231
Fire Lookout 243
The Sorrows of Travel 249
From Good News (1980) 261
From Down the River (1982) 271
Down the River with Henry Thoreau 272
Watching the Birds: The Windhover 308
Of Protest 315
My Friend Debris 327
Floating 344
From The Rites of Spring (novel in progress) 355
From Beyond the Wall: Essays from the Outside (1984) 385
Down to the Sea of Cortez 386
From The Fool's Progress: An Honest Novel (1989) 397
To the Mississippi 398
From Hayduke Lives! (1990) 403
Bonnie's Return 404
From Earth Apples: The Poetry of Edward Abbey (1994) 419
Flash Flood 420
Down the River 422
A Sonnet for Everett Ruess 424
From Confessions of a Barbarian (1994) 425
Selections from the Journals 426
About the Author 433
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