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Good News

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  603 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
In Good News, Edward Abbey's acclaimed underground classic, the West is wild again. American civilization as the twentieth century knew it has crumbled. In the great Southwest, a new breed or settler, white and Indians together, is creating a new way of life in the wilderness - a pastoral economy - with skills and savvy resurrected from the pre-industrial past. Meanwhile, ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 30th 1991 by Plume (first published October 20th 1980)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 21, 2014 Charles rated it liked it
Shelves: literary
This is a post-apocalyptic work. Society has largely collapsed but one particular warlord has big dreams to revive civilization to meet his criteria on what humans should be like. Very nicely written. Loved the language here. The story was just so-so. It started off well, with interesting characters, but it kind of meandered and the denouement was relatively inconclusive. It almost seemed like it could be the first in a series, although I'm not aware of him writing any more about this world.
Mar 01, 2011 Tara rated it liked it
I agree with many of Abbey's opinions. I enjoy when he's being provocative and pessimistic and sarcastic.

But his fictional style is ludicrous. Ludicrous! I don't know, maybe it's not him, maybe it's me. Why is it adorable when Vonnegut says something silly and inane, and cheesy when Abbey does it? I feel like those dudes would have been buddies. Why am I annoyed by Abbey's lengthy descriptions of the barmaid? Why do I retch at the romantic story-line? Why does the backdrop feel more believable
Apr 28, 2013 Suzan rated it it was amazing
I can't give Abbey less than 5 stars. I get it, this is not his best book, the story is looser than most, but his prose still has me reaching for the nightstand pencil, and his characters are, as always, unforgettable.
Feb 01, 2014 Merrikay rated it liked it
I have to read Edward Abbey when I'm in the desert. What could be better? Well, maybe any of his other books. I prefer his nonfiction, especially [Desert Solitaire], his best. Good News is another of his anarchist romps through the desert, man against the establishment, kind of fun but not his best. Lots of philosophizing: the main protagonist, a man attempting to reestablish government control in this dystopian story, in defending a sidekick who is a criminal who likes to torture people, "....A ...more
Apr 21, 2016 Taylar rated it it was amazing
"...In the effort to compensate for losses abroad, each industrial nation attempted to supply its needs by exploiting to the limit its own resources of land and forest, water and metals and minerals. The fuel needs of the machine were considered paramount, but the effort to keep the machine operating led to destruction of basic resources needed for the production of food. Agriculture itself had long before been mechanized, industrialized, assimilated into the corporate empire, the farmland subme ...more
Daniel Traner
Having read and enjoyed Desert Solitaire and The Monkey Wrench Gang, I decided that I would give another one of Edward Abbey's stories a try. Although the genre of a dystopian society has been over explored, it is also one of my favorite type of novels to read.

This one was average, nothing more nothing less. The only thing which made it stand out as unique was it's US Southwest setting, where most of the novel takes place in or around Phoenix, AZ, which is ruled by a dictator referred to only as
Elizabeth Horton
Sep 16, 2016 Elizabeth Horton rated it really liked it
Ed Abbey is always worth a read, and while this isn't his best, it's still Ed Abbey. A few more cliches than necessary keeps the book from being brilliant (although the first chapter is brilliant), but the book is thought provoking and an interesting, quick read. An intersection of climate-induced dystopia, the meeting between intellectualism, instinct, violence, art, love, hate, fear. Why is it called Good News?
Feb 26, 2016 Words_by_coleman rated it really liked it
An interesting (and terrible) vision of the future of the American Southwest. The ending was surprising, given how the characters were clearly delineated as good and bad.
Sep 12, 2016 Daniel rated it really liked it
Held me well, but a little too polemical and a little over the top, especially the bad guys. Subtlety is not an Abbey strong point, I think.
Gena Lott
Feb 24, 2015 Gena Lott rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Not one of my favorite dystopian novels.
Underwhelming and cheap, but fun.
Apr 02, 2008 Vicki rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mary, Robert, Erika, Linda, Will
At first, I wasn't grasped by this book by any means. I was confused, things were unclear, and it wasn't in a "must keep reading!" sort of way. But I persevered, and about 1/4 of the way in, I found my self eagerly reading. Something changed. The story started to reveal itself. And it's "Abbey-ness" started to come through. Upon completion, I immediately turned back to the beginning to read those first few chapters that were so vague and unmenaingful to me at the beginning so that I could now fi ...more
Sven Calhoun
Dec 16, 2007 Sven Calhoun rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People that think hybrid vehicles are revolutionary.
Edward Abbey was probably the grumpiest motherfucker ever. He loved the natural world and hated people. He was also married 5 times and was open about being an anarchist, all-be-it kind of a confusing one. He was also arguably one of the most important environmental writers. This is his dystopian novel about a fascist army trying to reform the united states and people on horses in the desert just not have'n it. Pretty solid. Plus, it features a completely destroyed Phoenix, AZ. That, I can get b ...more
Jun 18, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Another glorious desert escapade novel by Ed Abbey. Only this time, it was set in my home town--Phoenix.
If you are unfamiliar with his social-anarchy themed books, I encourage you to read The Monkey Wrench gang first, and most definitely The Brave Cowboy before you read Good News, as it has some character back story.
If you picked up this book as a first introduction to Abbey's work, chances are you'll enjoy the glimpse at how a dystopian society comes to be, particularly in southwest America.
Oct 12, 2015 Grant rated it really liked it
I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, very nice.
May 31, 2011 Kelly rated it it was ok
Not my favorite Edward Abbey book. It paints a picture of a really violent, disgusting (post-apocalyptic) world where women are sex slaves and men are power-hungry and killing-happy. I know that this is a pretty accurate reflection of parts of the real world, but it made me a little sick inside to read it sometimes. There one good chase scene at the end that satisfied some place in me that missed the excitement of "The Monkey Wrench Gang."
Sep 29, 2011 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Post-apocalyptic cowboy yarn. A few insigtful phrases. The story is kinda weak. Characters not developed enough. Not Abbey's best, but for an Abbey fan you'd better read this one too. I guess the Good News is the military-complex left Pheonix. So things can go back to the way they were - simple life without all the gadgets and complexities of modern life.
Beth Shirley
Oct 01, 2014 Beth Shirley rated it liked it
Not, by any means, his best work, but Edward Abbey is such a master of the American West. Definitely an enjoyable read, but tougher to slog through than his other stuff. One part post-apocalyptic doomsday novel, one part Western classic, two parts old man fed up with the state of the world. Worth a read if you're already a fan of his.
Oct 20, 2011 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started slow, began to build, and then just seemed to end. There could have been so much more developed here, but maybe the sparseness of it is a reflection of the landscape that Abbey was trying to create. While it may fit the tone of the story, the book ends up lacking substance because of it.
Jan 04, 2010 Link rated it liked it
The action here is fast-paced and like many westerns there is little ambiguity about who the white and black hats are. It is an exploration of the kind of mentality that is responsible for well organized assaults on the environment. It sees hope in a combination of rebellion and mysticism.
Jan 11, 2009 Paul rated it it was ok
I keep hoping to run a cross an Edward Abbey book that can come close to THE MONKEY WRENCH GANG. This ain't it. This book seems like the introduction to a longer book, or a series of books that Abbey never got to write. It was an enjoyable read, but a let-down in the end.
May 23, 2008 Mark rated it liked it
An interesting change of pace from Abbey, as he contemplates a futuristic dystopian vision of America. Of course, there are still some renegades left on horseback in the great Southwest. Not one of Abbey's better efforts, but certainly worth a read.
Jul 28, 2012 Stephanie rated it liked it

I enjoyed Abbey's experimentation with the future of environmental demise. The ending came out of left field for me. It's hard for me to believe that the Chief told anyone in his ranks what his real name was.
Aug 17, 2009 Brian rated it it was amazing
Great view about the ind of society and things going back to the way they were in the old west. Outlaws and fights, this was an exciting book. Started out a little slow but then I got sucked in!!! Read it man!
Sep 24, 2009 Derek rated it it was ok
Read while on the PCT. This book got passed around by many hikers, I think I got it from Scholar? Anyway, it was kind of blah. Worth reading if there is nothing else better I suppose.
Clint Weiss
Apr 28, 2013 Clint Weiss rated it liked it
good book... although, a bit scifi-ish for abbey. took me halfway thru to realize that the one character (jack burns) is the same jack burns from 'the brave cowboy'.
Jerrilynn Lilyblade
I registered a book at!
Mar 10, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it
Fun. I really enjoy futuristic end-of-civilization and rebirth-of-community books. Abbey has a great spin on this. Set in the desert, of course.
Jan 19, 2012 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think the appropriate response to my first visit to Death Valley National Park in almost six years is to start reading an Ed Abbey novel...
Oct 02, 2008 Sarah-Marie rated it really liked it
Shelves: environment
short and sweet apocalypse story the Edward Abbey way...with Native Americans and hollowed out, rusty Chevy Blazers on the landscape...
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Abbey attended college in New Mexico, and then worked as a park ranger and fire lookout for the National Park Service in the Southwest. It was during this time that he developed the relationship with the area's environment that influenced his writing. During his service, he was in close proximity to the ruins of ancient Native American cultures and saw the expansion and destruction of modern civil ...more
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