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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  216 ratings  ·  41 reviews
From the National Book Award-winning author of Arctic Dreams, a highly charged, stunningly original work of fiction–a passionate response to the changes shaping our country today. In nine fictional testimonies, men and women who have resisted the mainstream and who are now suddenly “parties of interest” to the government tell their stories.A young woman in Buenos Aires wat ...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published June 14th 2005 by Vintage (first published 2004)
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Kyle Allen
Book Review
Resistance by Barry Lopez

Resistance has a mission: What’s yours?

Barry Lopez’ Resistance is a unique blend of Essay and fiction. The plot is the setting in which Lopez spills his innermost belief on his life’s goals, political action, love, success, meaning, the why, the purpose. Resistance strays far from the traditional plot structure of fiction.
Each piece begins like a traditional piece of Short Fiction. Lopez uses the First Person Point of View. He describes the setting.
Kevin Spicer
Gorgeous, intimate vignettes of people whose devotion to knowledge and beauty lead them on a path toward love, finding the courage to face up to the darkness within their own culture and themselves along the way. A resistance toward a very specific political agenda expressed through globalization and the advance of global markets, but also a resistance toward that which weakens our ability to live life with awareness and grace, and suggestions for how the two may be intertwined.
This is one I would recommend to anyone. For some it supports their desire for original thought and beauty and for others it can open their eyes to the possibilities and responsibilities that come with looking beyond the norm for values and fulfillment.
It's a bit unfortunate, maybe, that this collection of vignettes opens with a story set against the background of the war on terrorism. That seems to have created the suggestion that the whole book is about positioning oneself with respect to this insidious conflict. That's not the way I read the book. And I don't think it is necessary to do it justice. Quite to the contrary. The resistance that Lopez refracts through the prism of various personalities is a refusal of all kinds of `dictatorial p ...more
After finishing the first four pieces of Barry Lopez’s Resistance, I would say the greatest, most comprehensive form of resistance is simply to love. Of course, loving manifests itself in all sorts of particularities which could be speculated and explored—and should be and will be and have been—but for now arriving at this simple yet demanding answer is a good beginning.

Another note: in each of Lopez’s stories so far, resistance does not take the traditional forms we expect: protest, investigat
by Barry Lopez

Published: 2004

Resistance, by Barry Holstun Lopez, is a work of fiction which tells the stories of nine unique individuals, all who have resisted mainstream culture. In some instances this resistance leads Lopez's characters to be of government interest. In others, the characters are simply described as outsiders and embark on a journey of self discovery.

Throughout the novel, Lopez does an exceptional job of creating a distinct voice for each character that is introduced
Eric North
I refer friends to the quite concise and accurate review of my friend Kevin Spicer. Excellent collection of narratives.

Edit: I will quote this passage, one of my favorites from a chapter titled, "Laguna de Bay in A-sharp."

"There was something else I had thought about, too, ever since Minty and I went to Paris. It was the way that music broke you up and held you, how it tripped up fear's great authority over your life, how it put you back in the world you were sometimes so desperate to leave. Fro
The reviews of this book are quite varied. My reaction also spanned quite a range. I was feeling it was pretty violent and depressing when suddenly in the middle of the fifth letter, Bear in the Road, I had a question, I turned back to the first section and re-read it and boom, I was blown away. The whole meaning and impact of the book changed for me. I will quote some of the passages since Barry Lopez can surely state his point better than I can.

"The human imagination, the letter speculated, wa
In his older collections of short stories Lopez often concentrated outward, on experiencing the surrealness of the natural world. In Resistance, he takes this idea and points it inward. His characters' chief struggles are often how to live at peace with themselves, how to live a quiet life when all around you is loud.
Danee .
i recently found an old journal with a list of all the books i read over the tulmultuous summer when i moved back to new york. this collection of stories stands out in my list as being both chilling and timely, and very human.
Lopez's short stories capture the aesthetics of angst and hope. They offer beauty and energy. I find myself detained at times, ruminating on a single sentence or idea - like replaying a favorite part of a song.
At first I felt... resistance to liking it. But once I was into the third voice (each chapter a different voice) I was hooked. Beautifully written. By then end, I too wanted to leave town.
this is an amazingly good read and particularly aligned with our times.
Aug 03, 2011 Brigid rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: my bookies; high schoolers
Shelves: for-my-bookies
Worth the read just for the first story and the rest are a wonderful bonus.
Dec 21, 2012 Adam rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Adam by: ACM lending library
Fortune dropped Barry Lopez's “Resistance” into my hands at precisely the right moment. Each of Lopez's characters is leaving a place where strange landscapes, peoples, and individuals have provided a lesson, a story, to the pursuit of some ineffable idea. It's always some ineffable idea, something that will make life sensible or fill some ambiguous gap. The characters are united, more explicitly (and frankly in a way that is unusually unsubtle for Lopez) by a framing story and a counterhegemoni ...more
Steve Duong
I really did not know what to expect upon reading Resistance. The book itself defines itself with an interesting premise; testimonials from 9 different people all across the world, apparently in a cat and mouse chase with the government. These 9 folks are characters of "interest" and are warned to stop their free-expression for the better of their (I think) collective civilization. If the cover jacket doesn't already compel you to read this book, I'm sure the synopses would. The problem I see wi ...more
Donald Quist
Elegantly written but so overtly political I found myself grateful the book is under 200 pages. Lopez’s lack of subtlety is equivalent to being bludgeoned with a solid gold hammer. He pounds his message of American hubris, neo-colonization, fascism and censorship, over the reader's head. Though it was timely for 2004, considering the Iraq war-zealots and the Bush administrations numerous infractions on fundamental freedoms, the concept was neither original nor substantial. Resistance doesn’t bri ...more
I really enjoyed this book. Certain literary elements are lacking - each of the characters' personalities seem similar and it's difficult to tell if each narrator is a man or woman without being explicitly told, for example - but the overall message of the book, and the numerous insights that the characters provide, is so powerful that I was thoroughly impressed.

The book is a collection of short stories that are all thematically related. Each story centers around a character who's trying to unde
part of a review i wrote elsewhere:

resistance by lopez was sort of a let down. i think part of my dissapointment has to do with how awesome it sounded: "In nine fictional testimonies, men and women who have resisted the mainstream and who are now suddenly “parties of interest” to the government tell their stories." & that it's called resistance. i assumed it would be more radical than it was ... i thought it would get into the nitty gritty of direct action, like, AT ALL. it focuses not on wh
David Fenstersheib

Resisting Resistance

Resistance by Barry Lopez. : Knopf Doubleday Publishing G, New York 2004

Lopez is a brilliant writer, who has won multiple literary awards, and I am no way knocking his writing; however, in Resistance we are given nine stories to be told from nine different perspectives and it is almost impossible to distinguish the voice between characters. The voices are platitudinous, so much so, you could arbitrarily place each character into any one of the stories written. I had to resis
3.5 stars

Fictional testimonies of men and women discovering themselves as they analyze and resist the mainstream, ultimately leading (the frame story explains, though most of their accounts do not) to condemnation and pursuit by their controlling government.

Within the separate stories are powerful moments and descriptions, the links between them subtle but interesting, the prose strong and evocative. But I kept wanting them to continue further and/or end more strongly. The transformation and na
From a blog post I wrote in 2005:

Resistance by Barry Lopez was another impulse library pick up. It's made up of fictional essays from various people going underground after some nefarious government agency targets them (Homeland Security symbolism, perhaps). This group of intellectuals got together and decided the government needs to get back to basics like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and apparently that didn't go over well.

The uniting theme appeared to be pointless as most of the
The literary conceit of this collection is that these stories are found texts, testimonies left behind by people fleeing from the long-reach of a Homeland Security-ish agency that is seeking them out in the other countries they have ex-patriated themselves to. My first and continuous thought as I read these narratives was audience--who is the audience for this book? Who is Lopez trying to reach? What does he hope they will do? Is he trying to inspire boomers who've lost their idealism to get bac ...more
I'm going to do something very unusual for me and write a review before giving a book its proper consideration. I've only read half the book at this point, the first four of the nine stories, and am debating whether I want to go on, so I thought processing my thoughts might help me come to a decision. This way I'll have them captured as either half a review (with more to follow upon completion) or a review of a half.

Here's my sticking point: Each story is meant to be by a different person tellin
Words to describe this short-story collection would be haunting, ethereal, and penetrating at the very least. It's a beautiful work summing up xenophobia and displacement, and suspicion at a grand scale that culminates in something that doesn't quite leave you feeling all right.
Mark Lacy
Interesting stories, each told in first person by a different narrator, each relating somehow to this theme of "resistance". Made me think of the little books put out by the Orion Society on what true patriotism is all about.
Ryan Mishap
Short story collection where nearly all the stories are letters written by the individual “authors” upon leaving a place. There’s a connection amongst these individuals I will leave for you to discover. The well-written stories are diverse and deep, touching on several themes—mainly connection to each other and family in the face of a world where Domination is the main ideology. Another theme that comes into play is living within nature as opposed to living against it (Dominating). This last the ...more
Kirsten Buist
This paradoxical book is beautiful in it's complexity through simplicity. I absolutely loved how each story was one of deep, emotional, and beautiful self discovery just through simple stories of everyday life. None of these stories truly came through obvious revelations, but through rustic, every day experiences and realizations.

The writing style was refreshing as well. A few of the stories insinuate happenings for a particular gender or race, but half way through the story, you realize that y
Jan 23, 2014 Nick added it
Wow. Blew through this - timely for me. And brilliant personal profiles in transition. Goes well with "The Great Unwinding" by George Packer which I'm having a much harder time finishing (not for reasons of quality or interest, but because of what it does to my mood).
Mike Hensley
It's difficult to write this review. I think I understand what Lopez was getting after... but there were a number of problems. The fictitious government agencies he dreamed up are clearly supposed to be analogous to current US agencies... but they're far-fetched, reticent of 1984, and it's not easy to conceive of them actually existing in our near future. Moreover, while Lopez writes from the perspective of multiple persons, he doesn't do a good enough job giving each person a different voice.

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Barry Holstun López is an American author, essayist, and fiction writer whose work is known for its environmental and social concerns.

López has been described as "the nation's premier nature writer" by the San Francisco Chronicle. In his non-fiction, he frequently examines the relationship between human culture and physical landscape, while in his fiction he addresses issues of intimacy, ethics an
More about Barry López...
Arctic Dreams Of Wolves and Men Crossing Open Ground About This Life Desert Notes/River Notes

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