Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Resistance” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  251 Ratings  ·  49 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Resistance, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Resistance

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 487)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 31, 2011 Philippe rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Nov 15, 2011 Kyle rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 24, 2013 Kevin Spicer rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 13, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing
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.
Ray Zimmerman
Aug 04, 2015 Ray Zimmerman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finding another book by Lopez was like rediscovering an old friend. Liked Of Wolves and Men and also Arctic Dreams better, but this was good. Would have given 4 1/2 stars if that were possible.
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
Nov 15, 2011 Haley rated it liked it
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
Dec 30, 2013 Eric North rated it really liked it
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
Aug 12, 2010 Patti rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 02, 2014 Ryan rated it it was amazing
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.
Mark Valentine
Mar 13, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it really liked it
I was moved by a variety of things in these nine, thematically-connected stories. Each story had a monotype 'preface' by Alan Magee that created a tone in the book similar to lingering in an art gallery and having the luxury of time to muse upon the narrative behind each portrait.

So the book is constructed: Each short story relates the loss and wisdom and regained truth of each narrator. With lines like this, "I grew up thinking hate the opposite of love, but it is indifference that is the oppo
Oct 16, 2015 Kevin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Most of this is egregiously solipsistic therapy-speak, hoping to be (mis)taken for politically informed literary expression. Even when it comes closest to escaping its own Bobo douchebaggery (as in the centerpiece story, “The Bear in the Road”) it embodies, even as it pretends to confess or deplore, attitudes that Marilyn Robinson in another context characterizes as “priggishness.” She might have been describing any of the nine (indistinguishable) first person narrators here when she writes: “It ...more
Kendra McMahan
Feb 15, 2015 Kendra McMahan rated it really liked it
I adored the profound remarks regarding resistance and society, that were littered throughout this book. I also appreciated certain chapters where Barry portrayed the character experiencing an epiphany. Overall, I enjoyed this novel and found that it resonated, a great deal, to my philosophy regarding life and society. However, I felt that I would have enjoyed the novel more if Barry had dedicated a few thousand words more to each story. I felt that each story was just shy of a novella, which ca ...more
Danee .
Oct 20, 2007 Danee . rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 05, 2011 Christian rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 27, 2011 Carolyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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.
Apr 24, 2009 Laurie rated it really liked it
this is an amazingly good read and particularly aligned with our times.
Aug 03, 2011 Brigid rated it liked it
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.
Naomi Williams
Dec 31, 2015 Naomi Williams rated it really liked it
This book is almost impossible to categorize or characterize. It consists of nine fictional, first-person testimonies by characters who have resisted the prevailing paradigms of Western capitalism. And the book itself seems an act of resistance, as it flies in the face of most prevailing conventions of what constitutes a novel, or even fiction. That made it both a frustrating and a fascinating read.

There's no over-arching plot arc here--each person has his or her say about their personal journey
Dec 21, 2012 Adam rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 16, 2010 Steve Duong rated it it was ok
Shelves: big-picture-201
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
Aug 15, 2012 Donald Quist rated it liked it
Shelves: favorites
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
Jul 12, 2012 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 31, 2009 finn rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
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
Oct 04, 2011 David Fenstersheib rated it liked it

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
Oct 27, 2012 Jillian rated it liked it
Shelves: own, ots-challenge
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
Nov 22, 2007 Kathy rated it it was ok
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
Jul 17, 2008 Steven rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
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
Jun 10, 2011 Chris rated it liked it
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
Dec 09, 2015 SmarterLilac rated it liked it
Not what I would call the author's best work. "Show, don't tell" is the advice that applies in a lot of these stories. I like Mr. Lopez, especially his non-fiction work, but this collection had some very clumsy moments (the first story, in particular, with its references to the persecution of non-conformist types by the "Department of Inland Security," seriously bugged me.)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Pine Island Paradox
  • Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet
  • His Mother's Son
  • Grassland: The History, Biology, Politics and Promise of the American Prairie
  • A Taste for Rabbit
  • In the Shadow of Memory
  • The Things Between Us: A Memoir
  • Deep
  • Three Samurai Cats: A Story from Japan
  • Twenty Questions: A Novel
  • Expect Resistance: A Field Manual
  • Dreams Of Rivers And Seas
  • The Best People in the World: A Novel
  • Bearing the Body
  • The Resilient Homestead: Innovative Permaculture Systems for the Home and Farm--Based on Research and Development in Earthworks, Perennial Crops, Cold-Climate Rice Production, and Nutrient-Dense Food/Medicine from the Whole Systems Research Farm
  • Blue Skin of the Sea
  • The Ugliest House in the World
  • Searoad
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...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »