Beyond The Wall: Essay...
Edward Abbey
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Beyond The Wall: Essays from the Outside

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  339 ratings  ·  24 reviews
In this beautiful book about landscapes of the desert and the mind, Edward Abbey guides us beyond the wall of the city and asphalt belting of superhighways to special pockets of wilderness that stretch from the interior of Alaska to the dry lands of Mexico.

No passports are needed, no examinations to undergo, no special equipment required, no experience necessary. A journey...more
Audio Cassette, 8 pages
Published September 1st 1988 by Books on Tape, Inc. (first published 1971)
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Outstanding fare from one of the modern age's greatest scribes on the American West. I snuck a peak at Wikipedia and agree with Larry McMurty's depiction of him as the "Thoreau of the American West". Having read Abbey's earlier pro-environmental novels ("The Monkey Wrench Gang", "Hayduke Lives") and travelogues on national parks and the Colorado River ("Desert Solitaire", "Down the River" some years back, I found this gem in the bargain bin at a library sale. Abbey is always dependendable. He wi...more
Eric North
As always, Edward Abbey is incredibly passionate and observant toward the wild, whether it's the desert Southwest (most often) or the frigid Alaskan wilderness. His honesty and gun-point criticisms of "civilized" society are always refreshing, and consistently over the top; they are not entirely reasonable or gracious, but always hilarious, and somehow resonant within the heart of any thoughtful lover of nature. Apart from the few sections where he meticulously describes the characteristics of o...more
WM Rine
I've devoured most of Abbey's books over the years, but this is the one I return to most often. The first two pieces in this collection provide the best introduction to his work I can think of. "A Walk in the Desert Hills" describes a 115-mile walk across the Sonoran Desert, in search of adventure, wisdom, and water. "How It Was" describes his first incursions into the Four Corners and Glen Canyon area, before the pavement came. "How It Was" will make you understand what got Abbey intoxicated wi...more
cras culture
abbey is a great fuckin writer and if his ideas are taken seriously, a very dangerous writer. are his ideas taken seriously enough, judging by the undeniably sorry state of the environment//world at large i would guess not.
still there is a lot of serious joy and frollick to be taken from his descriptions and natural insight.
great read.
A man grows up with the desert and knows it well: its plants, its rocks, its water, its animals. He walks or drives--more often walks--through solitary places. In parts, the book reads like poetry. In other parts, the arrogance of the author pushes me away. But Abbey knows the desert and he shows the reader extrordianry images.
the last of abbey's books i had yet to read (with the exception of the out-of-print jonathan troy, forsaken even by the author himself), beyond the wall: essays from the outside is mostly a collection of pieces ed had previously published elsewhere (including national geographic, outside, and those often overpriced time-life books). beyond the wall is not as thematically or geographically coherent as his other works, as in this book he writes about locations as disparate as the guadalupe mountai...more
Thomas Bowers
The essays of Mr. Abbey portray individualism in pursuit of simple living and simple enjoyment of the nature of the southwest deserts, the Colorado river, and above Alaska's Arctic Circle. His colorful and descriptive language lead one to a feeling of being present at the location and even drawing one in to the need to be part of such an adventure. He does so inspire the individual spirt and romanticism of individual exploration.
Abby in this less-than-characteristically pugnacious collection of essays casts an introspective eye on the soul of the West and the hearts that long to love it. A trenchant commentary on the decay that cleverly markets itself as our moral society it remain as timely and topical a social critique as it was when it first printed decades ago.

And as bit of travel literature for the mind and eye that yearn for the desert Abby slakes our thirst. I picked up this book after walking one of the canyons...more
Gosh. Anyone who can translate such a humongous love of nature and a healthy cantankerism (heh--if I can make up that word;) about human activity into such well-written prose is a genius. Every time I read anything by Abbey I want to immediately set out on adventure, and this book is no exception. Awesome.

One of my favorite things:

"The planet is bigger than we ever imagined. The world is colder, more ancient, more strange and more mysterious than we had dreamed. And we puny human creatures wit...more
Bill Reid
Eds edge

I enjoy the edge balanced with the awesome description of the outdoors Ed brings to us. His work offers us insight to how stupid we are.
This book took me forever to finish because I savored it. I'd read it on camping trips and road trips, matching the short story I picked with the landscape I was in. I read about his hike through the desert while I was camping out in the hot desert of Nevada and I didn't have to use my imagination at all but instead felt like I was in the story myself. I read about his river runs after my own river runs etc and the southern Utah ones after trips down there as well. I think I actually ended up re...more
A collection of great essays including The Damnation of a Canyon and a walk in the Desert Hills. This book is the source of the e-mail signature I've been using since the early 1990's. From the Introduction: "May your trails be dim, lonesome, stony, narrow, winding and only slightly uphill. May the wind bring rain for the slickrock potholes fourteen miles on the other side of yonder blue ridge. May God's dog serenade your campfire, may the rattlesnake and the screech owl amuse your reverie, may...more
Irene Lapp Ryan
"May your trails be dim, lonesome, stony, narrow, winding and only slightly uphill. May the wind bring rain for the slickrock potholes fourteen miles on the other side of yonder blue ridge. May God's dog serenade your campfire, may the rattlesnake and the screech owl amuse your reverie, May the Great Sun dazzle your eyes by day and the Great Bear watch over you by night" dear Edward Abbey
Edward Abbey can penetrate the soul by penetrating to world of outside the walls of civilization. His writing does that as he puts words to adventure and experience. His Thoreauvian attention to detail makes the experience come alive.
Kevin Mcclelion
Classic Edward abbey...several classic lines from this book.... My favorite...."and he makes strong coffee, stout and vigorous, powerful enough to deconstipate a sand-impacted Egyptian."
Travel essays that are, as expected from Abbey, joyfully expressive of his explorations of the 'back country'...
Budd Gilfillen jr
Excellent set of Essays in keeping with Edward Abbey's writings about the American Southwest.
So impressed by his insight and writing. My second book of his and have loved them both.
The desert is an unforgiving, desolate, harsh, illuminating, miraculous place.
These are the places of my soul - dry, barren, and teeming with life
Tracy Murphy
My favorite Ed Abbey. I go back relatively often to reread.
It is Abbey...What more do I need to say?
this book made me want to go to the desert
Can't go wrong with cranky old Ed.
Janet marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2014
Phyllis A
Phyllis A marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2014
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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
More about Edward Abbey...
Desert Solitaire The Monkey Wrench Gang The Fool's Progress Hayduke Lives! The Journey Home: Some Words in Defense of the American West

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“I thought of the wilderness we had left behind us, open to sea and sky, joyous in its plenitude and simplicity, perfect yet vulnerable, unaware of what is coming, defended by nothing, guarded by no one.” 14 likes
“One mile farther and I come to a second grave beside the road, nameless like the other, marked only with the dull blue-black stones of the badlands. I do not pause this time. The more often you stop the more difficult it is to continue. Stop too long and they cover you with rocks.” 7 likes
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