Phillip Twining's Reviews > The Monkey Wrench Gang

The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey
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Nov 01, 2010

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Read in November, 2010

Sometimes the dialogue is contrived, perhaps the whole "getting into tight situations but inevitably coming out on top at the last second," is reminiscent of old pulp adventure stories, but the energy of challenging the system--of putting one's life on the line for a cause they believe in--is inspiring (as in making you want to blow up a Wal-Mart inspiring). Also Abbey's prose when describing the landscape is exciting and interesting--something I notice a lot of Southern/Southwestern writer's struggle with. The characters are prototypical, nevertheless Abbey's freedom in his prose when dealing with them creates a dynamism hard not to be captivated by.

A disturbing aspect that pops up now and again is the explicit disdain for Native Americans. They're called lazy and drunkards and basically no good. It's unfortunate Abbey thought it pertinent to express his racist comments in an otherwise radical and environmentally activist book, because it undermines the empathy one would otherwise feel for the story and its cause.
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