Bruce's Reviews > Fire on the Mountain

Fire on the Mountain by Edward Abbey
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's review
Feb 20, 2009

it was ok
Read in February, 2009

His grandson, Billy, tells the end of New Mexico rancher John Vogelin’s life. Billy’s annual summer visit to the Box V Ranch is disrupted by the United States. The government seizes the ranch to expand the White Sands Missile Range. Despite the arguments of his friend, Lee Mackie and the increasing show of force demonstrated by courts, law enforcement and military, John Vogelin refuses to leave his former property, a decision that leads to his death. The fire in the title is his funeral pyre. The back cover copy hails this 1962 novel as “a powerful and moving tale that gloriously celebrates the undying spirit of American individualism.” It could also be characterized as a well-written, realistic cautionary tale about the dangers of self-centered stupidity.

Abbey’s prose is clear and clean. His descriptions of the New Mexico landscape are precise and beautiful.

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