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

The Best of Edward Abbey

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  371 ratings  ·  18 reviews
This is the only major collection of Abbey’s writings compiled by the author himself: in his own words, “to present what I think is both the best and most representative of my writing—so far.” It serves up a rich feast of fiction and prose by the singular American writer whom Larry McMurtry called “the Thoreau of the American West.”
Devoted Abbey fans along with readers jus
Paperback, 458 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Counterpoint (first published March 12th 1988)
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 The Best of Edward Abbey, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Best of Edward Abbey

A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo LeopoldWalden by Henry David ThoreauA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonSilent Spring by Rachel CarsonDesert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
Best Nature Books
766 books — 636 voters
A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo LeopoldDesert Solitaire by Edward AbbeyWalden by Henry David ThoreauLast Chance to See by Douglas AdamsSilent Spring by Rachel Carson
Nature Writing
219 books — 31 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  371 ratings  ·  18 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Best of Edward Abbey
Michael Hitchcock
Dec 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I should start out by saying I could see why someone wouldn't like Edward Abbey. And even though my focus here is to tell you why I loved this book, I think he wouldn't mind my saying so because he started his book with a selection from his most poorly received book.

I hated this selection, honestly- two pages of small print with no periods about a young man trying to find himself or whatever- and I dreaded what I felt would be a long and terrible experience. But then the rest of the book was fu
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Abbey's writing triumphed over my disagreement with him on co-evolving civilization and nature. I've been trying to follow his footprints invisible in the desert with limited means and gradually firming fortitude. I was in league with him, with little attention to examine every single action we (including Abbey) commit. This collection is (can be an introduction of Abby's complete works in different time period) for ones who love his prose style and appreciate how essential and rare a passionate ...more
Feb 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Edward Abbey satisfies the populist bent in my politics and soul. I love his combination of contrarianism, nature and political observations, and his rough edge. I'm enjoying his essay, "In Defense of the Redneck". Though not a redneck, I personally don't fit in in bars - too many conversations and stimuli for me - and I don't drink beer - I still root for the working man, the farmer and rancher... Abbey is a odd mix of environmentalist yet still protective of his second amendment rights and app ...more
Jan 29, 2015 rated it liked it
What a rascal he is....An endearing irreverent soul...A man ahead of his time whose passion for nature shines in all of his works...A worthwhile read for those of us who fight against that constant pull into assimilation ...His descriptive prowess is remarkable when confronted with the beauty around us - both in the wilds and in the city...He truly understood dignity and the value of the human spirit... Would be aghast in today's techno- dominated world...RIP No Comment
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Abbey can be an amazing writer for America's wild spaces, as is demonstrated by the excerpts from Desert Solitaire, his best book. But sometimes, he is just a kooky old man, raving about technology, big corporations and big government that are too large for a single individual to understand.

In some ways, Abbey is the best post-War American nature writer, following in the footsteps of Muir. Indeed, his prose is better, but he is crazier. Whereas Muir's writings are dominated by wilderness, Abbey
William Lee
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Best of Edward Abbey contains many different stories written by him. The book could have many perspectives/opinions. Some people might not like it because literally, two or more pages talk about a man trying to discover himself or whatever... However, the book can be very enjoyable if you are a person who loves to read short stories in a short amount of time, instead of one long story that takes about like a week to finish. Personally, one of my favorite chapters was The Journey Home. I coul ...more
Love this guy! A cross between Thoreau and Hunter S. Thompson.

"The one thing we could do for a country like Mexico, for example, is to stop every illegal immigrant at the border, give him a good rifle and a case of ammunition, and send him home. Let the Mexicans solve their customary problems in their customary way."
May 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Another great one by Edward Abbey. This one is a collection of some of his best essays and non-fiction (which I enjoy much more than his novels). A good introduction to Abbey if you have never read any before.
Valerie Rice
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy his environmental, rebellious, seventies time travel.
There is some good tongue-in-cheek humour and that always makes me smile, yet Abbey's humour tends to come across in bitterness, which does not make me smile. But here's good example of his humour that made me smile in talking about the damming of a river system for some production/irrigation system which he disagrees with: (my paraphrasing) It's just a small dam they said. But it's just a small river I said! Dammit! Ha hah.

I don't particularly like how he stereotypes all scientists and technol
Nicolette Palmer
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Ugh, I’m just not a fan. I had 30 pages left and didn’t have the heart to finish it.
Oct 19, 2007 rated it liked it
A wonderful way to sample Abbey, but then, Abbey is not always
easy to take. Vivid descriptions portrayed by a man who
seemingly engaged life in three dimensions at all times,
and with strong opinions.
Aug 26, 2010 rated it did not like it
I was enjoying this book until in one chapter you mentioned that you sink your beer cans in a lake, and in the next chapter you bitterly mocked Henry David Thoreau.
Dee Renee  Chesnut
This is good for reading a chapter/section at a time.
John Solder
Mar 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great selection of short stories, actually compiled by Abbey so you get a great sense of what he thought about his own writing. A perfect books to pick up and read and intervals.
Jan 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Abbey has some interesting points of view but I definitely don't agree with some of his anarchist/anti-establishment POV. ...more
Jul 29, 2009 added it
I am a huge Abbey Fan, but this was not his best work...anyway, what happen to "Rites of Spring" ...more
Apr 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My all time favorite author.
rated it liked it
Mar 14, 2017
Katie Sullivan
rated it it was amazing
Jan 05, 2010
rated it liked it
Apr 25, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Dec 10, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2011
rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2014
Charm Cummings
rated it it was amazing
May 25, 2010
Winnie White
rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2018
rated it did not like it
Mar 14, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2020
rated it really liked it
Jun 15, 2019
Kelly Clifton
rated it liked it
Nov 10, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The World Without Us
  • Trout Fishing in America / The Pill vs. the Springhill Mine Disaster / In Watermelon Sugar
  • The Blue
  • The King's Riddle (Anglo-Norman mystery, #2)
  • Followed by Frost
  • Lady at the Window: The Lost Journal of Julian of Norwich: A Novella
  • Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth
  • The Glass Man: A Gavin Rownt Medieval Mystery (Gavin Rownt Medieval Mysteries Book 2)
  • Grammar for a Full Life: How the Ways We Shape a Sentence Can Limit or Enlarge Us
  • Ela of Salisbury: Do Justice, Love Mercy
  • Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree
  • World Becomes What We Teach, The: Educating a Generation of Solutionaries
  • Death Riddle
  • A Killer's Wife (Desert Plains, #1)
  • Growing Roses in the Pacific Northwest: 90 Best Varieties for Successful Rose Gardening
  • Otherwise Normal People: Inside the Thorny World of Competitive Rose Gardening
  • The Bishop's Riddle (Anglo-Norman Mysteries Book 3)
  • The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
See similar books…
Edward Paul Abbey (1927–1989) was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views.

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

News & Interviews

  Listen up, because our colleagues here at Goodreads have some excellent audiobook recommendations for you! Of course, the books they've...
35 likes · 23 comments
“You can't study the darkness by flooding it with light.” 229 likes
More quotes…