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


3.83  ·  Rating details ·  333 ratings  ·  61 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
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  333 ratings  ·  61 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Resistance
Nov 15, 2011 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.
Jan 31, 2011 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
Kevin Spicer
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 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.
Robert Wechsler
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-lit, stories
Barry Lopez’s prose collection is a singular work, serene yet powerful, deeply personal yet political, direct yet not simplistic. The prose is exquisite, each narrator’s situation is complex and moving. Although a response to W’s first administration, it has sadly lost little of its timeliness. I highly recommend it.
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 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
Aug 03, 2010 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
Dec 19, 2012 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
Eric North
Dec 01, 2013 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
Jun 30, 2014 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.
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel
Each of us has problems we fight and interests we pursue. This book has nine stories that epitomize these fights and interests from beautifully varied perspectives. The first chapter of the book introduces these stories by describing how our paranoid government is threatened by rugged individualism. The prose is sparse and the stories enlightening. Lopez consistently delivers.
Mar 03, 2011 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.
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
this is an amazingly good read and particularly aligned with our times.
Jun 27, 2011 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.
Ray Zimmerman
Jun 25, 2015 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.
Aug 03, 2011 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.
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Resistance begins with a letter, delivered to a man in Paris. In it, he's marked out as a Person of Interest. In the cold, impersonal language of a bureaucrat, the letterwriter notes that the human imagination is "a problematic force, its use best left to experts.' He, and the others who receive the letter, are asked to desist.

The book is a (fictional) account of the people who received the letter, and what led them to resist.

Barry Lopez is a National Book Award winner, apparently noting for h
Jun 07, 2011 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
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
There’s some good stuff in here, but it feels a little puffed and overblown at times. It can get pedantic, and exposition heavy. There’s often a god story (though not always, sometimes the story seems secondary to the pedantry and the exposition), but it can get buried. Still, it was worth reading.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not sure when I got this book or how I came about it, but I plucked it off my childhood bookshelf in Florida over Christmas and I'm so glad I did. Slim, elegant, thoughtful narratives about resistance and identity and the natural world. I could have read 500 pages more.
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I realized I wrote the following, after reading:

This series of short stories is from the point of view of a number of Americans who feel compelled to "disappear" when the Patriot Act begins to prey on their civil liberty. A couple of the stories are shocking and heart breaking.
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
A group of fascinating and powerful stories by prize winning author Barry Lopez. The stories focus on how to live in a world gone wrong and the struggle to find yourself and peace in the world.
Tara Gulwell
Mar 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: university
I wish publishers would stop pumping out horrendous books because of the name on the cover. Lopez should have stuck to non-fiction.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lopez is a masterful writer.
Maughn Gregory
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
What a deep pleasure it is to be in the hands of a truly gifted writer.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2020
Wise, still timely words that ‘may still save our lives.’
Highly recommended.
Jenn LR
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In times likes these... this is needed. I love reading Lopez for the connection to the larger world. His fiction is no different in that respect.
David Fenstersheib
Oct 04, 2011 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 resi
Naomi Williams
Apr 08, 2015 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
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Missing Sister
  • De meeste mensen deugen
  • Hystopia
  • Cairo
  • Year of the Monkey
  • Foucault's Pendulum
  • The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy
  • The Dew Breaker
  • Motherless Brooklyn
  • A Philosophical Investigation
  • The Book of Delights
  • Negroland
  • Lavinia
  • Anil's Ghost
  • The Dogs of Babel
  • House of Splendid Isolation
  • The Dante Club (The Dante Club #1)
  • So Ordered: Making Partner the Hard Way
See similar books…
Barry Holstun Lopez is an American author, essayist, and fiction writer whose work is known for its environmental and social concerns.

Lopez 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

Related Articles

Emma Straub was all set to spend May on tour promoting her new novel, All Adults Here. Instead, due to the global pandemic, the Brooklyn-based...
14 likes · 5 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »