Hayduke Lives!: A Novel Paperback – Sep 4 1991
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Ed Abbey's 1975 novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang, ended with a classic--and literal--cliffhanger: it left its hero, George Washington Hayduke III, clinging to a sheer rock face in the wilds of Utah as an armed posse hunted him down for his eco-radicalist crimes. Hayduke Lives! allows the grizzled Vietnam veteran another day in the sun, reunited with his old comrades Doc Sarvis, Seldom Seen Smith, and Bonnie Abbzug to battle the world's biggest earthmoving machine, the aptly named GOLIATH. Their principal foe, apart from that behemoth, is the fundamentalist preacher Dudley Love, the mastermind behind uranium mines, power plants, and other insults to Abbey's beloved desert. Abbey has great fun lampooning the pretensions of environmental activists, New Agers ("vee put flowers on zee Big Bucket, vee put flowers on zee driver's neck and hug heem? her? it? and kiss and luff and squeeze and make GOLIATH stop," says one starry-eyed European crystal gazer), and developers alike as he unfolds his tale of a motorized Wild West and its latter-day outlaw heroes. As full of improbable situations and noisy politics as Monkey Wrench Gang, Hayduke Lives! proves to be great fun for readers as well. --Gregory McNamee
From Publishers Weekly
Only apparently was Fool's Progress , a flawed but highly endearing novel, Abbey's swan song (he died last summer). Here, unexpectedly, is a posthumous sequel to the cult classic The Monkey Wrench Gang , unhappily, not the finest of farewells from a very original American writer. It is the sort of sequel that picks up all the characters years later; most of them--Doc, Bonnie, even Seldom Seen Smith--have more or less settled into respectability after their wild outrages against developers and ruiners of the Great Outdoors. Then along comes GOLIATH, the Giant Earth Mover, about to trample another precious wild canyon, and the fiercest of the old gang, George Hayduke, brings his friends unwillingly out of retirement for the biggest caper of their lives. It's ditzy, entertaining stuff, and Abbey, as always, strikes wonderful grace notes off the landscapes he loves. But the characters are a yard high, and the dialogue the sort that appears in bubbles over people's heads. Naturally the G.E.M. bites the dust, but in the course of the environmentalists' coup a man gets killed, contradicting what used to be the whole point of Abbey's writing: only machines died. This time out, his work seems a little sour and tired.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Whether or not you've read The Monkey Wrench Gang, you will know exactly what is going to happen at every step of the way. Worse, Abbey takes shortcuts. For instance: all the old characters are brought back; all meet Hayduke again who asks for their help; all refuse and then suddenly, without explanation, all are on board to help him destroy the huge earth-mover, GOLIATH. The object of their sabotage and the fact that they are back together is very predictable.
Also, the final scene of destruction is disappointing. It too, "just happens".
The message is still great. The cast of characters still appealingly eccentric, Hayduke still a demi-god, but it does not come near to the overall excellence of The Monkey Wrench Gang. Due to the shortcuts, I would strongly recommend not reading this book unless you've read Monkey Wrench. Even then, you better have really loved Monkey Wrench and want some more of the same.
It would be an easy thing to say that "Hayduke Lives!" is an unpolished novel. It does seem to fall short of the demands which Abbey made of himself in "The Fool's Progress," the last volume he published prior to his death. Yet the craft is certainly there and the willingness to create is as strong as ever. Mountains motivated Edward Abbey; mountains and everything natural (and even some things man-made, it has to be said) that lay around them. His actual landscape at the last, which was also the landscape of "Hayduke Lives!", was the canyon lands and desert country of Arizona and Utah (and everywhere). So his imagery is likewise grandiose and well suited to the theme of environmental vengeance which prods this plot along. Knowing Abbey, one can sense that he is willing the earth itself to open up and swallow the machines of man that make its surface tremble. Yet he contains himself, just, to the story in hand and lets George do the dirty work in his own inimitable style.
Abbey's long fight was unrelenting and unapologetic. He seemed to sense that people need to be shocked awake in order to react to the troubles of the world.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I've read alot of Abbey's books. His Essays are great, as are his fictional stories. HOWEVER, this novel falls far short of Abbey's earlier works. Read morePublished on May 7 2003 by J. Gifford
I really enjoyed this book, reading about the old gang joining together again. Abbey mentions names well known to those in the environmental movements. Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2003 by California Climber
I've got to say I only read the first 100 pages or so. I was just put off by the foul language and sexual deviance. Read morePublished on June 20 2001 by A. P. Rockwood
Abbey's final novel is a worthy sequel to the Monkey Wrench Gang. Hayduke's stunts are the most outrageous Ed has cooked up by far. Read morePublished on Oct. 14 1999