This is the book that, if it didn't put Moab on the map, certainly makes the place more interesting. It was written by king desert rat and arch-enviromental curmudgeon Edward Abbey. Abbey had a passionate love affair with the desert, living deep in the solitude while writing his essays, working as a ranger in Arches Park.
"The Monkey Wrench Gang" is his best known work, a sort of "Fear and Loathing" for enviro-nazis. The eco-terrorists in the novel don't just bewail the destruction of nature, they fight back. They blow down power lines and billboards--they plot to blow up Glen Canyon Dam and give readers a blueprint on how to do it. The book did much to inspire Green Peacers, Earth First, and the current generation of tree-sitters and WTO-baiters. It's a fun book and worth a read, though full of philosophical contradictions such as the way the main character (ecomessiah George Hayduke)tosses beer cans into canyons as he plots to foil the spoilers of the environment. It makes Moab, the Maze, Glen Canyon more interesting to see what they look like after reading about them in context of the book--or more like, it provides you a better visual vocabulary for imagining the illustration of the book.
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