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Best of Edward Abbey, The

By: Abbey, Edward
Price: $16.95

In 1984, the late great Edward Abbey compiled this reader, endeavoring, as he says in his preface, "to present what I think is both the best and most representative of my writing-so far." Two decades later, it remains the only major collection of his work chosen by Abbey himself, a rich feast of fiction and prose by the singular American writer whom Larry McMurty? called "the Thoreau of the American West" and whom Alice Hoffman hailed as "the voice of all that is ornery and honorable."

Devoted Abbey fans along with readers just discovering his work will find a mother lode of treasures here: generous chunks of his best novels, including The Brave Cowboy, Black Sun, and his classic The Monkey Wrench Gang; and more than a score of his evocative, passionate, trenchant essays-a genre in which he produced acknowledged masterpieces such as Desert Solitaire. There is even an excerpt from a novel he was working on in 1984, eventually published as The Fool's Progress. Scattered throughout are the author's own petroglyph-style sketches.

Abbey went on publishing new work until his untimely death in 1989 at age sixty, so this new edition includes a selection of later Abbey: a chapter from Hayduke Lives!, the hilarious sequel to The Monkey Wrench Gang; excerpts from his revealing journals; a little-known account of a trip to the Sea of Cortez; and examples of his poetry. A new foreword by Doug Peacock-Abbey's close friend and the model for the flamboyant activist Hayduke-offers a fond appreciation of this larger-than-life figure in American letters.