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The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975)

Cover text | Reviews | Availability | Reader comments | Library of Congress Data

Book coverThis well-known book is a fictional account of 4 "environmental warriors" liberating parts of Utah and Arizona from evil road-builders, miners and rednecks. The book fueled a new generation of angry young environmentalists (such as Earth First!) practicing monkey-wrenching, sabotage for the sake of protecting the wilderness.

I recommend you to get the Dream Garden edition which has really cool illustrations by celebrated cartoonist and satirist Robert Crumb (see the cover below).

This edition was first published in 1985 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the original publication and was soon sold out, but a reprint came in 1990 with additional illustrations by Crumb from the 1987 Monkey Wrench Gang Calendar. It also contains the previously deleted chapter "Seldom Seen At Home".

Cover text

The bridge, bedecked with bunting streamers and Day Glo banners was ready. The throng prepared to unloose a cheer or two. Suddenly the center of the bridge rose up and broke in two along a zigzag line. A sheet of read flame streamed skyward...

"This is their last stunt, Governor. We're on their tail, sir. We have a good idea who they are, how they operate, and what they're planning next."


"A sad, hilarious, exuberant, vulgar fairy'll make you want to go out and blow up a dam" -- The National Observer

"Since the publication of the The Monkey Wrench Gang, Mr. Abbey has become an underground cult hero." -- The New York Times

"One of the very best writers to deal with the American west." -- The Washington Post

"A real romp" -- Saturday Review

"Ribald, outrageous and, in fact, scandalous" -- Smithsonian

"The Monkey Wrench Gang is a laconic comedy played out in a vast open space Abbey loves an knows well" -- Newsweek

"Mixes comedy and chaos with enough chase sequences to leave you hungering for more." -- San Fransisco Examiner & Chronicle

"Edward Abbey is a writer one would not want to miss." -- The Washington Post

"It's a wildly funny, infinitely wise, near to tragic tale of man against the big god machine -- man against concrete, steel, man-made lakes and parking-lot wastelands. Flawlessly constructed, imaginatively detailed, faultlessly crafted with every effect looped to its matching cause, it's a scriptwriter's dream. What a thing of beauty is Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang." -- Houston Chronicle

"Destroying eyesores is simply another way of creating beauty, and Edward Abbey's dedicated crew are masters of this particular Renaissance. Of course, what the Monkey Wrench Gang does is outrageous, un-American and inimical to the sacred concept of property, and I thoroughly condemn them. If unchecked, they may even start dumping tea in Boston harbor..." -- Richard Bradford, author of Red Sky at Morning


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Reader comments

Library of Congress Data

Abbey, Edward, 1927-
  The monkey wrench gang / Edward Abbey.  1st ed.  Philadelphia : Lippincott,
[1975]  352 p. : map (on lining paper) ; 24 cm.


  Environmentalists--Southwestern States--Fiction.

DEWEY DEC:  813/.5/4

ISBN:  0397010842 : $8.95
LCCN:  75-831 r93

Abbey, Edward, 1927-
  The monkey wrench gang / Edward Abbey ; illustrations by R. Crumb.  10th
anniversary ed.  Salt Lake City : Dream Garden Press, 1985.  356 p. : ill. ;
24 cm.

LC CALL NUMBER: PS3551.B2 M6 1985

  Environmentalists--Southwestern States--Fiction.

DEWEY DEC:  813/.54 dc19

ISBN:  094268818X (trade ed.) : $17.95
       0942688198 (limited ed.)
LCCN:  85-160631 r93

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