Down the River

Down the River Be of good cheer the war horse Edward Abbey advises the military industrial state will soon collapse This sparkling book which takes us up and down rivers and across mountains and deserts is the p

Be of good cheer, the war horse Edward Abbey advises, the military industrial state will soon collapse This sparkling book, which takes us up and down rivers and across mountains and deserts, is the perfect antidote to despair.Along the way, Abbey makes time for Thoreau while he takes a hard look at the MX missile system, slated for the American West For 23 years no Be of good cheer, the war horse Edward Abbey advises, the military industrial state will soon collapse This sparkling book, which takes us up and down rivers and across mountains and deserts, is the perfect antidote to despair.Along the way, Abbey makes time for Thoreau while he takes a hard look at the MX missile system, slated for the American West For 23 years now I ve been floating rivers Always downstream, the easy and natural way The way Huck Finn and Jim did it, LaSalle and Marquette, the mountain men, and Major Powell.

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Down the River

  1. Edward Paul Abbey 1927 1989 was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views.Abbey attended college in New Mexico and then worked as a park ranger and fire lookout for the National Park Service in the Southwest It was during this time that he developed the relationship with the area s environment that influenced his writing During his service, he was in close proximity to the ruins of ancient Native American cultures and saw the expansion and destruction of modern civilization His love for nature and extreme distrust of the industrial world influenced much of his work and helped garner a cult following.Abbey died on March 14, 1989, due to complications from surgery He was buried as he had requested in a sleeping bag no embalming fluid, no casket His body was secretly interred in an unmarked grave in southern Arizona.

343 Reply to “Down the River”

  1. Edward Abbey was not a politically correct environmentalist He was known to drive around in his shiny red gas guzzling Cadillac throwing beer cans out the window, justifying it by saying that the roads were the real pollution He frustrated both conservatives and liberals with his views and actions, but his anarchist spirit, appetite and love of the desert Southwest could not be hemmed in by the rigidities of either party Although he once said It is better to be a knee jerk liberal than a knee pa [...]

  2. The wilderness needs no defense only defenders Quite so, Ed Abbey s essays survey the wide territory of his loves and hates from rafting trips down the river to things being sold down the river armed with his brashness and wit Abbey first delves into the work of renowned naturalist Henry David Thoreau, he learned to know his world as few ever know any world On West Desert Missile Experiments One lunatic armed with a rusty ax can create a respectable amount of terror on any decent community But [...]

  3. Number 2 in the river reading series for me I was expecting this to be better than it was, particularly given how much I enjoyed Desert Solitaire The book is a collection of essays, most of which have to do with rivers but not all It s the kind of compendium that seems like those albums rock stars used to release when they were just trying to run out their record contract cobble together some b sides or phone in the performance and then hand the tapes over to the record company to fulfill the co [...]

  4. This is my first ever Abbey Even I find that hard to believe, save for knowing myself well enough to know I typically steer clear of any author or book series that s too overly hyped, and so I was hesitant to dive into Abbey, wondering where he d fit on my beloved outdoor lit spectrum of Annie Dillard to Wendell Berry This is one of those books I wish I would have found so many years ago, but the timing, as it seems to be with me and books as of late, is stunningly perfect First published the ye [...]

  5. a great read, it s been a while since reading Abbey and he is so great I can always count on him to make me feel like a hypocrite though, really feeling like I need to step up and take action for this earth, also I would like to float all those rivers

  6. There will always be one river, not to cross but to follow The journey goes on forever, and we are fellow voyagers on our little living ship of stone and soil and water and vapor, this delicate planet circling round the sun, which humankind call Earth

  7. Read this book Read Desert Solitaire Read Edward Abbey It s like coming home You ll find what you re looking for I promise.

  8. How much Wilderness is enough And what is it good for anyway Who needs it As they say in Moab, Utah We might answer these questions with counter questions How many cities are enough How large a human population do we really need How much Industrial Development must we have to be content these questions and are addressed in a well written Style about a topic that is dear to my heart and anyone else who is concerned about the environment After finishing I gave it 5 stars well written, intelligent [...]

  9. I always enjoy reading multiple works by the same author I think one of the most gratifying things about doing this is being able to see the author mature as well as having the pleasure to bear witness to their improving writing style There is nothing better than evolution when it comes to writing So, in comparison to Desert Solitaire, Down the River is an improvement I hesitate, though, to say a major improvement Abbey s emotions are not as high in this book He actually uses tact in his argumen [...]

  10. I was a little hesitant to read something else by Edward Abbey I had read his masterpiece, Desert Solitaire, and I consider it perhaps my all time favorite non fiction book Wouldn t anything else by the same author prove to be only a let down Fortunately, this one was great not as good as Desert Solitaire, but certainly not a disappointment.A collection of essays on travel, adventure, and nature with copious spatterings of his personal musings on civilization, politics, and life Down the River i [...]

  11. 2016 review So, Abbey I d read Down the River before, and I d read Desert Solitaire, and I d read Black Sun, and my impression had always been roughly the same A great deal of shouting, a great deal of telling, and not nearly enough showing He s an angry man, a sad man, a broken man, and that s what s reflected in his words not the scenes as much as how he wants you to feel how he feels about those scenes.Kerr very much enjoyed Down the River when she recently read it, regularly reading me long [...]

  12. A collection of essays, mostly about rivers and Abbey s experiences with them Other topics of his essays involve western ghost towns, tribal sponsored foot races in Hopi land, meeting a bear in the mountains of Arizona The underlying themes however are all about embracing wildness, rejecting the wholesale development of our wild places for paper profits and the true home of the human spirit wilderness The human race has been tilling the soil and stacking bricks on top of one another to build cit [...]

  13. This was an interesting book of essays by abbey I have previously read The Monkey Wrench Gang which was a cool fiction about a group of people who become radical environmental activists in the desert southwest and thoroughly enjoyed it I just got back from a Grand Canyon rafting trip and figured who better than Abbey to read while on the river It was interesting reading Abbey s non fiction He writes very well and describes nature quite beautifully He is fervently anti big business, big agri busi [...]

  14. I wrote a long, well thoughtout review of this book, but pressed the wrong infernal key on my keyboard and switched webpages curse ye computational device Instead of weakly replicating the former paragraphs of prodigious intelligence and eloquence, I ll just put this quote here It seems clear at last that our love for the natural world Nature is the only means by which we can requite God s obvious love for it Else why create Nature Is God immune to the pangs of unreciprocated love I doubt it Ed [...]

  15. While not as breathtakingly awesome as Desert Solitaire, this collection of Abbey s nonfiction writing is just as passionate, readable and enjoyable With the river running through the book as a main theme, these essays flow easily into one another, turning the entire book into one decent river voyage As with any of Abbey s nature writing, I would highly recommend giving this a read.

  16. Abbey is a controversial figure, but no one can deny his place in America s canon of writers His distinctive voice and personality roll off every page I didn t agree with all his positions, but that doesn t matter his life and actions and storytelling don t require it I look forward to reading of his work.

  17. More from a favorite American, environmental protection curmudgeon and entertaining story teller All I want to do now is float downstream with Thoreau and Abbey quotes going through my head There s something else here, an inspiration for civil disobedience possibly, but certainly plenty of fuel for getting our own spiritual fires burning.

  18. Bought this from Booked Up in Archer City, Texas, which is owned by Larry McMurtry It seemed fitting to buy one curmudgeon s book from another.

  19. Part III Places and Rivers was the best section of this book Overall, an enjoyable read I enjoy Abbey s sarcasm and wit, as well as the descriptions of the west.

  20. You can not go wrong traveling with Abbey as writes about his adventures and appreciation of Redrock and River experiences in Utah His vivid descriptions, especially if you share his love of outdoor experience are mesmorizing.

  21. If you re expecting a river version of Abbey s desert solitaire, don t Through the lens of multiple adventures down rivers across the United States, Abbey weaves a social commentary of great proportion out of each of his expeditions, mostly asking the same questions of our society that are relevant now, 30 some years later in short Why do we place economic gain above the simple yet fulfilling service of preserving our wild landscapes he s cynical and raw about our destruction of our rivers by da [...]

  22. Lest I commit the ultimate sacrilege and let another year lapse without opening at least one of the sacred scriptures of Abbey, I figured prolly I should nip that sin in the bud the last thing I need is another sin against me and return to Down the River Seeing as how I ve never reviewed this for Good Reads before and seeing as how I d likely make a mess of it anyways, the wisest course for me to take would be to let Abbey himself share a thought From Down the River, here, in every word of this [...]

  23. The Down the River with Thoreau essay is my favorite piece of nature writing, and one of my favorite essays Yes, indeed, we are a lucky little group Privileged, no doubt At ease out here on the edge of nowhere, loafing into the day, enjoying the very best of the luckiest of nations, while around the world billions of other humans are sweating, fighting, striving, procreating, starving As always, I try hard to feel guilty Once again I fail The Peace Corps was a lovely idea for idle and idealistic [...]

  24. nineteen essays thoreau, rivers, bears, missiles, rivers, trees, protest, rivers, dams, books, etc few american writers have commanded prose with a voice as unique and steadfast as ed abbey s none of the essays in this book requires elucidation, other than to say, as in everything i write, they are meant to serve as antidotes to despair despair leads to boredom, electronic games, computer hacking, poetry, and other bad habits each precious moment entails every other each sacred place suggests th [...]

  25. In his Alaskan river odyssey, his wanders in Utah, his creative critiques of Thoreau, and his suggestions that America runs itself on a basic diet of coffee and gasoline, Abbey brought me through adventures of place, thought, and humor He amazes me in his ability to thread his ideas through explorations in the physical world He is a man of the senses he touches, sees, and experiences things directly Yet he is a weaver and builder of philosophies and poetries as well His essays are superb and eng [...]

  26. I thought Desert Solitaire was tedious, but I think many people forgive Abbey s tediousness because they like much of his core philosophy and they like the subject matter of the desert southwest If that is the case, then this much less well known book embodies those points, but with much interesting characters and stories Plus in our modern society we have collectively forgotten the importance of rivers not just in the sense of something to view from afar and appreciate for its beauty, but as a [...]

  27. Not one of Abbey s great works but if you re a fan of his DTR is definitely worth reading to live vicariously thru the various river trips in the SW that form the basis of many of these short pieces Abbey s love for the SW landscape and rivers is there along with his cynical humor Lake Powell is referred to as Lake Foul No fan of dams and what they ve done to the magnificient rivers of the SW, at the time he was writing these pieces the Delores River that runs thru SW Colorado was to slated for [...]

  28. Short stories and essays are akin to eating at a smorgasbord You can sample a lot of different offerings Just make sure you start out at a category you like In the case of Edward Abbey, I knew I was in a good place, at least for me.Abbey s writing style, subject matter and political biases all work for me and this book was a pleasure For some reason, one particular essay,Thus I Reply to Rene Dubos , stuck with me No detail on my obervations now, though, because I am travelling currently and sho [...]

  29. It s a pleasant read by Edward Abbey, full of his descriptions of river trips and his spirited views on various environmental issues Only a portion of the essays were about rivers, but that s fine This book is not quite as intense and mind opening as Desert Solitaire, probably because of the meandering layout His views are ones that I can get behind and shout Yeah, you tell it Let s show this planet that some of us DO care Let s convince people to care Um, if he were around today, he probably w [...]

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