An interesting book with a vocabulary to keep out the uneducated. Since it is a book about environmental activism I believe this was a deliberate attempt by the author to keep the movement "pure" and in the hands of the academia. The characters are interesting and the conclusion most satisfying. Even though it was a bit overblown, I enjoyed it and recommend it.
Can't decide if Abbey was being consciously ironic, or whether he really didn't comprehend the internal contradictions of his merry band of eco-terrorists trying to "save" the canyon country of Utah and Arizona from development, while still being part of the population influx that drives it. The descriptions of the land are lyrical, but the romance is unlikely and unbelievable, and most of the characters manage to be just plain dull even while blowing things up.
Considering that I hated this book at the beginning, it definitely grew on me a lot more as the narrative progressed. Essentially, a group of strangers who happen to be "environmentalists" (of various sorts with varying motivations) find each other and set about a quest to wage a war on the machinery of progress and restore the surrounding environment to what it once was by destroying bridges and a very critical dam that we are all familiar with. It's a novel that set off an environmental warfare movement, and which, as I said, I hated at the start.
I hate going into too much detail in reviews like this, but suffice it to say that the narrator is extremely opinionated, the characters have varying levels of hypocrisy and crudeness, and much of the humor falls flat for me as a reader. More than that, it lacks a real satisfying ending. Yet, somehow, I did find myself pulled into the hijinks and unbelievable series of events as I continued to read. Abbey certainly does have a talent for writing and clever turns of phrase at times, and I could not help but want to know what happens next.
This is not one that I would have continued reading of my own volition; it was assigned for my class; yet, it is a book that I at least was not left regretting having read. There are doubtlessly better options, but in terms of "Western novels," it is actually a quite good option, and most of my class enjoyed it far more than I did.
This book was recommended to me by an ecology professor. I found the writing a bit trite at times and overly flowery at others. I did not finish the read. I suspect that the author has a bit of a 'cult-like' following or is, perhaps, an acquired taste.