Confessions of a Barbarian: Selections from the Journals of Edward Abbey, 1951-1989

Edward Abbey, Author, David Petersen, Editor, David Petersen, Adapted by
Edward Abbey, Author, David Petersen, Editor, David Petersen, Adapted by Little Brown and Company $24.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-316-00415-2
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-316-00416-9
Paperback - 87 pages - 978-0-88496-244-1
Paperback - 418 pages - 978-1-55566-287-5
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Ending with an entry written 12 days before his 1989 death at age 60, the diaries of the late environmentalist and novelist (The Monkeywrench Gang) are adolescent in spirit, with all the virtues and vices that word implies. Abbey is capable of startling self-righteousness; his fulminations against writers he considers second-rate seem to be motivated as much by jealousy as by genuine bewilderment at his rivals' success. Yet such moments are cut with welcome self-mockery: He calls himself ``E. Abbey, famous unknown author.'' Though he traveled over the world, he finds his spiritual home in the American Southwest, and some of his most moving writing here pays lush homage to the austere landscape or lashes out at those poised to destroy it. Abbey the lover is as vocal as the moralist: exuberantly priapic tributes to one woman after another fill these pages. Petersen, a freelance writer and environmentalist, was a longtime friend of ``Cactus Ed.'' Illustrated with Abbey's drawings. (Nov.)
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