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Good News: A Novel (Plume) by Edward Abbey
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Good News: A Novel (Plume) (1980)

by Edward Abbey

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Showing 4 of 4
Ed Abbey never disappoints me. I found this one at The Free Book Thing. It was a particularly unsettling read, given the current state of the world. Without much of a stretch of the imagination, I could see something like this happening in my lifetime. ( )
  S.D. | Apr 4, 2014 |
I have to read Edward Abbey when I'm in the desert. What could be better? Well, maybe any of his other books. I prefer his nonfiction, especially [Desert Solitaire], his best. Good News is another of his anarchist romps through the desert, man against the establishment, kind of fun but not his best. Lots of philosophizing: the main protagonist, a man attempting to reestablish government control in this dystopian story, in defending a sidekick who is a criminal who likes to torture people, "....An historical note: Without criminal and torturers like Sergeant Brock--there could be no gentlemen like us."

Three stars - only for Abbey completists. ( )
  mkboylan | Feb 1, 2014 |
I love most of the works of Edward Abbey, but after Good News I'm glad this was his only foray into science fiction. The story is a lot like the movies Mad Max and The Postman combined, in that you have a dystopian future where violent para-military types rule what is left of humankind.

Of course Abbey locates Good News in his beloved Southwest, where an old cowboy rides into chaotic Phoenix looking for his long-lost son who presumably has joined the para-military group. The story is sprinkled with native Americans, liberal college professors, despotic commanders and more.

My advice is that this book is only for loyal Abbey followers wanting to read all of his works. ( )
  exfed | Aug 13, 2012 |
The action here is fast-paced and like many westerns there is little ambiguity about who the white and black hats are. It explores the mentality responsible for organized assaults on the environment. It sees hope in a combination of rebellion and mysticism. ( )
  bkinetic | Oct 14, 2010 |
Showing 4 of 4
With his novel Good News, Edward Abbey seems to have abandoned his harmonious vision of the world that characterized his earlier works. The vision evinced in Good News is of a world falling apart, where both personal and societal disintegration reign. This shift in Abbey's writing toward a dystopian vision is not easy to follow for the reader because, unlike Abbey's previous works, Good News does not present a clear vision of hope and harmony that may lie beyond this world of self-destructiveness and chaos, nor does the novel follow any discernible pattern or form. Almost a parody of Abbey's former novels, which follow the form of a romance, Good News is characterized by an absence of this kind of patterning; its organizing principle is irony, a form, as Ann Ronald points out, "whose only real constant is an imaginative and provocative inversion of the reader's preconceptions and expectations."
 
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In Good News, Edward Abbey's acclaimed underground classic, the West is wild again. American civilization as the twentieth century knew it, has crumbled. In the great Southwest, a new breed of settles, whites and Indians together, is creating a new way of life in the wilderness -- a pastural economy -- with shills and sawy resurrected from the pre-industrial past. Meanwhile, in a last surviving bastion of urban file, the remnants of the power elite are girding their armed forces to reimpose the old order. This is a land of horses and motorcycles, high-tech weaponry and primitive courage, and the struggle for the American future is mounting in intensity. No quarter is asked for given, and the outcome hangs in perilous balance against a background of magnificent nature and eternal human verities.

With this boldly satirical imaginary world, Edward Abbey asks us to look us to look around and take stock of what we value before it is too late.
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