All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
A homage to the West and to two great writers who set the standard for all who celebrate and defend it.
Archetypal wild man Edward Abbey and proper, dedicated Wallace Stegner left their footprints all over the western landscape. Now, the award-winning nature writer David Gessner follows the ghosts of these two remarkable writer-environmentalists - from Stegner's birthplace in Saskatchewan to the site of Abbey's pilgrimages to Arches - braiding their stories and asking how they speak to the lives of all those who care about the West. What is the future of a region beset by droughts and fires, by fracking and drilling? What should be done about an ever-increasing population that seems to be in the process of loving the West to death? How might two environmental thinkers with radically different personalities - a competent, mature advocate (Stegner) and a monkey-wrenching anarchist (Abbey) - have responded to the crisis?
Gessner takes us on an inspiring, entertaining journey as he renews his own commitment to cultivating a meaningful relationship with the wild, confronting American consumption, and fighting environmental injustice
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 56 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||April 20, 2015|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #124,797 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#79 in Biographies of Environmentalists & Naturalists (Audible Books & Originals)
#202 in Environmental Conservation
#472 in Biographies of Authors
Reviewed in the United States on May 6, 2017
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Top reviews from the United States
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The travelogue is much more urban than wild. Aside from a rafting trip, Gessner doesn’t share wilderness experiences with us. In fact, the longer experiences are the oil boom town of Vernal and some time in Salt Lake City archives. One of my favorite parts was his conversation with other writers of nature – notably Wendell Berry in Fort Royal, Kentucky, Terry Tempest Williams near Moab, Utah, and Doug Peacock in Paradise Valley, Montana.
Indeed, one of the real challenges we face is that too many of us who talk and write about wilderness do so from urban homes. After all, Cactus Ed Abbey wrote Desert Solitaire in Hoboken, New Jersey. Gessner writes from Wilmington, North Carolina. That’s a challenge we all might ponder.
Regardless of place, this is a great book that should be of interest to a wide range of readers. Gessner writes well, and his reflections on these writers are helpful. I know some of all five of these writers’ works, and it was good to learn more about their entire oeuvres. With the other writers, I also gained a renewed sense of place in environmental writing.
Well, in the end I was very disappointed. So much so that I had to go back and look at the reviews once again since I could not believe we all read the same book. Everyone has their own tastes, but Gessner’s writing style was so off-putting that it was a struggle to finish the book. In the end, I found the other poor reviews for this book (1 & 2 star) resonated more truthfully.
While I recommend reading Ed Abbey & Wallace Stegner’s works, avoid wasting your time and money on Gessner’s book.
The sober account of what has happened, what is going on now and what is to come in the West is sobering. He's done a great job of taking us on a tour, laying it out and asking us to think about it. There's lots to consider about ourselves as well as our country. A great job and a wonderful read.
Top reviews from other countries
His style of writing is a little odd. It took me a long time to figure out exactly what was going on. Is this travel writing? An environmentalist's screed and call-to-arms? A biography of Stegner and Abbey? A literary analysis of the Western canon? It is all these things blended together. It's a bit confusing and overwhelming at times, but engaging and informative at other points. Gessner hits his stride later when writing about his own travels with his daughter, in my opinion, although his details about Abbey are pretty much fascinating throughout.