Read One Life at a Time, Please by Edward Abbey Online


From stories about cattlemen, fellow critics, his beloved desert, cities, and technocrats to thoughts on sin and redemption, this is one of our most treasured writers at the height of his powers....

Title : One Life at a Time, Please
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780805006032
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 225 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

One Life at a Time, Please Reviews

  • Nancy
    2019-02-26 00:55

    Picked this up in a bookstore in Moab, UT this summer. They had a whole display of Abbey's works, an author who I thought maybe (?) I had heard of. I decided to try this collection of his essays instead of one of his novels. He was a helluva writer who lived in and loved the four corners region of the U.S. He died in the 1980s - his essays are somehow both prescient and timeless. Not for everyone, tho, the man is opinionated and holds nothing back. I get the impression his novels read the same way, I want to try one and find out.

  • Walter
    2019-02-24 03:48

    He likes to push people's buttons, and he succeeded in that here

  • Roy-Z
    2019-03-19 20:40

    The book is divided into four parts: Politics, Travel, Books and Art and Nature Love (just one short bit on predator hunting calls and littering). The Politics section is as expected: deep insights into Abbey's anarchic views, some founded in legitimate reason, others in a bit of selfish or humanistic lunacy, but well-argued and coherent, often difficult to be critical of. Highlights from the section include Arizona: How Big is Big Enough?, Eco-Defense (the forward to Bill Haywood and Dave Foreman's "Ecodefense"). As always, Abbey uses his youth in Appalachia and coming of age in the American Southwest as a mode of transport through his political view. In Travel, the true Abbey, or the Abbey so many of has fallen in love with, comes out. While A San Francisco Journal is a bit of a slog, it's refreshing to hear him speak of somehwere out of the Four Corners Region. However, the highlight of Travel and One Life At A Time, Please, are the stories within this section, journals from Abbey's journies throughout said Four Corners with various troops of characters: in Lake Powell by Houseboat, Abbey travels arounf the canyons of Lake Powell with a group of geologist on a field course, reminiscent of Desert Solitaire and possibly inspiring the tales withing Monkey Wrench Gang. River of No Return finds Abbey farther north in Idaho with a group of river runners, diving into the history of the Salmon River in Idaho and the largest remaining expanse of unpaved wilderness in America. Yet, for the truest sense of Desert Solitaire, we have Big Bend. Big Bend details a short camping trip into the Texas national park with Jack Loeffler, one of Abbey's best friends and kindred spirits. The book then progresses into Books and Art, and while the whole section is worth reading for any students of Abbey (the chapters within are those in which Abbey himself was studious to), they don't have much staying power being the original read, aside from the interview with Joseph Wood Krutch in his final days. While the two share completely different backgrounds, many ideologies are shared, and one can see where much of Abbey's origins were conceived. Unfortunately, other writings in this section including Emerson and The Future of Sex, are damn near unreadable.The essential Abbey is here, with the stories of deserts and landscapes outside of Utah and Arizona, yet the filler material is often excessively preachy and to some, will be offensive. While there is plenty of excellent writing here, it is far from Abbey's best. For a true Abbey scholar or fan, it's necessary part of the journey.

  • Kristofer Petersen-Overton
    2019-03-07 04:05

    Abbey at his best -- if most controversial. After all "Immigration and Liberal Taboos" is *the* notorious piece. The one in which he sullies an otherwise remarkable body of work. And not because immigration is an issue unworthy of discussion, but precisely because of the racist way he goes about arguing the case for population control. His classification of poor Latin American immigrants as "culturally-morally-generically impoverished people" is astonishingly obtuse for anyone, but especially someone who identifies as an anarchist. His description of the U.S. "boat ... submerged in the Caribbean-Latin version of civilization," stifled by the "alien mode of life" immigrants bring runs counter to everything else he writes. As someone who recognized the hypocrisy of elites, political and economic, and who railed eloquently against the corrosive power of capitalism, Ed Abbey knew better. I suspect this essay grew more out of Ed's fondness for provocation than his flair for cutting through bullshit. Sorry Ed, but this piece, the one you call your "favorite" of this collection, is just that - bullshit.Apart from that one blip that cost Abbey many alliances (and which he later regretted privately, at least according to Cahalan's biography) is stellar, including his reading of Steinem's ostensible radicalism (mere "mild reformism") and Emerson (who "may have been a bore ... but he was a brave and honest bore"). "Writer's Credo" is an inspired piece of work and I wasn't surprised to see Noam Chomsky invoked at one point. The piece reminds me a bit of Chomsky's "On the Responsibility of Intellectuals" or at least the message is along the same lines. In Ed, it's the writer, in Chomsky the intellectual who has a responsibility to expose charlatans and (because it's easier to do in the U.S. that it is in many parts of the world) to take bold positions in opposition to entrenched power. This is the Abbey I love: the courageous, no-bullshit, advocate for freedom and justice, delivered like a punch to the face in tight, humorous, and passionate prose.

  • jeremy
    2019-03-17 00:45

    a score of essays on politics, travel and books. this was the final collection published before abbey's death in 1989, and arguably one of his most accomplished. "a writer's credo" is one of the finest essays on writing i have ever read.why write? how justify this mad itch for scribbling? speaking for myself, i write to entertain my friends and to exasperate our enemies. i write to record the truth of our time as best as i can see it. to investigate the comedy and tragedy of human relationships. to oppose, resist, and sabotage the contemporary drift toward a global technocratic police state, whatever its ideological coloration. i write to oppose injustice, to defy power, and to speak for the voiceless. i write to make a difference. "it is always a writer's duty," said samuel johnson, "to make the world better." i write to give pleasure and promote aesthetic bliss. to honor life and to praise the divine beauty of the natural world. i write for the joy and exultation of writing itself. to tell my story.

  • John
    2019-02-28 23:05

    I'm not quite sure what to think of Edward Abbey and his ideas. I like his description of nature that he encounters during his hikes and water adventures (although they got a little repetitious and tiring after a while), but his beliefs that the writer should be and must be a critic of the society in which he lives (as though there is nothing positive that could be said about our society) and that population growth must be controlled (as though someone other than the individual should decide whether to have children) leave me a bit cold. And Abbey seems to find it difficult to live up to at least some of his preaching. For instance, he rails against using the automobile to bring the public closer to certain areas of natural beauty, but then rides his, or his friend's, vehicle into rugged areas of natural beauty himself.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-11 05:03

    Abbey is fiery, inspiring, and irritating. This book is a collection of his essays spanning several topics: nature, politics, arts, etc. The essays on nature are, of course, the most illuminating. The essays on art border on dull. The essays on politics are mixed. Sometimes it seems as though Abbey just pushes buttons for the sake of it; such as in the speech he presented at the University of Montana's graduation regarding the evils of the Western cowboy. Other times, he is fresh and spot on.

  • Karen
    2019-03-12 04:47

    Sometimes called the "desert anarchist," author Edward Abbey was known to anger people of all political stripes, including environmentalists. In his essays, he describes throwing beer cans out of his car, claiming the highway had already littered the landscape. This book is a collection of what the author terms "pieces", all written "for money". I found the essays sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad but always thought-provoking. I would have really liked Edward Abbey as a free-thinking human being even if not always agreeing with his opinions.

  • Ranger Sven
    2019-02-24 04:44

    Great writing by Abbey! I absolutely loved Free Speech: the Cowboy and His Cow; it is Abbey at his best. The talk Abbey gave at the University of Montana highlights everything I love about "Cactus Ed" and how much he is missed. River Solitaire and River of No Return are two of my favorite travel essays, by Abbey. River Solitaire describes a fall trip Abbey made along the Colorado River. I thoroughly enjoyed Abbey's solo journey along this beautiful river in the SW.

  • Kent
    2019-03-19 21:04

    Another collection of essays and speeches, somewhat more popular than those contained in Black Sun. Includes Free Speech; the Cowboy and his Cow, Theory of Anarchy, Immigration and Liberal Taboos, A Writer's Creedo, Etc., Etc.

  • Alexa
    2019-02-25 00:35

    Not your typical, fiery Abbey - much more restrained and mellow... Still a good read though.

  • Lizkirkham
    2019-02-26 02:35


  • Nicole
    2019-03-03 04:37

    I enjoy Edward Abbey's writing, including his wry and sarcastic style. His writings on the American West are particularly interesting.

  • Miranda
    2019-03-05 04:40

    give the theory of anarchy essay a chance!

  • Brandon
    2019-02-17 21:59

    Not his best set of essays, but readable and at times brilliant.

  • Curt
    2019-03-09 04:54

    Funny and interesting essays. His address to a convention of cow folk is hilarious.

  • David Flaugher
    2019-03-16 22:56

    Edward Abbey never disappoints.

  • Kirk Kittell
    2019-03-05 05:01

    Abbey's essays handpicked by Abbey himself. Good enough for me.

  • John
    2019-03-10 23:39

    Edward Abbey books should be required reading for high-school students.

  • Steve
    2019-02-20 04:59

    He's kind of an a**hole, but that's why I like him.

  • Linda Strader
    2019-03-20 23:46

    Edward Abbey has a way with words. I enjoyed these stand-alone essays, especially the ones on his experiences in nature.

  • Annie
    2019-03-05 21:39

    A most excellent read!

  • Lynn Miller
    2019-03-10 05:00

    Some of my favorite Abbey stories are in this book, from pissing off western ranchers to government people, he drew me in with this book along with his seminal "The Monkey Wrench Gang"

  • Art
    2019-03-04 00:57

    A variety of essays by Abbey. There's enough here to delight and offend nearly everyone.

  • Amy
    2019-03-05 04:58

    No comment, I don't know, no I never have met these people before, I have no idea what I am doing out here with this monkey wrench