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Publisher's Summary

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

©2015 David Gessner (P)2015 Recorded Books

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Can't wait to read my next gessner!

Love the book as it explores a deeper side of Edward abbey that I had never known. The narrator , however failed to pronounce many common western words correctly . I also would have appreciated the narrator using slightly different voices for different Characters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A thought provoking delight

A beautifully read analysis of two influential writers and thinkers that also invites the reader to consider her / his own thoughts and influence. Told through the voice of the author we are also taken on the journey literally and figuratively of his discovery of his subjects and his own understanding. It is a light narrative with a deep message. If you love or have any curiosity about the American west and its continuing relevance in our national identity, read this book!

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A Classic

Perfect for those who love wilderness. It left me wanting more. This is one I will return to again.

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  • Scott
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 08-27-17

Good critique of important writers and works

I have been an Abbey and Stegner fan all of my adult life. Gessner's analysis of their writing and comparison of their life is detailed and made more interesting because it is set in so many of the locations the Abbey and Stegner lived in and wrote about. This is important because the land and life and landforms are so important to the stories told by Gessner and the reviewed writers.

After listening to this book, I will certainly be returning to some of these works I have not read in many years.

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A modern (2012) updated discussion of the relationship of humans and the West

I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. It will provide a good introduction to the books of Wallace Stegner and Edward Abbey (and how they fit in a "modern" context). The strength of the book is also its weakness in that it is a "critique". It was, however, written by a writer that has mastered the skill of writing. And sort of reminds me of "Down the River". The modern part is that the book is a description of a recent trip by a person that, like myself, had read the authors in his youth which informed his attitudes in later life and had wondered if the ideas "held up". Even if you only have a "vague" interest in the relationship between land use and humans in the west, I recommend this book.

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Enjoyable but long

What made the experience of listening to All the Wild That Remains the most enjoyable?

The two authors whose lives this book explores provide two archtypes that speak to every environmentally aware citizen at some point. In addition, the discussion of the desert west was wonderful

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The book was about 30% longer than it needed to be

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. My husband and I listened to it over many sitting and two long car rides

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Great Writing about Great Writers

This is an in-depth comparative study of two of the 20th century's greatest environmental writers by means of the author's own journey through the lives of both Abbey and Stegner. Five stars!