• All the Wild That Remains

  • Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West
  • By: David Gessner
  • Narrated by: Brian O'Neil
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (229 ratings)

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All the Wild That Remains

By: David Gessner
Narrated by: Brian O'Neil
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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 listeners say about All the Wild That Remains

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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All the while

I was laid up all the while I read this book--and it seemed all the more precious to me! I got out into the wild, into the mind! Gessner asks the questions I would ask, thinks some of the same thoughts I would think-- and some that I wouldn't know to think about. I loved this book immensely and more than I dreamed I would. I didn't want the trip to end.

1 person found this helpful

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Nothing much here

A very less inspiring road trip story than say Travels With Charlie that perhaps only an Ed Abbey acolyte May find more interesting than I did.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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A Beautifully Written Book

I picked up this book to learn more about Edward Abbey (whom I know a little) and Wallace Stegner (whom I love). What I did not expect is that this book itself would be such an eloquent and rich work of literature. This book far exceeded my expectations.

This book is a tapestry. The author, David Gessner, eloquently weaves together the stories of Abbey and Stegner, enriching each with stories of his personal explorations into the land that they knew--from Arizona to Saskatchewan--interviewing some of the people that they knew as well as telling the story of the environmental movement and the contemporary challenges of that movement today. There's a great deal going on in this book, but the author (as opposed to me) presents it all in a very poetic and uncluttered way. This book reads so smooth and I personally found reading it so enjoyable.

I also found in this book exactly what I was looking for. I learned so much about Edward Abbey and Wallace Stegner. And the learning was enjoyable.

Of Abbey, I've only read 'Dessert Solitaire' and I was personally rather annoyed by it. I found some of Abbey's attitudes hypocritical. This book explained that hypocrisy to me in a way that helped me to better understand Abbey and his work. It didn't change my attitude toward Edward Abbey but did greatly enhance my understanding of him.

Of Wallace Stegner, I had very high expectations. I've read much of Stegner's work and consider 'Angle of Repose' the greatest work of literature I've ever read--and I've read it three times (likely to read it many more). I love that book and Wallace Stegner. I could not have been more pleased with this book in what I learned about my literary hero. David Gessner provided a rich literary analysis of his books as well as a biography on Stegner that only helped me to understand and appreciate Wallace Stegner and his work even more.

This was a great book that read quickly and loved every page. It was one that I felt good about reading. It made me appreciate both Abbey and Stegner even more.

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Extraordinary discussion of both men

First, my thanks to David for writing this important and thought-provoking work. Next are thx to Brian. One of the best readings I have heard (though some place names draw cringes).

If you are reader of either author, this work will deepen your perspectives and understanding. I am grateful to have gone on this journey. As perhaps higher praise still, it has spurred me to buy a physical copy as well. YMMV

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Excellent!

This is a great read. Having an author tell the story of two other authors makes for an entertaining book. Abbey is my favorite author of all time... and Gessner does him a great service. I’ve now started into some Stegner... all because of this book. The narrator does a fantastic job!

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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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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.