Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang: his novel of eco-defense.

See also the pages on the project to write a 50,000-word novel in November - National Novel Writing Month:

The essence of The Monkey Wrench Gang

The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey is a book of eco-defense. The four protagonists are fairly clear that they are attacking machines, not people. As such, they are not performing terrorism but sabotage and eco-defense.

While The Monkey Wrench Gang is a novel, it could serve as a handbook that our beloved French Resistance would have treasured in WWII, for recipes of how to incapacitate or destroy the machinery of the invaders. Were the USA to be invaded, it could come in handy for the Utah Resistance, the Nevada Resistance, the Texas Resistance, the Indiana Resistance, etc. A movie may be made in 2007.

The four proponents are

  1. George Washington Hayduke, a Vietnam veteran and fierce force of nature. Relentless, violent, vengeful.
  2. Seldom Seen Smith, a "jack Mormon" and river-raft guide with three wives in villages a day's drive from each other. motivated more by love of nature than by hatred of development.
  3. Doc Sarvis, a skilled surgeon, able to bankroll the exploits of the Monkeywrench Gang. His medicine bag is the most important piece of his equipment when he is on the run.
  4. Bonnie Abbzug, a nurse from Brooklyn, who initially works for Doc Sarvis and then settles into a long-term affair with him, and then has a collision with Hayduke.

Separately or together, they attempt to destroy: billboards, police cars, bulldozers and other earth-moving equipment, coal-mine railways, bridges, roads, dams.

Note Abbey's key rules monkeywrenching, as propounded by Doc Sarvis in this book and the sequel Hayduke Lives!:

  1. Nobody gets hurt. Nobody you know. Nobody you don't know. Not even yourself.
  2. Don't get caught.
  3. If you get caught, you're on your own.

Statistics of The Monkey Wrench Gang

Some statistics (ignoring any time taken to revise and edit), many adapted from the Amazon concordance for The Monkey Wrench Gang: