Hmm. I would start listing off all the categories of people that shouldn't read this book, but that may only leave a dozen or so total. Kidding. somewhat. Let's put it this way, Edward Abbey was very outspoken & quite the environmentalist [in his very own way]...so not liberal left, but only sprinkles of conservative right.
It's beautiful in a sometimes hilarious, lewd, melancholic & dysfunctional way. The books begins in medias res & has me cracking up with the death of the fridge [main character shoots it]. At first, all of it's hilarious. It confirms that my dysfunctional family has nada on this character, Henry Holyoak Lightcap. As you read on, the funny parts are still there, but it becomes somewhat unnerving.
It goes between flashbacks from his past to his current journey back home to where he grew up. So as a reader, you move in this ironic full circle of Henry's life. As someone with the fairly routine background of college/ normal work week/fam [so not Abbey's character], you start to resent Henry & feel that he deserves his downhill course. But then, I start to pity Henry & at the very end of the book just want to see him finally get home.
Henry is apparently loosely based on Abbey & if you read any biographies of the author...the similarities are slightly unnerving. The book is not a prettied up version of life. If you want to read about a fluffy view of life, do not read this book. If all you know is city life, you may as well read a foreign novel without a translation because that's how this would read to you. But if you have thick skin & enjoy some cynicism in your literature, take it for a whirl. I'd recommend borrowing from the library, but you can find one to purchase on Amazon* here.
>>>US Residents, follow this link to find your local public library system: http://lists.webjunction.org/libweb/Public_main.html
*Amazon...just sayin' that if someone were to click this & purchase, I might get a cent or two someday in the future if they don't expire & tons of imaginary people did the same thing.