The Curse of Lono

The Curse of Lono


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A wild ride to dark Americana: Hunter S. Thompson’s and Ralph Steadman’s most eccentric book

The Curse of Lono is to Hawaii what Fear and Loathing was to Las Vegas: a journalist’s news event “coverage” that ends up an unclassifiable twist of fiction and reportage, myth and crazed surrealism. Featuring all of the zany, hallucinogenic wordplay and feral artwork for which the Hunter S. Thompson/Ralph Steadman duo became known and loved, the book was at once their exemplary and most eccentric output.

The original edition of The Curse of Lono , published 1983, had long been out of print when TASCHEN brought out a signed, limited re-edition almost a decade ago. The book sold out before it even hit the stores. Now available as a standard TASCHEN edition, this fresh, smaller format, makes the gonzo masterpiece accessible to everyone.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783836548960
Publisher: Taschen America, LLC
Publication date: 07/01/2014
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Legendary author Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) developed a style of writing about American life and politics that was so acerbic and over-the-top, it earned its own nickname: “gonzo journalism.” His magazine articles and books—of which he penned nearly a dozen, including Hell’s Angels, The Rum Diary, Songs of the Doomed, The Great Shark Hunt, and the monumental Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas—influenced a generation of writers and established his voice as an essential part of America’s socio-political fabric. Portrayed on the silver screen by Bill Murray (Where the Buffalo Roam, 1980) and Johnny Depp (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 1998), Thompson was a wild character whose persona was inseparable from his often semi-autobiographical writing. True to his image, he once said, “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”

Ralph Steadman is best known for his collaborations with Hunter S. Thompson. He is also a printmaker (his prints include a series of etchings on writers from William Shakespeare to William Burroughs). His own books include the lives of Sigmund Freud and Leonardo da Vinci and The Big I Am, the story of God.

Date of Birth:

July 18, 1937

Date of Death:

February 20, 2005

Place of Birth:

Louisville, Kentucky

Place of Death:

Woody Creek, Colorado


U.S. Air Force, honorably discharged in 1957

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Curse of Lono 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of Dr. Thompson this book is a must. While it is not as good as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, then again very few books are, it is well worth the price.
gonzobrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've just finished reading The Curse of Lono, and I'm surprised that this particular piece by Hunter S. Thompson is less appreciated or even overlooked in favor of his more popular works, particularly his adventure in Las Vegas. Lono is the perfect follow-up to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, as it reflects the recipe which catapulted Thompson's method of gonzo: travel to some exotic locale, cover some seemingly trivial yet ultimately bizarre sporting event, overstay your time exploring the local culture which will ultimately prove equally or even more entertaining than said sporting event, and finally hide in retreat after the blur of intoxication and and savage alienation have been extolled upon friends, family, and locals. Not a bad formula, and not a bad writer. I doubt that the similarity was deliberate to Fear and Loathing, but who really knows? Where Lono is unique is through the division of labor. Thompson's presence is requested in Hawai'i to cover both the brutal exertion and mindset associated with the Honolulu Marathon; he covers it well, but predictably, the real action begins afterward. Unpredictably, accompanying Thompson during his exploits is the illustrator Ralph Steadman, along with each of their families. Without going into too much detail, his companions slowly dwindle due to the harsh conditions on the Kona coast in winter as well as the the mental fatigue precipitating it, thereby leaving Thompson to associate with the more seedy element of Hawai'i (within which he fits nicely). Needless to say, chaos ensues, and the reader is exposed to a Hawai'i not normally described in tourist books. Marathons, deathly pounding surf, flooded cottages, elusive marlin hunting, Samoan war axes, dreaded red fleas, and mass quantities of alcohol make for a paradise reconsidered. Intertwining parts of pure gonzo narrative, the lush, colorful drawings of Ralph Steadman, Thompson's own correspondence, and excerpts of Hawaiian history and lore, The Curse of Lono is nearly as exhilarating as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; it's an evident example of Hunter S. Thompson, in the twilight of his writing, creating yet another brilliant exposition that's humorous, informative and entertainingly bizarre.
Psyonic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book. Showed that even as Thompson aged, he still had what it takes to whip together a good narrative. This is even more pseudo-biographical than such books as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, etc, going to the extent of using actual names for nearly everyone involved.
Borg-mx5 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The good doctor goes on an ill advised vacation and imagines himself the reincarnation of a hawaiian God. Thompson will always be one of my favorites authors, and even is somewhat not as sharp as usual here, he still delivers an amusing story. Profusely illustrated by his fellow vacationer, Ralph Steadman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago