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The Curse of Lono
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The Curse of Lono

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  3,676 ratings  ·  150 reviews
The Curse of Lono is to Hawaii what Fear and Loathing was to Las Vegas: the crazy tales of a journalist's ?coverage? of a news event that ends up being a wild ride to the dark side of Americana. Originally published in 1983, Curse features all of the zany, hallucinogenic wordplay and feral artwork for which the Hunter S. Thompson/Ralph Steadman duo have become known and lo
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 1st 1983 by Bantam Books (first published 1983)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 22, 2009 Christopherseelie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: HST fans, anyone up for a dark laugh
The most elaborate, hilarious, and engrossing "big fish" tale ever committed to print. This is one of Hunter Thompson's greatest achievements, and it doesn't hurt that the packaging is lavish. A huge coffeetable book with quality prints, facsimiles of the Good Doctor's relevant letters, and interspersed excerpts from other books that fill in the Hawaiian history relevant to the story. What is so fascinating about this last feature is that it reveals what other HST books have left out: the studio ...more
I don't know why I have been in Hawaii this long without reading this. It was time to pick it up.

It has all the hallmarks of a Hunter Thompson work.... energy, macho, drugs & alcohol, fast cars, loose talk and some politically uncorrect nouns and adjectives. The drawings of Ralph Steadman add even more edginess. The story is secondary to the style.

Also, like any Hunter Thompson book, there is redeeming content. While an ordinary journalist would cover Waikiki, surfing and flowers... they rat
David Hartzheim
Wild. Funny. Outrageous. Irreverent. Insane. Glad I read about it. Glad I wasn't there.
This is the Hunter Thompson book you've never heard of, but really want to read. It's mostly about how crappy Hawaii is. It has the best ending of any of his stuff I've read, hands down.

Getting the book though is another matter. The paperback of it has been out of print since the early 80s. It's only produced now by Taschen, the art book company, as a big 60 dollar coffee table book. And they only started really printing it about a year after the first batch of 1000. The first 1000 Taschen put
Mike Marsbergen
My current favourite-book-of-all-time, from my current favourite-writer-of-all-time.

I never thought I'd ever get a chance to read this bad-boy, or at least, not until I hit the age of forty. But my parents were kind enough to splurge on it for my birthday back on July 11th, 2013.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this thing is bloody ginormous. My version is a coffee-table book, meaning it could technically be used as a weapon or to club off intruders.

The pictures are beautiful, and the s
Part of a conversation about this book:

E: Just ate a sub-par dinner, reading Hunter S. Thompson, avoiding cleaning....I'm doing pretty good.
P: Fear and Loathing?
E: The Curse of Lono. Hawaii in the 80s, marathons, botched fishing excursions, mescaline.
P: Right up there with brown copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

I think this is my fave HST book. Coupled with Steadman's delicious gonzo art, the writing and story really comes alive.
Its a crazy romp through Hawaii which no Thompson or Steadman fan should go without reading!
*If you're a fan of Steadmans art, as I am in a big way - look for a recently published version of Lono. Its a huge oversized hardback printed on high quality pages where Steadman's art really is given center stage. I keep it on display at all times!
Jun 03, 2011 Autumn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!
It was such an amazing and twisted read. I couldn't put the book down. I even cuddled with it.
Curse of Lono came out in 1983, which means I would've been about 14 when I found it inexplicable racked in my small town's sole bookshop/newsstand. I freely admit I'd never heard of Thompson or Steadman, and that it was actually the latter's frenetic and vaguely frightening art that drew me to the book. Ten bucks would've been hard for me to come by at the time (probably proceeds from my short-lived Sunday-paper route), but this book was something I had to have. It is not hyperbole to say that ...more
Zan G
May 24, 2007 Zan G rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of H.S. Thompson and/or Ralph Steadman
I had seen this lying around the local Half-Price Books and snagged it with a coupon diminishing the hefty price tag. This is a gigantic book with huge beautiful prints by Steadman as well as the usual crazed drunken rambling of Thompson.

The whole thing is about a trip to Hawaii to cover the Honolulu Marathon that goes awry a la la Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and degenerates into a mescaline-fueled marlin hunt with a smattering of interesting pre-American Hawaiian history. The art is great, t
Alexander McNabb
It's rather swish of me, but I have the huge and lavish Taschen edition of this wonderful book - probably one of Thompson's most underrated pieces of work.

Any book that starts with the narrator making his way through customs with a blue arm because he chickened out of flushing his stash down the airplane toilet and grabbed it back is obviously going to be pretty 'out there' and this doesn't disappoint.

As usual, Steadman's manic illustrations match Thompson's twisted narrative. Brilliant.

I went b
I might be inclined to rate this higher had it not been written by Thompson, but I expect better of him. It's not at all bad, but by his own admission his primary motive in writing it is that writing books pays better than journalism.

HST and longtime partner in crime Ralph Steadman head to Hawaii to cover a marathon for an obscure fitness magazine. The trip is extended for months, as Thompson tries to get a sense of Hawaiian culture while engaging in the mayhem and hi-jinks that his readers ha
Written ten years after Fear and Loathing, The Curse of Lono is by far and away the least coherent of HST's work, that I have read anyway. It's hard to find anything that might be traditionally referred to as a plot, or even a purpose. Dr. Thompson proves that when you're armed with an array of highly powered hallucinogenic drugs a writer is able to free themselves of all the preconceptions of literature, settling on telling story after story in the style of a dark and perverted stream of consci ...more
Jon Paprocki
I listened to this on audiobook and so probably didn't catch everything. I found it quite energetic and a lot of fun, with a number of memorable scenes including "trapped on a boat with drug fiends during a midnight storm," "impersonating a Hawaiian deity," and many scenes in which a Samoan war club proves essential. Another possible title could have been Fear and Loathing in Hawaii. I liked this book a lot, and I will definitely read the physical copy at some point in the future. There were a f ...more
Meh. Think Fear and Loathing in Hawaii. All this is is another drunken, stoned rampage through a different locale offending a different set of people. That's what H.S.T. is good at. That's his thing. If you haven't read any of his work, you may get a kick out of this, but if you didn't like the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or the Rum Diaries then you probably won't enjoy this.

His writing style wears a little thin on me at times and that's why I can't rate it more than 3 star. I'm convin
Not his best effort, a little disjointed and and depressing, but it was an interesting read.
Another read that just can't be put down. Strange, bizarre totally captivating. It is not that I like the guy but this autobiographical "fish story" brings a seedy side of Hawaii in the 1980's to life mixed with island folklore. Get past the language and drunken, drugged out characters and it is just amazing writing. The opening account of marathon running is a great tease to the rest of the author's experiences in Hawaii. This is topped off with some surreal drawings by Ralph Steadman. Take the ...more
There's something of the throwaway Gonzo pot-boiler about The Curse of Lono. I started reading the first few pages unsure about what to expect but fairly confident in knowing that i'd be able to spend some time riding Thompsons fun and bumpy prose through some kind of wreckless drug-fuelled narrative. That's partly what you get from this book but it isn't as chemically driven as the Vegas book, for example, and it unfortunately doesn't pull you along in quite with quite the same momentum. There' ...more
*Back-dating reviews based on snips I find*

I’m officially taking a break from Hunter S. Thompson. I’m sick of feeling like I’m missing the point. I swear, that blurb has made me paranoid! Every book I read, I’m like “Is it hilarious? Am I missing something hilarious?” I mean, I like his style of writing and I like the fact that much of it surrounds journalism in some form, but I’ve never read a book – barring ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ and felt like I really got the tone it was written in,
Tom Simpkins
An absolutely incredible gem; it's Fear & Loathing in Hawaii with as much vivid Steadman artwork that you could possibly hope for. The historical cliff notes of Captain Cook's ground breaking voyage to the island goes hand in hand with Thompson's frenzied experiences. All in all, I'm glad it took me so long to find it; it was a story worth waiting for.
Connie Reeder
I read this while in Hawaii when it first came out in the 80s. Funny, always irreverent Hunter takes us on one wacky adventure after another using lurid descriptions of people and places on Oahu and then the Big Island as seen through his cranky journalistic lens.

Love this book and Steadman's brilliant, sick illustrations.
Lew Wagerly
Im a huge fan of HST but going into the book (id consider it a short story actually) i wasnt sure if it would hit the mark. I was once again blown away. The illustrations are amazing as always with ralph steadman and the story is somewhat like fear and loathing but in Hawaii. Definitely another multiple read worthy book from thompson.
Christopher Fraser
This was an odd one. It feels a little like a collage, with Thompson jumping around a lot, and the resulting effect is that you don’t quite get the smack of a conclusion that appears in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. On the other hand, Steadman’s art is gorgeous (there’s a reason he’s co-credited - a lot of the images in the book are two-page illustrations, full of colour and odd detail) and there are some really choice lines. It demonstrates that Thompson’s gonzo spirit wasn’t limited to the s ...more
Tim Miller
Hunter S. Thompson goes on an adventure of fear and loathing in Hawaii and presents himself as an angry, trickster god in this book. He's supposed to cover a marathon for Runner magazine, but he and his spiteful family and friends end up traversing two islands for over six months instead. As always, his writing is driven, hilarious, and frightening at times. While Thompson's prose is usually disjointed, I found it easier to piece-together a narrative and various themes in his other works. Noneth ...more
David Koblos
This time the Good Doctor takes us to Hawaii, where he's supposed to cover the Honolulu Marathon. As HST connoisseurs will expect, the athletic aspect is just a minor topic in the background, behind the usual drugs and alcohol, high-life and exclusivity, and the veil weirdness that covers and exposes American culture for what it is. Really, nothing new, for those who are familiar with the Fear and Loathing staples. The interesting thing about this book is how it goes beyond the superficial surfa ...more
Shane Westfall
Great read! This has to be the only book that has made me curious about visiting Hawaii. I always thought the only reason the islands existed was so that conservative Americans could have the experience of visiting another country without stepping off of U.S. soil. Anyway, it is some of Hunter's best work and only AFTER I found it at a garage sale for one dollar did I learn that it is rare and hard to find and such, so that made it more pleasant. Of course other reviewers online make it sound as ...more
Aside from his SF Chronicle works from the 80s(Generation of Swine, etc.) I think this is as fun as HST gets. It is notable that HST is able to sprinkle/disperse accurate lessons on the history of Hawaii throughout his misadventures on the islands. I think it could be said this is typical of many of his works. A great mixture of comedy, history, and commentary on American society. Although, as a caveat I have to admit that the history part may not as prevalent as the comedy and commentary.

Also -
Flo Rer
ich verstehe den kult um diesen autor einfach nicht.. ich habe mich tötlich gelangweilt
Greg Panos
A good friend of mine owns a copy... maybe second of third edition-- still cost him a fortune. We were talking recently about our love of the south pacific and plans for buying time share on the big island of hawaii or possibly kauai. He asks me if i've ever read Lono. I had read F&L in Las Vegas many moons ago and never went deeper into HST. So I located a copy of this sucker and enjoyed the ride tremdously. I just connected with the rambling, psychotic saga on many many levels. This acted ...more
Mike Eckhardt
Fear and Loathing as the wave continued to roll back.
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Did anyone find this book as funny as I did? 1 5 Apr 26, 2015 04:36PM  
curse of lono 5 20 Mar 08, 2013 12:02PM  
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Hunter Stockton Thompson was an American journalist and author, famous for his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He is credited as the creator of Gonzo journalism, a style of reporting where reporters involve themselves in the action to such a degree that they become the central figures of their stories. He is also known for his promotion and use of psychedelics and other mind-altering substanc ...more
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