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The Damned Highway

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  340 ratings  ·  63 reviews
A hilarious, shocking, terrifying thrill-ride across the American landscape, The Damned Highway combines two great flavors of weird: the gonzo journalism of Hunter S. Thompson and the uncanny terrors of H.P. Lovecraft Horror legend Brian Keene and cult storytelling master Nick Matamas dredge up a tale of drug-fueled eldritch madness from the blackest depths of the American ...more
Paperback, 205 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Dark Horse Books (first published July 20th 2011)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  340 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-books, 2017
Uncle Lono leaves Colorado behind and heads east for Arkham, Massachusetts, in search of the American Nightmare. He winds up caught in a conspiracy that will see Richard Nixon raise Cthulhu from the depths of the ocean to destroy the world...

After reading Fear and Loathing in Innsmouth in Whispers from the Abyss, I was delighted to discover this work existed. Dr. Gonzo visiting Miskatonic University, Arkham, and Innsmouth, written by Brian Keene and Nick Mamatas: how could I lose?
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, july-read
"Winter in Woody Creek, Colorado. It is just after midnight on january 5, 1972, and this is when the fun begins. They call this the wee hours, but there is nothing small about the hours between midnight and dawn. These hours last forever, each one as long and endless as the black gulf between the stars. As I pound the keys, the licking of the clock syncs with the world’s heartbeat, and the rapid-fire staccato of my typewriter slows. Each breath is an eternity.
These are not Wee hours; these
Nathan Shumate
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Admittedly, this book is a one-trick pony, but when that trick is "H.P. Lovecraft meets Hunter S. Thompson," is enough of a trick to carry the whole book. Set in 1972, it posits an evil behind Nixon beyond the reasons for which a post-hippie gonzo journalist would assume, and so the narrator, who adopts the name "Uncle Lono" for this exploration, sets out to discover the "American Nightmare," and finds more than he bargains for.

My only real complaint with this book stems from my comp
Sharon Tyler
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Damned Highway: Fear and Loathing in Arkham by Nick Mamatas and Brian Keene is an intelligent, unique novel that will get you thinking. Politics, drugs, paranoia, the old gods, conspiracies, one crazy writer and a heap of strangeness fill this thrilling novel. The publisher has described The Damned Highway as a combination of the gonzo journalism of Hunter S. Thompson and terrors of H.P. Lovecraft, and I can think of no better or accurate description. In fact, I am still having trouble coming up with wor ...more
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Blending the gonzo journalism of Hunter S. Thompson with the dark writing of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos is a match made in heaven, or perhaps some outer dimension, but the two were not contemporaries so they never collaborated, but what if they had?

Brian Keene and Nick Mamatas’ book The Damned Highway: Fear and Loathing in Arkham is the closest thing to such a collaboration. It is a funny and hallucinogenic imagining of a road trip undertaken by Thompson from his Colorado hideaw
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
While I do enjoy Lovecraftian horror, I've never been a fan of the author. And while I've yet to read a book written by Hunter S. Thompson, he's always struck me as a captivating character. So, all that considered, what the hell was I doing reading a book that melds the two? I'm hardly an aficionado of either subject. Honestly, I just thought it was a damned cool idea for a book.

Brian Keene and Nick Mamatas joined forces to craft a sincerely weird journey through the eyes of Hunter S
Jonathan Raab
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A pure joy to read for fans of Thompson and Lovecraft, and a poignant portrait of the ruins of the American Dream, to boot.
Sarah Sammis
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Sarah by: NetGalley
The Damned Highway by by Nick Mamatas and Brian Keene mixes together Hunter S. Thompson, H. P. Lovecraft's monsters and Watergate. Thompson, reeling from his unintended fame from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas gets caught up in a plot that involves the invasion of monsters that hinges on the re-election of Richard Nixon.

The book is written in first person, with Thompson as the narrator. His first person observations are written in a voice that wobbles between something similar to Tho
Oct 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror
This union of two styles and genres of writing just didn't work. Both the 'Gonzo' writing and the many Lovecraft references feel forced, and its borderline insulting to the works and lives of both Lovecraft and Thompson. I thought working Thompsons suicide into the plot years before its occurrence was the breaking point for me, until the two authors wrote themselves into the ending. I'm not even sure how it took two authors to create something this bad in the first place. They tried to hard to h ...more
May 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
As a huge fan of Brian Keene, I've been gradually buying a copy of every one of his books over the past five or so years. Though I'm missing some of his very early, limited press works, and those that he only releases as part of his Maelstrom deals, I pretty much have everything else he's published. The one exception was this novel he co-wrote with Nick Mamatas, and the reason for that exception was that I knew I wouldn't like it. I'm not a Hunter S Thompson fan; I'm not schooled enough in Ameri ...more
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
A Dr. Thompson + H.P. Lovecraft crossover was a must read for me. This could have been cornball, or gimmickey but it wasn't. It was a damn fine tribute to both authors. The more familiar you are with both of them the more you'll take from it. Its a bit slower than Thompson's actual writing, but there are times when its just as fever pitch as any Fear and Loathing sequence. Also its more libertarian than Thompson's actual writing. I suspect one of the authors is one.

Mild spoilers: Tho
J.T. Wilson
Jul 06, 2015 rated it liked it
An entertaining, if completely pointless, mash-up of HST and HPL: Crawling Chaos in Las Vegas if you like. It doesn't have the energy to sustain a full book and, as others have said, the writing could have done with a few less uses (about 10 less) of "fear and loathing" and "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" in its barely-200 pages. It's an accurate enough pastiche of Thompson, though, with a few witty touches (the fungi from Yuggoth as hallucinogenic mushrooms is a delightful gag). ...more
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Gonzo is an apt word for this tale, but such was the goal of Nick Mamatas and Brian Keene when they penned this one. While I enjoyed it for a variety of reason (Uncle Lono and his cast of supporting characters, the denizens of Arkham, fun with senators...all that), but what really got me was the weirdness of it all. I dig weird.

The plot finds Lono crossing the country on the tail (or is that tentacle?) of a story with eternal implications for mankind, big stuff for most journalists but just par
Nicholas Kaufmann
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hunter S. Thompson runs afoul of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos in this fast, fun novel. Fans of history, politics, and fungi from Yuggoth will love it. Fans of Nixon, G. Gordon Liddy, J. Edgar Hoover, and Mi-Gos may take issue.
Jun 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
I found it kind of boring.
Nathan Pilgrim
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
More than a alternative Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, this is more influenced by Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, which can be a little misgiving.

Beyond that it is a really fun trip, pun maybe a little intended, following Thompson across northamerica and going deep in the heart of Lovecraft territory is really amusing to see, however in is really loaded with tons of lovecraft lore and name dropping, and this can hinder your experience through the book, specially if you
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Keene and Mamatas totally nail the distinctive voice and worldview of Hunter S. Thompson in this book, and the way the plot integrates both Thompsonian obsessions like Nixon and Lovecraftian touchstones like "fungi from Yuggoth" is note-perfect. I know it can be worrisome to hear a book described as "Hunter S. Thompson meets Cthulhu," because that's the sort of idea that can very easily go wrong. But fortunately, this book is exactly what you'd want from that elevator pitch. A total blast.
Katie Cupoli
Mar 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
I regret reading this book very much. I want the three days I spent on this bullshit back. Spare yourself, don't give into the interesting-sounding description. It's not worth it.
This book left me feeling empty, tired, and feeling completely hopeless for the rest of my "to-be-read" pile.
May 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was very strange. It had a good pace and developed a very interesting conspiracy. Maybe I was out of my element as I don't know that much about the 1972 election or Nixon. It was definitely interesting and humorous enough.
Fresno Bob
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
how has no one done this before?
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very funny book Thompson and Lovecraft together Great idea
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic book for anyone that’s a fan of Hunter S. Thompson, Lovecraft, or Transmetropolitan. An extremely well crafted story.
Jason Bonton
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-shelf
Just couldn't really get into it. Yet I am that way with all books written in first person perspective most of the time.
Jun 27, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a good read - moved along at a decent pace, etc. However, for some reason I expected it to be more. More interesting, more arcane, more eldritch?? Not sure, it just didn't grab me.
Tom Bensley
Sep 07, 2011 rated it liked it
I stumbled across Mamatas and Keene's The Damned Highway entirely by accident. Prowling around the Brian Keene forums, I'd seen it a few times but really had no idea what it was about. I just knew that the cover looked damn cool. Seeing as I was a regular poster on Keene's forum, (until he closed it) it's easy to say I was a fan of his. I've not read Mamatas. So, wandering around an alternative pop-culture store I picked this up and learned a little more. After discovering it was a Hunter S. Tho ...more
Akira Watts
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
If there were ever a book that I was destined to love, it's this one. Hunter S. Thompson has been a literary hero of mine since high school, and I've been obsessed with H. P. Lovecraft since a book of his short stories inexplicably ended up in the children's section of my local library when I was growing up. A road trip through Lovecraft country, narrated by early 70s Hunter S. Thompson? Shut up and take my money.

Unfortunately, The Damned Highway really doesn't work. For one, the work fails to
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, 2017
(More like 3.5 stars)

In 1972, "Uncle Lono" leaves Colorado headed to Innsmouth to stop Richard Nixon from summoning Cthulhu. Keene and Mamatas do an excellent job summoning the gonzo style of Hunter S. Thompson and the general creepiness of the Cthulhu mythos. It is a fast, fun read and a fitting tribute to both genres.
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, wishlist
Our favorite gonzo journalist is at it again, only this time the madness exists outside his head!

Reeling from the fame and notoriety caused by his Vegas book, the Duke reinvents himself and becomes Uncle Lono. He strikes eastward on the corpse of the American Dream in search of the American Nightmare. He encounters bizarre situations which he takes in stride because there is always cause for great and terrible violence, and because he's got Wild Turkey and Heineken in hand. The drugs help too,
Jordan Anderson
While I would like to blame work and the excessive hours it takes from my life, I know the real reason I'm about 8 behind my goal of 65 books for 2016 is because of books like this one.

The first half? It was awesome and I couldn't put the damn thing down. I sped through the first 45-50% of The Damned Highway in something like 2 days. At first the mashup of the gonzo journalism of Hunter S Thompson mixed with the cosmic horror of HP Lovecraft worked surprisingly well. Think an extremely sarc
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Hunter Thompson meets Cthulhu. The only question I have is why hasn't this happened before? It makes perfect sense. This book was as mind-blowing as anything written by the Doctor (of Journalism). It veered wildly from the political to the surreal to the mundane and back again.
My favorite antagonistic protagonist taking on the swine of both sides of the political establishment and their sinister deities. The Fear and Loathing of Las Vegas and the Campaign Trail are both present here along
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BRIAN KEENE writes novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres. His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture’s current interest in zombies. Keene’s novels have be ...more
“One could prefix the words deranged lunatic insists to any headline, and only increase its accuracy. It’s practically implied, and the reading public would hardly read the little phrase as a disclaimer these days.” 0 likes
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