Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Gonzo Girl” as Want to Read:
Gonzo Girl
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Gonzo Girl

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  975 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Long after the last drink is poured and the final gunshot fired, Cheryl Della Pietra's novel inspired by her time as Hunter S. Thompson's assistant will linger in your mind.

Alley Russo is a recent college grad desperately trying to make it in the grueling world of New York publishing, but like so many who have come before her, she has no connections and has settled for an
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 28th 2015 by Gallery Books (first published July 7th 2015)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Gonzo Girl, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Bradley Valentine Isn’t that what interns do? I’m not sure it’s as much of a gender equality issue as you appear to want it to be.

What does “neurologically immature”…more
Isn’t that what interns do? I’m not sure it’s as much of a gender equality issue as you appear to want it to be.

What does “neurologically immature” mean?(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  975 ratings  ·  161 reviews

Sort order
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3 1/2 stars. I found myself reading The Gonzo Girl compulsively -- fascinated, repulsed and cringing. The Gonzo Girls is a fictionalized account of the author's work in the early 1990s as assistant to Hunter S. Thompson. While the narrator Alley's job was officially to help Walker Reade -- the fictional Thompson -- finish a book -- which he desperately needed to do given his financial situation -- her job was really to put up with and do anything required by her egotistical paranoid alcohol drug ...more
In her early twenties, just out of college, Cheryl Della Pietra spent several months working as Hunter S. Thompson's assistant; Gonzo Girl is by all accounts a largely autobiographical novel about that period of her life, with little changed except the names. The narrator is 22-year-old Alley, who at the start of the book is enduring a three-day trial period with the dubious 'prize' of getting to work for the Thompson figure, here called Walker Reade.

Of course, Alley passes her trial, and her li
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Digging up the bones of Hunter Thompson
will not get you high. This book's a downer.
Lisa Kelsey
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Della Pietra is a former coworker, so when I learned she had a novel coming out--one that was based on her real life experience working for the notorious Hunter S. Thompson--of course, I wanted to read it immediately.

Even though this is strictly speaking not a memoir, I'm really impressed with Della Pietra's access to her 20-something year old self. She was able to tell this story though the authentic voice of an ambitious young woman--and she writes with a lot of compassion for that younger alb
Paul Kearley
I won this book on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

When I received this book in the mail, I immediately forgot about it. The cover was unappealing and drab and the the title really annoyed me. (to me it seemed liked some type of lazy marketing spin on Gone Girl to try and tempt the reader).

When I finally found the book again and decided to find out about it, my first thoughts of the book came back fresh. The concept of a girl siting around being 'wild' has been thrashed to death and
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, read-2016
This pretty much sums up this book...
03082018c48b4e15f31d40b01187884b.jpg (236×155)

It might be wrong, but I really enjoyed this one.
Cristina McGregor
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
It was ok. I kind of started to hate Alley and the ending was very whelming. The only parts I enjoyed was where they tripped on acid, that was hilarious.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
I found the narrator, and really all of the characters, to be whiny, unlikable, and hypocritical. This book was predictable in its excess. Nothing about it seemed to make any sort of point.
Shannon Cruz
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was a happy accident. I was cruising through the library and it was pulled out as a display on a shelf and I thought I pulled "Gone Girl", whoops! I'm glad I read this book. It was provocative, daring, and interesting. It became even more interesting when I researched a bit about Hunter S. Thompson (I really didn't know much, but now I want to read "Gonzo"). It made the story much more compelling and I'm glad I researched it.

Some of the party scenes are a bit repetitive, but other than
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks, reviewed
Even if a reader isn't familiar with Gonzo journalism introduced by the late Hunter S. Thompson in the 1970's, this exciting true to life yet fictional account "Gonzo Girl" written by Cheryl Della Pietra recalls her former position as an assistant to this literary icon at his ranch in Aspen Colorado.

Alley Russo had graduated from college, was working as a bartender, her only good future job prospect was office work in her family plumbing business, she had also written an unpublished novel. Alley
Jul 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: girl
What do we have here. A "tell-all" book by an author who supposedly pooh-poohs tell-alls. It's a novel that may or may not be similar to a memoir. An Italian-American woman works as an assistant to a "gonzo journalism" writer. There is only one "gonzo journalism" writer in the entire world, and everyone knows who it is.

What is going on here. A woman is telling her own story. She supposedly fights against misogyny, but she tolerates the journalist who buys her slutty clothes and throws plates at
Jennifer Vilaga
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: Cheryl was a coworker not too long ago. I remember her giving me a taste of this part of her life -- a quick anecdote about shooting guns with Hunter S. Thompson -- and letting me read the article she wrote for POV magazine about her experience as his assistant. All I knew was I wanted to know more. No doubt countless people told her to write a book about it. Who knows why she waited 20+ years but she finally did it and goddamn it's GOOD! The book moves fast and tight; her tales ...more
Aug 18, 2015 rated it liked it
"Gonzo Girl" is a fresh, debut novel from author Cheryl Della Pietra and is loosely based on the authors experiences working for Hunter S Thompson. "Gonzo" stars young, ambitious and fresh out of college Ally and her boss, the infamous literary genius Walker Reade. It's kind of a Devil Wears Prada meets Boogie Nights. There's so much alcohol, drugs, guns, partying, drugs...did I mention drugs? Pietra is a good writer and she definitely weaves together interesting characters and funny dialogue. B ...more
Zora O'Neill
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Totally fun, fast-paced and surprisingly relatable. I say surprisingly because I am not a massive Hunter S. Thompson fan. I read the book because I've worked with Cheryl and was frankly fascinated that someone I actually knew had had this crazy brush with lit celebrity. What I was really pleased to find was how the ambitious main character, Alley, manages the what-do-I-do-now-that-I'm-out-of-college this bizarre setting.

It's also just refreshing to read a book involving tons of dru
Alisha Chico
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Literary coke trip

I don't know exactly why I loved this book but I did. I really did. I think it was just really easy to identify with the main character. Not that I always agreed with her choices or would have made the same ones but she was so well written as a character that I understood and empathize with her. In fact, the Book seemed almost hyper focused on the characters themselves rather than plot and it worked really well. I don't know how to explain this book but it was really good.
Alexa Williams-Brown
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
The writing was shallow and it certainly felt like the author was cashing in on the myth of Hunter S. Thompson, not trying to tell an actual story. Rather than the thin disguise of Alley & Walker, I think this particular experience would've been a stronger story as a shorter, straight up memoir piece. I nearly gave up on this one--I guess we were meant to be shocked by all the drugs, but it became boring quickly, especially with such an under developed female narrator. Alley was meant to be ...more
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical-fic
Okay, so it may be that I love Hunter S. Thompson because we share a birthday together, or it may be because I love his writing, or may be because....he's just an awesome dude and I'm still mad that he died (killed himself). this was interesting that the author made this into a fictional book, I wished she would have written a memoir about HER time with Hunter, than make a fictional character that's based on loose facts. I would have found the story more appealing. Kinda bummed with th ...more
Rachel Fielding
Jan 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
I went in expecting to be enthralled, but "Gonzo Girl" reminded me of a genre crossover gone terribly wrong. It would have been better suited as a piece of "Sex and the City" fan fiction - "Can Carrie overcome hedonism and hero-worship in order to get her big break??"

I'm just saying, this plotline has been done to death, and by authors who didn't have to ride the coattails of the notorious, or the deceased, in order to do so.
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club, 2016-books
Well I will say that I feel like I need rehab after reading this book. The things Alley does and goes thru all in hopes that walker reade becomes her in to pursuing her literary dream is way more than I ever would've done. And knowing this is based on a real experience makes me wonder have i just never wanted anything that badly. Or am I too much of a rule follower to have never even been faced with the debauchery in this book. But the real question. Who is Larry Lucas?
Dave Brown
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
And you thought you did a lot of drugs in the early 90s?
Fiction but really a thinly veiled autobiography of the author's time as assistant to Hunter Thompson....and very good and very funny. Didn't want it to end.
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
As a young wanna-be journalist, I revered Hunter S. Thompson. He was wild! daring! breaking boundaries between fact and fiction, memoir and made-up. . . . And then I grew up and he just seemed a sad wild drunk. This book reminded me of all that annoying, man-boy energy.
Nov 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
blah blah blah cocaine blah blah LSD blah. I feel like I would appreciate this novel much more if I was a bigger Thompson fan.
Hands down, one of the worst books I've ever read. It was terrible from start to finish. blah blah blah booze.
Chris DePoy
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a Devil wears prada gonzo style. it's a quick read about assisting a brilliant cantankerous man on a path to self annihilation. However, Pietra spends a little too much time explaining herself, and the ending felt more like a midpoint turn around rather than a conclusion.
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
The book was really good and kept me reading. I was a little disappointed with the ending but than again I had the privilege of reading the uncorrected proof. All the way up the that last chapter I couldn't put the book down. Just didn't seem to flow with the rest of the book.
Feb 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Digital galley provided by Netgalley.

Review to come closer to the release date. Hoping they change the title before publication.
Joan Barngrover
Oct 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
There really was no point to this book other than its debauchery. I was not entertained, kept waiting for something to happen and was glad when it was over.
Rey Dekker
Aug 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
it didn't get any better and may have gotten worse...the good news is it's over...
Doctor Moss
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a little bittersweet. Anyone interested in this book most likely knows about Hunter Thompson, his brilliance as a writer, his insane lifestyle, and maybe something about the costs of his lifestyle and even of his success itself.

Della Pietra worked as Thompson’s assistant for a few months, but it had to feel like a few lifetimes. Her job was to help Thompson write a novel, Polo is My Life (which never was actually finished). This was 1992, and Thompson was well past the days of Fear and L
Handlung: In dem Buch Gonzo-Girl geht es um die junge, unabhängige, unbekannte Autorin Alley Russo, die nach ihrem Studium bei dem bekannten Schriftsteller Walker Read als Assistentin arbeiten will. Die ersten drei Probetage waren sehr außergewöhnlich, sie erfuhr das Walker drogen und alkoholabhängig ist, Geldprobleme hat ( obwohl er alleine mit nur zwei Büchern über eine Millionen Dollar verdient hatte ) und sie erfuhr das Walker gar nichts mehr auf das Schreiben von Büchern gab und für ihn nur ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Our Shared Shelf: This topic has been closed to new comments. GONZO GIRL - Opening the stereotype of DEVIL WEARS PRADA 2 865 Apr 14, 2016 01:54PM  
  • Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper
  • The Tesla Gate (The Tesla Gate #1)
  • Dark Horse (Eddy Harkness #2)
  • Love Will Tear Us Apart
  • Know Your Beholder
  • The Pecking Order: A Bold New Look at How Family and Society Determine Who We Become
  • Populuxe: The Look and Life of America in the '50s and '60s, from Tailfins and TV Dinners to Barbie Dolls and Fallout Shelters
  • Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History
  • The Orc of Many Questions (The Tales of Many Orcs, #1)
  • The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920's
  • In the Skin of a Lion / Running in the Family
  • When Generations Collide: Who They Are. Why They Clash. How to Solve the Generational Puzzle at Work
  • A Writer's Guide to Persistence: How to Create a Lasting and Productive Writing Practice
  • Shaman, Friend, Enemy (Olivia Lawson, Techno-Shaman, #2)
  • Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation
  • John P. Kotter on What Leaders Really Do
  • Edie: Girl on Fire
  • Sorry To Bother You
Cheryl Della Pietra is a longtime New York City magazine editor, writer, and copy editor. She has published numerous stories in such magazines as Marie Claire, Redbook, and POV Magazine. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, she lived with Hunter S. Thompson in Woody Creek, Colorado, for several months in 1992, where she worked as his assistant. She currently lives in Branford, Con ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“It’s about seeing how much they can get away with not telling you. This is just a test. Thieves start out by taking candy bars, just to see if they can. Then, when they realize how easy it is, they move to cars and jewels and banks. This is a mere trifle compared with what’s coming your way. And the bitch of it is, your generation won’t ever see it coming. You’ll just sit there with your video games and your Mac Classics or whatever while the bastards rob the store blind. And you don’t even know you own the damn store. It’s pitiful. Fucking pathetic. The beginning of the end of a goddamn failed empire.” 0 likes
More quotes…