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The Curse of Lono

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  4,345 Ratings  ·  183 Reviews
Hunter Thompson The King of Gonzo returns in The Curse of LONO an hilarious, brain-curdling South Sea adventure, the story of Hunter Thompson's epic escapades in Hawaii . . . Weird Tales from a Weird World by the quintessential outlaw journalist and best-selling author of:
Paperback, 160 pages
Published November 1983 by Bantam Books (first published 1983)
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Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
It was such an amazing and twisted read. I couldn't put the book down. I even cuddled with it.
One afternoon this week as I rode my bicycle home from the library I passed under the branches of an array of stout old trees along the roadway. But I had my suspicions about them, and this, more or less verbatim, was what I was thinking:
"They look safe enough, but you read about their dastardly ways once in awhile, dropping a trunk onto some hapless unsuspecting bastard, pile-driving him into oblivion. You'd think I was safe, being a tree-hugger, but they don't care. I'm human."

Now, would I hav
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mike Marsbergen
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
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
Aug 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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

Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not his best effort, a little disjointed and and depressing, but it was an interesting read.
Jon Paprocki
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
*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,
Zan G
May 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Nils Lantz
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I read this beautifully written book I noted how much of himself he accepted, he was not afraid to share everything. Judgement on his lifestyle or bad decisions was left for his peers while he continued on with his whimsical lunacy.
I say lunacy without malice, I use it to describe the mind set of those brave enough to be unique, live their lives and embrace their mistakes even when knowingly making them. I long to be rid of the anxiety which holds me back from such adventures, living for the
we're in very similar thematic territory with fear and loathing in Las Vegas here: Thompson is on assignment to cover a local sporting event, falls in with a bad crowd and gets into drug crazed conflicts with the locals. He runs on a manic energy and his words hum in a way that is entirely his own, but the "plot" as it were mostly subsists on this energy, absent of most functional narrative thread. stuff happens and it leads somewhere and where it leads (Thompson begins to believe himself the lo ...more
Oct 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of story that could make for a compelling movie, but as a book in the manner it's told the story fails to stay interesting. Those who are Hunter S. Thompson devotees will appreciate the prose for its style -- signature HST language and scenes. As far as content goes, though, it's choppy, repetitive, confusing, and too often pretentious. Then again, I was never a fan of Fear and Loathing, so maybe HST just isn't my thing.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a Hunter S. Thompson book. Not much more needs be said or written about it.

Fans will enjoy it, non-fans of HST will regularly shake their head in disbelief.

It’s what HST does. It’s what his words cause in one. Love it or hate it.

I’m part of the fan club.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Better than I remembered it (having read it back in 1983). Friends gave me HST books written after this one, but I think he lapsed into self-parody about this time. Still, it's pretty funny, and Steadman's drawings are wonderful, as usual. The last great work of Gonzo.
Mirko Bozic
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Thompson classic, in a beautiful collector's edition. One of those which aren't meant for shelves but for display.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Favorite! Could not put it down.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5. really regretting I read the French translation and not the original book in English.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun read
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fear and Loathing at the Luau. Easily the best HST I've ever laid eyes on. He goes to Hawaii on the incredibly flimsy pretense of running in a marathon, for which he also signs up English artist and professional sorry bastard Ralph Steadman. Upon arrival, he meets a handful of drug-addled psychopaths he knew from the States, Ralph wrecks his back taking a tumble into the surf, and the next month and a half devolves into a drug-fueled rampage across Kona beach. Ralph's dog Rudolph gets infested w ...more
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 would 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. Th ...more
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Let me start by saying that I LOVE H.S.T, but this was the weakest book of his I’ve read so far. That is not as bad as it sounds; I still liked the book, but compared to his other masterworks this book pales in comparison.

I have never read a book that had actually made me laugh, not a snicker or a short exhale; I mean an actual laugh where I had to put the book down and recompose myself before continuing. The story is a typical H.S.T. tale filled with drugs, alcohol, and just general craziness.
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve waited many years to gain a copy of this book. It did not disappoint. Steadman is at his absolute best, and Hunter shows he still had some fight left in him back in the early 80s. Plenty of frenzied madness for the whole family to enjoy. The final pages had me in stitches:

"We came in wild and bellowing, Ralph. They said they could hear me screaming about a half mile out. . . I was shaking the war club at the drunken bastard Norwood on the pier and cursing every booze-crazy incompetent son o
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sean A.
An interesting and grossly flawed vision of marathon running, Hawaii, big game fishing, large-scale marijuana sale and predatory real estate practices. Thompson is under acknowledged as a genius prose stylist, and over credited for his outsized, fictionalized and incredibly unlikable autobiographical character of himself.

Also, Steadman's illustrations are wonderful/perfect. His character as portrayed by Thompson is flat, but it is a great gonzo move to interweave the visual artist with the prima
Neon Snake
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nearly as good as Fear and Loathing, this is full-on throw yourself into it and ride it until the wheels come off journalism.

Incoherent as fuck, this is an older Hunter S Thompson, but still as fascinating and engaging, and it still brings up a fierce longing to throw it all in and get on a plane and run until your lungs give way and it all collapses around you, because the experiences that you'd gone full tilt at would be worth it.

Randy Stapilus
Dec 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I've read this was supposed to be for Hawaii what Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was for the gambling mecca. It didn't quite work, even though its story was more coherent than the other book. The time and sensibility were wrong, and something was off in the tone. The Steadman pictures were the best draw by this time. Maybe Hawaii didn't give Thompson enough to rage against, or wasn't a good enough subject for satire.
Connie Nichols
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dan Miller
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the time I read this I was married to my first wife, a Korean. When the bartender made the comment about the Koreans running wild on the beaches and suggesting that they weren't human, it was funny. Lots of drugs and alcohol. Crazy behavior that would get you arrested. HST somehow got by with it.
Lew Wagerly
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this a long time ago, but I should point out that it gets 5-stars based on Ralph Steadman's illustrations rather than Thompson's writing. I've never been a fan of the author, but have always been in awe of the artist!
Joshua Levy
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book on a plane heading to Hawaii when I was in my 20s. I think if I had read it anywhere else, it would only have been 3 stars, but on that plane, it really spoke to me.
Christopher Fraser
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-print
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
Nov 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture
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
Philip Girvan
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's a persistent myth that Hunter Thompson's formidable talent had faded sometime around Carter's inauguration. This incredible book, featuring horrific, wonderful drawings by his collaborator on the Fear and Loathing books (at the Kentucky Derby, in Las Vegas, on the Campaign Trail '72) gives a very interesting history of the Hawaiian Islands, provides an excellent critique/prophecy of greedy Reagan America, and tells a wild story of sportfishers, shifty lawyers, and, of course, Thompson hi ...more
Shane Westfall
Aug 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 -
Jason Fryer
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic first foray into the gonzo world of HST. A world I look forward to revisiting soon.
Flo Rer
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
ich verstehe den kult um diesen autor einfach nicht.. ich habe mich tötlich gelangweilt
Greg Panos
Sep 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 22 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
More about Hunter S. Thompson...
“Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why.” 517 likes
“The greatest mania of all is passion: and I am a natural slave to passion: the balance between my brain and my soul and my body is as wild and delicate as the skin of a Ming vase.” 348 likes
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