If you like HST this book will most likely be a disappointment. It is an early attempt at writing before Thompson found his voice. When I read it I kept thinking of "Deer Park", and why not everyone wanted to write like Mailer in the 60's. Completely missing are the linguistic acrobatics that I usually associate with Thompson's work. They are making a film from this book and it might be fun because they doctored up the script to be more interesting.(Pun intended) Always remember "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.'
I liked this book for the crazy things that happen as usual in Thompson's novels, but this one did not settle right with me. I felt like it could have been a lot better than it actually was, and yet I'm not sure how. I realize this is one of Thompson's first novels, so that's probably why this novel seemed different for me.
I have seen the new movie based on the book, and I was very surprised to not find that a lot of the material from the movie was not written in the novel. I didn't like the movie very much, though, so I'm not surprised I didn't like the novel.
Awash in alcohol, HST's novel is not as over the top as his later efforts but still is an interesting page-turner with hints of his "gonzo' style beginning to appear.
Selfish, shallow, ugly, unlikeable, disengaged characters doing selfish, shallow, ugly, unlikeable, disengaged things in an endless, lost drunken haze. Losers all! I hated this book. It was so unmemorable that I believe I read it 25 yrs ago in school and didn't remember I read it until a specific scene later in the book. Maybe I just can't relate. Thankfully, it was only 200 pages long. Thompson was a capable writer but these characters are just so undigestable. One word - pointless! Was there a point? Little if any moral lessons learned or won. If you want a good book, read The Kite Runner. Find some characters worth caring about and cheering for - not this useless lot.
I'm sorry that I hated this. I'm a huge HST fan and could barely make it through this...and it's hardly a few hundred pages. It's the beginnings of talent, a work in progress...and it's really obvious. It's one of those books where you finish it, blink a few times, and say, "nothing happened." If you're looking to get into Hunter S. Thompson and don't know where to start, this definitely isn't it. Get yourself a copy of Hells Angels and see the Doctor really at work.
This author, I have heard Hunter S. Thompson,has since committed suicide since the first publishing of this book, but he also did Fear and Loathing, a film that was made with Johnny Depp. Basically this book is worth the read.