The Curse of Lono is a book I have wanted to read for a very long time. It was out of print my entire adult life until recently. Art book publisher Taschen re-released it in a big bulky hardcover format, which is both necessary and awesome, as it gives Ralph Steadman’s art a lot of real estate to live and breathe.
And that is what is cool about this book. It is a great combination of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s insane tales and Ralph Steadman’s always amazing illustrations and paintings.
The book sees Thompson go on assignment for Running magazine to cover the Honolulu Marathon. His coverage of that sporting event only really takes up one small chapter. The rest of the book is filled with tales of everything else that happened while he spent a month in Hawaii over the holidays in 1980.
This is one of my favorite Hunter S. Thompson books, now that I have finally read it. It reads like Fear and Loathing… but set in Hawaii. He covers a lot in this quick read. I even got a nice education on marlin fishing in the Aloha State.
The artwork provided by Ralph Steadman for this story is beautiful and mesmerizing. It adds to the tone of the book immensely. It is also extra special because he is one of the main characters in this story, as he traveled with Thompson to Hawaii to cover the marathon and to have a little vacation away from London.
Other than Thompson’s piece about the Kentucky Derby, this is my favorite buddy story about him and Steadman.
I got this book for around twenty bucks, which was a steal. The size and quality of this book make it something that should be around fifty dollars, new.
If you are a fan of Hunter S. Thompson or Ralph Steadman, this is a must-have. It won’t disappoint and it should provide a lot of joy.