Welcome to my second annual BeerRantsAndBooks Halloween Double Feature! I had so much fun with this last year that I decided to do it again. Just like last time, my first post of the day is a book review and later on this evening I’ll share a beer with you. I don’t recall exactly how I came across this title, but once I saw it I knew I found my Halloween book. Written by Nick Mamatas and Brian Keene, described in-world as an “avowed communist” and “vicious libertarian,” respectively, the story is an occult homage to Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that drops everyone’s favorite Doctor of Journalism into the universe of the Cthulhu Mythos.
Set in the early months of 1972, the book opens with our fictional Hunter Thompson holed up in his Colorado compound furiously typing away into the night and cursing the fame and attention drawn to him by that “Las Vegas book” and “comic strip” (Doonesbury) that borrowed his likeness. Inspired by strange noises outside his door and the realization that the American Dream has died, he assumes the alias Uncle Lono and sets off on a new journey in search of the great American Nightmare. Among the forces standing in his way are nothing less the the cults of Moloch and Cthulhu, the Nixon youth, mutant townies, J. Edgar Hoover, the Deep Ones themselves, and some really powerful hallucinogenic mushrooms from Yuggoth. And then things get weird.
I had a fantastic time reading this! A big part of this experience was surely based on the authors doing an excellent job channeling Hunter’s voice and running monologue. They were clearly familiar with his works and heavily referenced a wide range of things he had written by the time the story takes place. My one criticism here is that they were maybe a bit over reliant on a few of his sayings throughout the book, but on the whole I’d say they nailed it. The book was packed full of amazing quotes and rants, almost all of which were unfortunately too long to suitably excerpt here. Another highlight of this story for me was seeing Lono’s infamous attorney burst into the scene right as the Lovecraftian references started to really pick up. He brought with him an entirely other level of energy and intensity to a book that, despite some really dark and bizarre moments, was a hilariously wild ride that more successfully merged these two worlds than one might think possible.
Again, I can’t say enough just what an incredibly entertaining read this was and don’t think I could have asked for a better book to review on Halloween! I would definitely recommend it to any Hunter Thompson fan looking for a bit of a twist.