Inspired by the author's experiences working with Hunter S. Thompson, an exhilarating, full-speed-ahead roman à clef about an ambitious young writer who takes a job as an assistant to an unmotivated, drug-addled literary icon and helps him finish his long-awaited novel - by any means necessary.
Alley Russo is a recent Ivy League grad desperately trying to make it in New York publishing. She has no connections, even less money, and slings drinks at a Bleecker Street dive bar while slogging through an unpaid internship at Beat magazine. It's there that she hears that the infamous Walker Reade is looking for an assistant - after eight others have recently come and gone - to help him finish his next novel. Hungry for a chance to transcend her working-class roots, not to mention score an experienced editor's eyes on the manuscript she's poured her heart into, Alley takes the job.
After surviving an absurd three-day "trial period" involving a .44 magnum, purple-pyramid acid, violent verbal outbursts, brushes with fame and the law, a bevy of peacocks, and a whole lot of cocaine, she's invited to stay. Over the ensuing months, as Alley attempts to coax the novel out of Walker one long page at a time, the endless procrastinating, vampiric schedule, Herculean substance abuse, Walker's mounting debt, and his casual gunplay will exact a toll on Alley's psyche. By the time she fully grasps the reality of her situation - that she's alone in the Colorado Rockies at the mercy of a drug-addicted icon whose literary powers are waning - her fate may already be sealed.
©2015 Cheryl Della Pietra (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with Touchstone, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
I'm 24, but I have been an avid Hunter S. Thompson reader since middle school. My parents probably would have thought I was bound for juvie if they knew what I was reading.
He has inspired me so much throughout my early adult life - not the drug use, alcoholism, or firearms HST, but rather the ever opinionated, never sugar-coated, and always respected version.
This book blew my mind. Tears, laughter, concern... All while driving down the highway listening to it be read to me. I felt a strong, almost strange sort of connection to each character. So much so, that as characters entered the story, I would quickly start researching, trying to find out who they actually were.
The next time someone asks me for a "good book" to read, I will suggest this and add that it's better than good.
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