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4.0 out of 5 starsSome deranged stories
Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2018
It's quite like Hunter to be the writer of the modern American tall-tale, with himself as the mad protagonist, his capacity to navigate the obscure and the psychedelic into a lucid experience upon the page is certainly an interesting talent. While I did enjoy this petite volume, I must say that it would have been better just added to the back of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The book is slim and, in truth, does not need to be sold separately from the author's other enjoyable romp. If one likes Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or The Curse of Lono, I believe Screwjack will equally be enjoyed, of course, not for the lack of page count or the price for such a skinny experience, but, fun all the same.
Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2019
This is his most twisted-writing as far as I know, and I've read ALL his stuff - Now!
The reviewers loved it. Personally, I'm not that big a fan of this particular book, but that's just me. To be able to say that you've read ALL of his work, then ya gotta read this one, too, so you might as well get it over with.
I consider HST one of my favorite authors, enamored as I am by his Gonzo style of journalism. That being said, I found the first of these 3 short stories rambling and awkward. I really liked the middle one, it was perfect. The last one was disturbing and chaotic.
Absolutely startling. But those who are looking for an extension of Fear and Loathing will be disappointed. These are simply three short stories written by Thompson in his early days—one of his very first mescaline trip, another a high tense situation, the third being non-sensical fiction. It doesn't take longer than 30 minutes to read through them but it's fun, light reading for hardcore Thompson fans.
If you're looking for more of a story than a few short pages, I'd suggest checking out his earliest written novel, The Rum Diary, instead.
Screwjack was a fast read, but it was worth it. I will be reading it over again. The story length and pacing reminds me of Kafka's short stories, just "Gonzo" in tone. I wish that more journalism was like this. It would make reading and listening to the news much more enjoyable. I wish everyone could be more like Thompson, in their own ways. We could live in a much better world.
Some reviewers were unjustifiably harsh in their comments in regards to Screwjack. While all are entitled to their own opinion, it would seem that those with a blast of negativity were searching for some pseudo-Fear and Loathing II. While HST did write extensively on over-indulgence, he shouldn't be labled only as the writer of an around-the-bend drug odyssey. Thompson is in fact a fine craftsman of language, which is prominatly displayed in Screwjack. Each story imbibes a surreal experience. More like twisted fairy tales than short stories. Screwjack itself is my personal favorite piece. It has a poetic flow and almost a sing-song rhythm. Reading Screwjack reminds me of strange dreams an blurry memories. Certainly something to check out.
3.0 out of 5 starsNot for the easily confused or offended.
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2013
From a literary standpoint, incredibly fascinating. Definitely not a book you want to leave laying around when your mother-in-law visits. There is no amount of explaining or therapy that will ever bring her to understand why her son's wife has such filth in her personal library. Definitely read it if you are into literature. Definitely don't let normal people (like non-insane, non-writer types, judgmental co-workers, relatives) know that you ever even heard of it.
5.0 out of 5 starsOdd, Bizarre, Funny, Haunting, Hunter at his weird best!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 2, 2015
Screwjack is a book that contains three haunting short stories, one is Hunter S Thompson's account of a particularly heavy mescaline trip that he experiences whilst waiting in a hotel room for his friend and lawyer. The second is a truly tragic story, Thompson arrives at a friends house and watches as his friend falls into madness (the ending is truly sad). The final tale is a Raul Duke story, it is kind of hard to follow. However, Duke seems to be telling us of a love affair he has had with a black tomcat. I love Hunter S Thompson's work, not just because a lot of what he writes about is fuelled by drugs (although that does make for a very interesting read) but because he is an unbelievably gifted writer. It's not often I say I was affected by a piece of writing (I don't get emotional when reading like some people do) but with Hunter S Thompson I have, twice. Once when reading these stories (particularly the second of the three stories) and once when reading The Rum Diary. I can't say how I feel exactly, but I just feel different after reading his stories. If you're a Hunter fan, get this book!
2.0 out of 5 starsUseful, But not stand-alone stuff
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2012
Well, before concurring with much of the previous reviewer's comments about length and content, I must admit that Hunter is still Hunter, and however small a volume, his stories are always a great read. Particular interest lies with looking at how his writing style developed from these early works to his much lauded 'Gonzo' of later years. They also stand as a good guide for beginning short-story writers. But of course this whole book does feel like it could be a single chapter of one of his later works. I wouldn't mind this except for the fact that I bought it for roughly the same price that I bought 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' on Amazon. Adding to the disappointment was that the physical book has a tacky feel to it, as if it were designed for Thompson fan-boys who feel like they only need his picture to understand the man. For the price/size ratio, I'd have expected something a little more genuine. I don't regret purchasing this book, but there's nothing in here that one couldn't gain from dipping into his novels or reading from his article collections.
3.0 out of 5 starsFar from is best - almost totally concerning sport (well
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 2, 2016
Far from is best - almost totally concerning sport (well, it is from his sports column after all!) His style is becoming almost self-parody (think Mick Jagger's stage performance and general demeanour!) ands has lost a lot of bite. Very short read.