Gonzo Girl is a novelization based on a real life experience by the author. Cheryl Della Pietra spent some of her 20s as the assistant to Hunter S Thompson. In this book,20 something Alley is the assistant to Walker Reade. She is immediately emerged into a world of drugs, drugs, and more drugs. Oh and some alcohol and guns! She starts with a 3 day trial period and Walker ends up keeping her on as his assistant. She makes him drinks, she does coke with him and she is secretly re-writing his book since the page or two he gives her every night is never really coherent and more written in code.
Knowing that this was based on a true story, I found myself wondering what was true and what was embellished. I kind of wished this was an actual biography or memoir or her time with Hunter rather than a novelization!
But I loved the book and couldn’t put it down – I just had to see what crazy predicament Alley got into because of Walker next. And what outfit she was wearing when doing it!
I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.
About the Book
“Long after the last drink is poured and the final gunshot fired, Cheryl Della Pietra’s novel inspired by her time as Hunter S. Thompson’s assistant will linger in your mind. This debut novel is raucous, page-turning, head-spinning, and side-splitting as it depicts a boss and mentor who is both devil and angel, and a young heroine who finds herself tested in the chaos that surrounds him. An intense story, Della Pietra’s tale about writing, firearms, psychotropics, and the pros and cons of hot tubs will suck you in and take you on ride. Gonzo Girl is a ticket you want to buy.” —Piper Kerman, author of Orange Is the New Black
Alley Russo is a recent college grad desperately trying to make it in the grueling world of New York publishing, but like so many who have come before her, she has no connections and has settled for an unpaid magazine internship while slinging drinks on Bleecker Street just to make ends meet. That’s when she hears the infamous Walker Reade is looking for an assistant to replace the eight others who have recently quit. Hungry for a chance to get her manuscript onto the desk of an experienced editor, Alley jumps at the opportunity to help Reade finish his latest novel.
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, Alley is invited to stay at the compound where Reade works. For months Alley attempts to coax the novel out of Walker page-by-page, all while battling his endless procrastination, vampiric schedule, Herculean substance abuse, mounting debt, and casual gunplay. But as the job begins to take a toll on her psyche, Alley realizes she’s alone in the Colorado Rockies at the mercy of a drug-addicted literary icon who may never produce another novel—and her fate may already be sealed.
A smart, rollicking ride told with heart, Gonzo Girl is a loving fictional portrait of a larger-than-life literary icon.