The Curse of Lono

Last updated February 2006

In 1980, HST made two trips to Hawaii; the first being to cover the Honolulu Marathon as invited by Running magazine. The weather was so bad, he made another one later as well. Curse is considered to be a real oddity among HST's books. It's definitely fiction in some places, as Peter O. Whitmer found out in his biography, When the Going gets Weird. However, it is a fun book about HST's two trips to Hawaii (although the break isn't made clear). Ralph Steadman joined Doc for the trip, and the result (almost three years after the fact) was Curse. It has only been printed a few times, as such a big colourful book is quite expensive to produce.

Curse first appeared in Running magazine at the invitation of Paul Perry, as "The Charge of the Weird Brigade" which ran in the April 1981 issue. Curse was later excerpted in Playboy, December 1983 with a non-Steadman illustration. Ballantine also had a free poster giveaway - we know have a scan of it :-) Until I received the scan, I almost didn't believe these posters existed!

This book remains one of my favourites - there's a noticeable shift in HST's style of writing, it's really the first point where the cartoony quality of his persona and writing came out. It's also not as serious as his previous books and seems more optimistic about the new decade.

If you're looking for a copy... keep an eye out on Alibris, ABE and eBay. Taschen released a special reprint in 2005 that was severely limited to 1000 copies and reprinted it in fall of 2005 as a hardcover. You can also try placing an Inter-library Loan for a copy at your local library.


I may leave out some of the stuff on Hawaii that I originally had for a while. Some of the articles upset a few people, and I don't know if they were upset over something HST wrote, or I had written. The sources I used for all my articles came from the library in the form of travel guides and Hawaiian mythology books.

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