The one-time assistant to tripped-out journalism icon Hunter S. Thompson pens a just barely fictional take on her epic former job. July 2015 issue on newsstands now.
Former Hunter S. Thompson assistant Cheryl Della Pietra’s Gonzo Girl is margarita-fueled, minskirt-clad cautionary tale of lost literary innocence. July 2015 issue on newsstands now.
Wall Street Journal Magazine
Cheryl Della Pietra’s debut is a thinly veiled fictional account of her time as Hunter S. Thompson’s assistant. Read More
NY Newsday Summer Books Preview
“Gonzo Girl,” by Cheryl Della Pietra (Touchstone, July 28). The author of this fast-paced roman a clef worked as an assistant to legendary gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson in 1992. Read More
In this fictional debut from Della Pietra, who once served as an assistant to Hunter S. Thompson, ambitious Alley Russo subjects herself to a washed-up iconic writer’s drink-and-drug-fueled mood swings and the dangerously decadent lifestyle he can’t really afford. Read More
This is a harrowing book, depicting Thompson (here called Walker Reade) in the twilight of his career, with his writing powers waning and self-esteem in peril. He needs an assistant—and hires only young, female ones—to help him stay on track to finish a book. Read More
“Aspiring writer Alley Russo jumps at the chance to work for infamous novelist Walker Reade as his newest assistant. With hopes of eventually promoting her own novel, she endures the endless hazing rituals of verbal abuse, sleepless nights, and excessive recreational drug use. Walker’s juvenile, dangerous, and expensive antics include coke-fueled shopping sprees, pyrotechnic harassment of fellow celebrities, and casual trips to the shooting range while high. Nevertheless, Alley slowly compels Walker to produce usable pages (while editing them into more coherent work on the sly), as her paycheck and eventually her own manuscript become tied to Walker’s finished product. Ultimately, she must decide if the future possibilities are worth the price. VERDICT Drawing on her experience as an assistant to Hunter S. Thompson, counterculture icon and father of ‘gonzo journalism,’ debut author Della Pietra blends amusing imagery, outrageous pranks, and snappy dialog into a lively read. However, Alley is not completely sympathetic in her progressively desperate situation, since she is a willing participant in the reckless behavior. For readers curious about Thompson’s lifestyle and fans of eccentric characters and meandering journeys featuring copious amounts of illegal substances.” —Emily Byers, Tillamook Cty. Lib., OR