Most helpful critical review
An excellent case study on how the brain works (doesn't work) ...
on March 22, 2015
An excellent case study on how the brain works (doesn't work) on drugs. If there was ever a reason to never go near the stuff, Harrison's lusty novel should seal the deal. The dopey dopers idea of anarchist plotting was doomed from the outset when no one in the trio had a full measure of faculties in operating order. Whether Harrison is writing from experience, or using literary irony to illustrate the stupid-headed way terrorist idealists cook up their idiotic ideas, one would have to either ask Harrison himself, or guess.
More irony is that any serious dropout druggy who read this book would likely never remember doing so in a week or two anyway. So much for art imitating life, or vise versa. The list of drugs and alcohol mixtures the bad boys consume is a form of Harrison poetry in itself. Walgreens, in its earliest years, never had a pharmacy like this.
Still, Harrison's perpetual horniness carries the boredom of another hit of meth, or whatever, clear to the end. It is a story of failures doomed for failure, and this isn't really a spoiler, since it becomes obvious from the get-go.
But there is only one Jim Harrison and his ability to juggle fishing fast moving rivers and Indian history and folklore into a Kerouac road trip is something only the master could do. Read it for that reason only.