Conversations with Founder of Huna:
A Tale of Time Travel and Ancient Kahuna Self-Help
Allen Pollens (Self-published 2015, Trade Paperback) 457 pages, illustrated
Given that most of the action takes place in Hawaii, I really do think that repeatedly inhaling of island state's world-famous cash crop would make for the perfect, cloudy atmosphere when reading Conversations with Founder of Huna. (If, like me you really want to put a 'the' in that title, don't. There isn't one.) And no darling, you can't smoke a pineapple. (Thinking) At least I don't think you can.
Back to business. Allen Pollens' novel is about Allen Pollens – no not that Allen Pollens; this Allen Pollens is a fictional Allen Pollens – and his wife Maureen Connor. They spend a month in Hawaii one summer and find themselves encountering some really quite wonderful and equally dangerous experiences learning about the metaphysical qualities of the ancient Hawaiian religion. That part of Conversations with Founder of Huna is great and completely entertaining, even intriguing. If you happen to be familiar with the Native American belief in a Vision Quest, wherein one can travel through space and time in a kind of conscious dream, the kahuna of Hawaii have much the same belief. This allows Maureen to travel back and time and meet with Max Freedom Long, the quite real Founder in this novel's title. If you would like to know more about Long, you could look up his wikipedia entry – but don't bother searching for it now, as the whole entry is reproduced in Conversations with Founder of Huna.
As are other wikipedia entries. Lots of them. There are wikipedia entries – and pictures! - on various hotels, beaches, landmarks, historic personages, you name it. Mischievously, I wonder if Herman Melville might have done the same thing were wikipedia around back in the day. If so, we poor bastard readers might have been spared pages and pages of Melville's moaning prose in torturous minute description of how to launch a harpoon. Far better to get the information out and be done with it!
One can reach a little too far with this kind of shortcut however. The fictional Pollens is ostensibly in Hawaii for an academic conference, and when a keynote speaker begins his address by saying he will now read the wikipedia entry on the subject ... well I sure can't think of a quicker way of losing tenure than chancing that little gambit.
Pollens' novel is great fun, and God knows I've had gobs of fun in writing about it. The religious and metaphysical elements are worth considering. I just might suggest that a little less wiki and a little more written Waikiki might have been a better way to go.
Be seeing you.