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In some ways it stays true to the book, but most of the time, it misses the mark. Gordon is the only impressive actor in the whole bunch, while the other actors (John Stockwell as Gordon's best friend, Baywatch's Alexandra Paul as Gordon's girlfriend) are all airhead stereotypes. The book was much better, despite it's own literary weakness. In the book, you truly got to know Gordon's character and the people around him. In the movie, all the characters but Gordon are treated as throwaways. The movie makes the book seem like Moby-Dick by comparison.