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1. Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible
2. The Great Shark Hunt: Strange
3. The Rum Diary: A Novel
4. Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush
5. Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign
6. Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets
7. Songs of the Doomed : More Notes
8. Screwjack: A Short Story
9. Fear and Loathing in America :
10. The Mutineer: Rants, Ravings,
11. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:
12. Better Than Sex (Gonzo Papers)
13. Hunter S. Thompson: An Insider's
14. Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson
15. Conversations with Hunter S. Thompson
16. Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews
17. The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate
18. The Kitchen Readings: Untold Stories
19. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
20. Generation of Swine: Tales of

1. Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga (Modern Library)
by Hunter S. Thompson
Hardcover: 288 Pages (1999-12-07)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$12.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067960331X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The author's harrowing and critically acclaimed first book chronicles his year riding with the Hell's Angels and other motorcycle gangs, an "experiment" that ended when he was beaten nearly to death by a group of Angels. 20,000 first printing. NYT. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (139)

4-0 out of 5 stars The beginning
By no means the best book HST wrote... Still, it's essential reading for any fan as it was written by a younger, more serious and lucid Hunter Thompson - not the hilarious-dope-fiend-life-on-the-edge Thompson that we all grew to love.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most talked about book among the boys at my high school
When I was in my early years of high school, this book was a mini-rage among the boys. It started among the "tough guys" and spread horizontally and vertically until nearly every male had at least heard of it and the more scintillating contents. My brother brought a borrowed copy home and spoke very highly of it. However, what finally led me to read it was hearing the other boys talk about it on the school bus. I was a listener and observer and enjoyed hearing the stories, but what fascinated me were the reactions of some of the girls that also heard the stories. They were appalled at the tales of "motorcycle mamas", the women that were nothing more than sex toys for the male bikers. One oft-repeated tale heard on the bus is the one on page 248 where a Thompson describes a woman being penetrated in several ways no less than fifty times.
While the tales in this book did not overwhelm me, some of the boys were. The stories of men that were free of the travails of civilization, taking what they needed, living on the road and sharing drugs and women fascinated some of the more rootless of my classmates. I know of one that left on a nationwide motorcycle trip right after graduating from high school and a few others that joined the local outlaw motorcycle gang. To them, being devoid of responsibility for anything other than feeding the hog between their legs was the ultimate in freedom. It also gave them a sense of belonging that they could not find elsewhere.
Of course, while Thompson's tale is real, for most of the boys that read the book, it was an expression of fantasy, a way of dropping out at a time when it was a phrase passed around quite freely. The men and women bikers depicted in this book were extremely tough, honorable in their own way but still ruthless in their lives. It is not a television fantasy, yet many of the readers I knew treated it as such.

3-0 out of 5 stars "...like a burst of dirty thunder..."
I'd read this book a long time ago, and when I saw it at a garage sale for a dime I decided to try it again. It's HST's first book and a pretty good one, too.Later on his ego got completely out of control and he began writing about himself as a colorful hero instead of the story he was ostensibly covering. I never found him as endlessly fascinating as he thought himself to be during his Gonzo Journalism career. Just a drug addict on an expense account, not a skilled writer. He deserves quite a bit of credit for operating such an excellent con that it resulted in a lifelong ideal set-up for himself, but it didn't make for good reading, IMHO. But this book came before all that and it is absorbing, to give the Devil his due.

What's intriguing now is his description of the Hell's Angels as misfits banding together who worked straight jobs and/or collected unemployment benefits to subsidize their outlaw lifestyle; and that there was no high-level crime involved. According to HST, the Angels at that time were strictly consumers of drugs, not distributors or manufacturers. He also witnessed or reported on lots of stray violence, but heard not even a hint of any premeditated murders or intimidation or extortion, or any such goings-on. There were specious media reports and rumors of drug-smuggling by the Angels, but HST dismisses these tales out-of-hand. He makes the point that people as conspicuous as outlaw bikers would make poor smugglers, since this is a field where anonymity is necessary for success. He was absolutely certain that the Angels would wear their colors and ride their bikes in full view while engaging in any criminal endeavors.HST seems to have had both admiration and contempt for the Angels and maybe his disdain for them led him to overlook their possible secret activities, unwilling to credit them with the necessary smarts that would be required. Or perhaps events in this book actually took place before the outlaw bike clubs became enmeshed in organized crime.

An odd parallel occurs in William Queen's book "Under and Alone" about a BATF Agent infiltrating the Mongols roughly thirty years after the events in "Hell's Angels". Mr. Queen describes most of the Mongols that he encountered as unsure of how to exploit their situation for financial gain and perfectly content to just enjoy "The Life". He looked very intently indeed at all aspects of the Mongols' activities that he possibly could; but his investigation mostly uncovered bike thefts and parole violations and illegal possession and sales of guns. There was drug usage, but no sales or manufacturing. He did witness the Mongols' San Diego chapter intimidating and extorting from a strip-club owner, butit's unclear if this resulted in any criminal charges. This isn't intended to disparage Mr. Queen's extremely dangerous and astonishingly skillful undercover mission in any way, shape or form. Some of the Mongols were also implicated in rapes, robberies, assaults and drug offenses during his experiences with them and his own life was very much at risk the entire time. But these similarities to HST's account are really noteworthy, also IMHO.

Maybe the particular chapters of either club that both men were reporting on were relatively uninvolved in big-time organized crime, after all. Or maybe not all outlaw bikers are actually up to their necks in drugs and murder and prostitution and so on. Maybe there are degrees of culpability here. That's not to say that they're all just a bunch of nice guys who happen to like Harleys. They're terribly violence-prone and volatile, to put it mildly. It's always wise to treat with them with respect, but keep your distance. Outsiders can become targets at any time and without warning. Especially when the members get intoxicated.

But I digress. "Hell's Angels" is a good book and a good read, a well-written account of a segment of the Sixties that's pretty interesting in its own right.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dated, But a Superior Book
I found this book at a bargain price at a used bookshop, and spent the afternoon reading it.I have always enjoyed Thompson's writing, but somehow, always managed to miss this one.I am sorry I did.

Thompson's book is, essentially, a three pronged look at American society in the mid-1960's.On the one hand, you have the Hell's Angels, the consumate "bad boys" of the mid- to late 20th century American imagination.On the other, a greedy and sensationalistic press anxious for the headlines - real or fabricated - the Angels once provoked.And finally, you have "John Q. Public," the man caught in between the Harley riding outlaws and their media myth, far too prone to accept anything negative as universally true based on nothing but what was often nothing more than flimsy rumor and wild speculation.And you see the beginning transformation of the Angels themselves under the barrage of press coverage they sometimes loathed and sometimes embraced as they went "mainstream," for good or for ill.Academically, it's a masterful demonstration of how the emerging media culture of the 1950's and 1960's began to demonstrate a real power in shaping public perception and what that did to at least one "imagined community" which quickly lost or was compelled to transform its own sense of its history and itself, and how a country in small began to rehape its own definitions of "good" and "evil" whetted by an escalating appetite for voyeurism.It is a great slice of period history read broadly.

Thompson has been roundly criticized for making the Angels exemplars of what John Keegan might have called "The False Heroic" and then roundly criticized for stabbing his subjects in the back, in spite of the on-again/off-again grudging and tepid "approval" of people like legendary Angel Sonny Barger.I have to say I did not see any of that.Thompson was struggling to find fact behind the Angel's often self-promoted legendarium, and he succeeded in as much as an "outsider looking in" can.While he amply demonstrates how the social prejudices and slavering media of the 1960's created a "boogeyman" that was really more a creature of shadow, I did not see the Angels getting any "free passes" for their "groupthink" codes or sometimes incredibly bad conduct, even if their mayhem was, statistically, not even a "blip on the radar screen."So what the reader gets is, essentially, a really wonderful deconstruction of several social myths on multiple levels.The dryness of Thompson's prose and the marked disinclination to pass judgments without serious and explained reflection, sourcing and thought is, plainly, a deliberate choice made to avoid the lurid, red-toned language of the popular press and the Angels' own myths circulating in his own time.So, while it is true you do get a book that can seem rather "Plain Jane," in context, it was a brave choice Thompson made if he was going to write something worthwhile.And I suspect that complaints about it being "boring" are really more reflections of the fact that people, hungry for the bloody and violent, had elevated expectations going in and were unprepared for a sober, non-sensationalized account of "Hell's Angels on the Cusp."Thompson had little use for the dark romantic narrative from anywhere or anyone, and this "sick and tired" deadpan attitude served his writing and credibility well even if it won him few admirers anywhere.

Thompson's own self-promotion is really only a small part of this book, and I suspect much of that came later, one of the things making Thompson such a paradox, hypocrite, or court jester, depending on your point of view.Suffice it to say that whether or not his "beating" by Hell's Angels was real, just a tiff gone haywire, or even staged remains debated, apparently.But most of the book is free of that, as I mentioned, and I don't think it had any real impact on the whole.

This is an example of investigative journalism "done right."I learned a very great deal about how what we like to believe and what is actually so can be very uncomfortable when exposed to light of day since, for whatever the many reasons Thompson explains simply and well, the Angels touched a unique chord in the American cultural awareness.And this book also interested me enough to think about a follow-up read updating this fascinating story.It's Americana I never really considered before, and that's always a great discovery.

A worthy book, journalism and cultural history blended and blended well and thoughtfully.Recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good book, but...
Hell's Angels is an in depth look into the lives of the motorcycle gang, delivered by Mr. Gonzo Journalism himself.Seems like a formula for success, right?

The problem is, nothing really happens.There's a lot of build up to the 4 or 5 exciting parts, but mostly these guys seem to just sit in bars and posture.

I love Hunter S. Thompson, but unless you're already a die hard fan, you might want to start with either Fear and Loathing or Rum Diary before you tackle this one. ... Read more

2. The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time
by Hunter S. Thompson
Paperback: 624 Pages (2003-11-01)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743250451
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Originally published in 1979, the first volume of the bestselling "Gonzo Papers" is now back in print. The Great Shark Hunt is Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's largest and, arguably, most important work, covering Nixon to napalm, Las Vegas to Watergate, Carter to cocaine. These essays offer brilliant commentary and outrageous humor, in signature Thompson style.

Ranging in date from the National Observer days to the era of Rolling Stone, The Great Shark Hunt offers myriad, highly charged entries, including the first Hunter S. Thompson piece to be dubbed "gonzo" -- "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved," which appeared in Scanlan's Monthly in 1970. From this essay a new journalistic movement sprang which would change the shape of American letters. Thompson's razor-sharp insight and crystal clarity capture the crazy, hypocritical, degenerate, and redeeming aspects of the explosive and colorful '60s and '70s.Amazon.com Review
In addition to being a testament to the undeniably beatifying properties of American excess--literary, political, chemical, you name it--HunterThompson is the high priest of the ad hominem attack. Anyone unlucky enoughto get in the way of his satirical sledgehammer will end up with soup forbrains. Still, even Thompson needs a good villain to get properly latheredup; that's why he peaked simultaneously with America's 37thpresident, Richard Milhous Nixon. Tricky Dick was Thompson's dark-jowled,pale-calved Muse, and with his departure Thompson seemed to lose his placea bit. Swatting flies with a baseball bat.

You need look no further for this writer's best: this collection of pieces,first published in 1979, spans all of Thompson's primo era, including shortpieces and selections from longer works. The Great Shark Hunt sportsa few articles filed by a pre-Gonzo Hunter S. Thompson, which show flickers of passion butno real fire; the first experiments with the author's drug-fueled brand ofjournalism at the Kentucky Derby; and finally the gigs that made him anAmerican institution, in Las Vegas and on the 1972 campaign trail.

Thompson's style is so unique that a reader is tempted to think that heleapt, fully formed, into Gonzohood. However, along with the crazy,careening prose itself, one of the auxiliary pleasures of The GreatShark Hunt is the map that it gives of Thompson's ascent (or descent,if you prefer) from the workaday hyperbole of sports writing to thehell-blast vigor of his later work. The drugs are, by and large, adistraction--lifestyle points that get in the way of the genuinelyperceptive journalism that Thompson created. (But they are there, always,and in quantity.) If you're looking for insight into the underbelly ofAmerica, Hunter S. Thompson is your best and only guide, and The Great Shark Huntis an excellent place to begin the grim safari. --Michael Gerber ... Read more

Customer Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars Raw Journalism
The late Hunter was more than a powerful and deadly shark, he was a modern day John Stewart, challenging the systen from within. This book showcases his power to tell real and important day to day tales. Long live Hunter...

5-0 out of 5 stars When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...
This is an excellent collection of Hunter S. Thompson's 1970's articles.

Entertaining, insightful, hilarious, and sometimes even informative.

What else can I say? Buy this book, sit comfortably, pour yourself a glass of your favourite poison or smoke whatever dried vegetable matter you are inclined to smoke, read, and enjoy!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Like Hemingway, a prisoner of his era
HST, in his essay (included in this book) "What Lured Hemingway to Ketchum?", talks about how Hemingway reflected the Zeitgeist of his time, and as that era faded, Hemingway faded as well. After World War II the world changed, but Hemingway could not, and Hemingway eventually ended his life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. I was struck, in reading that essay, by how much his observations could have been about Thompson himself. An outrageous, self-indulgent and wild creature of the Sixties, this book captures the height of his creative power and instinct in symbiosis with the memetic explosion of the Sixties. But as the world changed, HST was, like Hemingway, trapped by that declining Zeitgeist. The further the Sixties slid into history, the less relevant Thompson became because, like Hemingway, he was unwilling to adapt. Thompson, like Hemingway, lived the last years of his life in a remote cabin with the few people he still understood. Thompson, like Hemingway, ended his life with a gun.

It's difficult, however, to criticize HST cognizant of how much of our contemporary culture was created or made possible by him. A parallel can be seen in Hunter S. Thompson's contemporary Timothy Leary. It's in vogue among psychedelic people to call Leary, Nixon's "Public Enemy Number One", the worst thing that happened to the psychedelic experiment of the 20th century. Perhaps, but these men, Thompson and Leary, created our world. It's tough to imagine how they, as creative individuals, could have been anything but mirrors of the Zeitgeist. If Thompson had not been a crazy, weird, irresponsible, self-indulgent rogue, what would he have been? He would have been just a failed Air Force sports writer. I firmly believe the same thing of Leary - these men were created by the Sixties and really had no choice about the role they had to play. They had to play the clowns, because the era was a circus.

At least Leary continued to engage the fin de siecle world and strove to stay relevant, for example by being an early pioneer in the personal computer revolution. Thompson narcissistically and lazily rode the wave only until it ebbed, then gave up. Hunter S. Thompson never tried to understand the strange new world that grew around him as the century ended. To our continuing loss, he took the easy way out.

5-0 out of 5 stars The definitive guide to Hunter S. Thomspon
"The Great Shark Hunt," despite its banal title and cover image, is the best primer on Hunter Thompson you're going to get.

There is his first work of "gonzo journalism" about the Kentucky Derby, exerpts from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" as well as "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail." But even if you have bought these works separately, this book has a lot of the small articles that appeared in Rolling Stone and other magazines that you probably haven't seen.

I'd highly recommend this compilation over any other Thompson book.

3-0 out of 5 stars hunter for those with a-d-d
Ok everyone thinks of hunter as the greatest modern writer.This book is more of a tolit read, quick stories you could thumb through alright but you should induldge yourselfin a novel.Do this to get the grasp of his writing and his mind a good introduction to hunters work.ALSO I ALWAYS AM LOOKING FOR POLO IS MY LIFE ANYONE KNOW ITS WHERE ABOUTS ONLINE TELL ME!!! ... Read more

3. The Rum Diary: A Novel
by Hunter S. Thompson
Paperback: 224 Pages (1999-11-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$6.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684856476
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Begun in 1959 by a then-twenty-two-year-old Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary is a brilliantly tangled love story of jealousy, treachery and violent alcoholic lust in the Caribbean boomtown that was San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the late 1950s. Exuberant and mad, youthful and energetic, The Rum Diary is an outrageous, drunken romp in the spirit of Thompson's bestselling Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Hell's Angels.Amazon.com Review
"Disgusting as he usually was," Hunter Thompson writes in this,his 1959 novel, "on rare occasions he showed flashes of a stagnantintelligence. But his brain was so rotted with drink and dissoluteliving that whenever he put it to work it behaved like an old enginethat had gone haywire from being dipped in lard." Surprise! Thompsonisn't writing about himself, but one of the other, older, aimlesslycarousing newspapermen in Puerto Rico, a guy called Moberg whose chiefachievement is the ability to find his car after a night's drinkingbecause it stinks so much. (I can smell it for blocks, he boasts.)The autobiographical hero, Paul Kemp, is 30, trapped in a dead-end job(Thompson wound up writing for a bowling magazine), and feeling as ifhis big-time writer dreams, soaked in Fitzgerald and Hemingway, areevaporating as rapidly as the rum in his fist.

In fact, Thompson was only 22 when he wrote The Rum Diary, but hisfear of winding uplike Moberg was well founded. What saved him was the fantasticconflagration of the 1960s, a fiery wind on which the reptilian wings ofhis prose style could catch and soar to the cackling heights ofFear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Puerto Rico in 1959 doesn'thave bad craziness enough to offer Thompson--just a routinedrunken-reporter stomping by local cops and a riot over Kemp's friend'stemptress girlfriend, a scantily imagined Smith College alumna who likesto strip nude on beaches and in nightclubs to taunt men.

Thompson's prose style only intermittently takes tentativeflight--compare the stomping scenes in this book with his breakthrough,Hell's Angels--but it's interesting to see him so nakedlyreveal his sensitive innards, before the celebrated clownish carapacegrew in. It's also interesting to see how he improved this full versionof the novel from the more raw (and racist) excerpts found in the 1990collection Songs of the Doomed (available on audiocassette, partly narrated by Thompson). --Tim Appelo ... Read more

Customer Reviews (149)

Since this novels publication in 1959, before its author gained mainstream popularity, The Rum Diary has been overlooked in terms of its literary value. The novel; however, which describes the plight of 30-year-old
journalist Paul Kemp, is making a comeback.
Within the past ten years the book has been put back into print to satisfy the growing fan base of its author, Hunter S. Thompson. Currently being adapted into a feature film set for release in 2008 and starring Johnny Depp (a close friend of Thompson's who also starred in 1998's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.), The Rum Diary is sure to gain additional exposure in the coming year



4-0 out of 5 stars Learning to Go Gonzo With Young Dr. Thompson
The Rum Diary, written when Hunter S. Thompson was 22 years old, shows the early evolution of his trademark "gonzo" style. The novel lay unpublished for years until recently, and is now being made into a film starring Dr. Thompson's close friend Johnny Depp. I can't wait to see it.

The novel is loosely based on Thompson's experiences working as a journalist in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the late 1950's and early 1960's. I lived in the Virgin Islands, spent a good bit of time in San Juan, Vieques and St. Thomas, and was greatly impressed with Thompson's crackling descriptions of the local color. The story presents a more accessible, human side to the author, blown so far over the top later in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (with hysterical results). The origin of "Fear" is here, as are the roots of his later writings, and that alone is worth the price of admission.

"Here I was, living in a luxury hotel, racing around a half-Latin city in a toy car that looked like a cockroach and sounded like a jet fighter, sneaking down alleys and humping on the beach, scavenging for food in shark-infested waters, hounded by mobs yelling in a foreign tongue - and the whole thing was taking place in quaint old Spanish Puerto Rico, where everybody spent American dollars and drove American cars and sat around roulette wheels pretending they were in Casablanca." Buy the ticket and take the ride.

3-0 out of 5 stars good, not great gonzo
for a first novel from a brilliant writer who never made it as a novelist, this was pretty good.a few nice sketches but that does not add up to a full story.for completists only.

5-0 out of 5 stars An a-typically candid look at the author as a young man
With it understood that the book went through several rewrites and editings for posterity and that, while much of the material parallels Hunter Thompson's own experiences in the Carribean, it is not a biographical account, this is one of my favorite books.At the risk of inflaming any Salinger fans, this book is to me what "Catcher..." is to alot of folks.The largely aimless wanderings of a young man, the volatile surroundings and situations, the eclectic group companions, even the inevitable monotony and bordom that punctuate his time in the story, it's all so eerily familar.It certainly isn't the insane romp that F&L in Las Vegas is.In fact, it's written with much less of the mad-cap edge inherent in most of his books.But it's that absence of the fantastic, I think, that makes this book such a touchstone.It's very honest, it's somethimes very unflattering, it's fun, it's impermanent... it's, I think, everything that those "formative" years are when you set out to live your life knowing only that don't want what you've seen growing up.A series of "misfires" and "could-have-beens"; misperceptions and obscure opportunities that sometimes end up with us escaping, to one degree or another, the proverbial sinking ship with the bag we came with and handfull of stories.I close this book like you'd close an old photo album, you shake your head, you smile, you think "it was fun while it lasted"...It may not be such a profound experience for you but it's a great read none the less.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book on it's own terms... very interesting to HST fans
This is a good fun read and is better than much of the sentimental over-written pretentious drivel that gets fawned over these days. Rum diary is a good young man's novel even if you knew nothing about the author. It's got an irony, irreverence and underlying post-adolescent dread to it (the narrator is supposedly 30, but he reads younger imo) reminiscent of Mike Nichol's "The Graduate." But the real pleasure in my opinion is reading it as a: portrait of the gonzo as a young artist. This is a book to enjoy reading critically (assuming you've read other HST) -- you can see Thompson working thru influences and poses, you see him searching for his voice often putting on a bogus tough guy tone that's trying for hemingway but is just ersatz mickey spillane and then suddenly he'll hit his stride and describe some cheap sex on the beach in perfectly pitched anti-lyric deadpan. You get a look at the soft white underbelly of HST, too -- there's a sensitive novelist guy here you really don't see (who is in fact denied) in HST's later work.If you're into HST the counterculture legend/journalist, read HST the young novelist -- it's illuminating and even a bit painful. ... Read more

4. Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness Modern History from the Sports Desk
by Hunter S. Thompson
Paperback: 272 Pages (2005-07-26)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$3.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684873206
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Insightful, incendiary, outrageously brilliant, such was the man who galvanized American journalism with his radical ideas and gonzo tactics. For over half a century, Hunter S. Thompson devastated his readers with his acerbic wit and uncanny grasp of politics and history. His reign as "The Unabomber of contemporary letters" (Time) is more legendary than ever with Hey Rube. Fear, greed, and action abound in this hilarious, thought-provoking compilation as Thompson doles out searing indictments and uproarious rants while providing commentary on politics, sex, and sports -- at times all in the same column.

With an enlightening foreword by ESPN executive editor John Walsh, critics' favorites, and never-before-published columns, Hey Rube follows Thompson through the beginning of the new century, revealing his queasiness over the 2000 election ("rigged and fixed from the start"); his take on professional sports (to improve Major League Baseball "eliminate the pitcher"); and his myriad controversial opinions and brutally honest observations on issues plaguing America -- including the Bush administration and the inequities within the American judicial system.

Hey Rube gives us a lasting look at the gonzo journalist in his most organic form -- unbridled, astute, and irreverent. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (39)

4-0 out of 5 stars The politics of sports and the sport of politics

Thompson wants to re-write the rules of Baseball...and Government. Football isn't Football anymore...and the current President is no JFK.

Most of the writing centers on the new national pastime - reprinted articles on the games and the players. The pieces just before and after "9-1-1" are very compelling, as he sees the attack fallout as compounded by Bush IIs lack of experience and competence, as the Commander-In-Chief whose Dad made the first attempt to get Saddam Hussein and may have, in a way, instigated the whole mess.

Two chapters later, "Can Football Survive Bin Laden?" HT had already noted that for the first time in history...no NFL for a week. We must watch our games and watch our backs from now on.

3-0 out of 5 stars This is what a legend looks like
"Hey Rube" is caustic, reckless, random, hyperbolic, entertaining and prophetic.For better or worse, Hunter S. Thompson put into print statements that few of us would utter out loud, at least in mixed company.In fact, it only takes a few pages to realize that HST didn't give a good god damn about mixed company.In fact, he probably didn't believe such a thing existed.ESPN aficionados will relish replaying the machine gun analysis and pointed predictions they read for years [...].The rest of us will marvel at the intertwining of sports, gambling, politics, history and fantasy.It is surreal and compelling, troubling and moving, and always eloquent."Hey Rube" allows us to sit down with a living legend and listen to him reminisce and rail, belittle and honor, struggle and soar.He is over-the-top.He obliterates "the envelope."He paid his dues for decades, building his own legendary status word by word and exploit by exploit.In "Hey Rube" he gleefully spends every last penny of the resulting capital, borrows more from a good friend and makes a pile on the Raiders game.His words are like a lightning storm, full of echoes and flashes, thunderous clashes and eerie silences.For those of us who are just now discovering him, it makes us wish we'd done so before he died.Only Shot At A Good Tombstone

5-0 out of 5 stars Sports Writing On A Different Level
Hunter S. Thompson is one of my all time favorite authors. I have most of his works and enjoyed every page of every novel.

One of Thompsons critics suggested that towards the end of his life HST lost some of his writing ability, his edge, something. This book would suggests different, at least to me.

The book is made up of a collection of his articles for espn.com's Page 2 and they are brilliant. His parallel's between sports and politics were insightful to me because they are relayed in a way I had not considered, and that is what I love about the good doctor. His comparative insights are such that only a person who lived his sort of life and followed the events that he has could make.

Throughout the course of the book the articles are peppered heavily with HSTs gambling activities which add extra flavour to this meal for the mind. Observing how he handles his need to heighten the sport experience with bets on the game and side bets throughout are a treat in themselves. The code of conduct he states for the gambling man applies and is brought out throughout the articles as well.

This book was not a disappointment and is as good as any I have read of his. Unlike his gonzo papers Vol 1 - 4 he writes the stories mostly from what he is watching on TV not on site or following the story from location to location, rather from channel to channel. Worth the read and the price. All Hunter S. Thompson fans will not be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hunter fan
I like his writings on Bay Area sports... hes a fan and a gambler so he has a weird twist on sports... A reader for the bathroom ...and a sports fan

5-0 out of 5 stars Holds up better as the years roll by
4.5 stars

I didn't read much of Hunter's ESPN stuff at the time, so it was a great surprise and pleasure to see that he lost none of his edge before calling it a life.

It's sweet that he was given full rein to delve into sports writing as much as he always wanted to but rarely could on a regular basis (his old Ali pieces still reign supreme in the genre). But what really makes this book work is HST's refusal to ignore the insanity and fraud of the War On Freedom, sorry, Terror, of Bush and Cheney and friends. As if he could!

Thompson links sports and politics together in a number of memorably and typically inimitable essays that hit home hard, and will be seen as very prescient in a decade or two.

The secret of Hunter S Thompson's writing is that while it looks like he's having a big old party and being a wiseass, he's also hitting the nail so damn straight on the head that most of America is still quite a few years from understanding how sadly accurate he usually was.

There's some very fine writing here; while not up to his best 70s work (Shark Hunt is still THE HST tome, methinks), much of Hey Rube is excellent, and anyone who's ever made a sports bet or three will identify, laughingly, with Hunter's oft hilarious tales of wagering.

The kicker is that the HST attitude and bite was still fully intact forty years on, and that's pretty impressive in a world of sellouts. ... Read more

5. Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72
by Hunter S. Thompson
Paperback: 496 Pages (2006-10-20)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$9.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446698229
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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With the same drug-addled alacrity and jaundiced wit that made Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas a hilarious hit, Hunter S. Thompson turns his savage eye and gonzo heart to the repellent and seductive race for President.He deconstructs the 1972 campaigns of idealist George McGovern and political hack Richard Nixon, ending up with a political vision that is eerily prophetic.A classic!Amazon.com Review
With the same drug-addled alacrity and jaundiced wit that madeFear and Loathing in LasVegas a hilarious hit, Hunter S. Thompson turns his savage eye andgonzo heart to the repellent and seductive race for President.Hedeconstructs the 1972 campaigns of idealist George McGovern andpolitical hack Richard Nixon, ending up with a political vision thatis eerily prophetic.A classic! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (74)

4-0 out of 5 stars Witch Doctors, Drugs and Presidents
This is certainly one of Thompson's more substantial (heavy) works--not the easy page-turner for those who've only read "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"--but those who take the time to read this book will find the same beautifully acidic wit and ingenious insight that Thompson brings to the craft of storytelling.

Here, more so than in FaLiLV, Thompson's "Gonzo" journalistic-style becomes apparent--at one point Thompson reveals that one Democratic Presidential hopeful (Musky) is being seen regularly by a South American with doctor who's prescribing various questionable "medicines" for the politician, which explain his "strange" emotionally erratic behavior.

Interestingly, Thompson, himself, would later note the power that a journalist's reporting of "the facts" can have in the political world when that politician rescinds their candidacy.

If there's anyone who enjoys reading anything slightly heavier than Harry Potter left these days, I'd highly recommend they pick this up and give it a read--a truly curious and insightful look into American politics in the Seventies.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Wish Hunter Were Alive to Comment on The Current Political Landscape
I just finished reading this book, and loved it.Thompson has a unique perspective on things -- cynical and hopeful at the same time.The amazing thing, as others have commented, is how similar the issues, debates, rhetoric, and tactics of the 1972 campaign are to both the 2008 campaign and the current debate on health care reform.Anyone who likes Thompson's writing style, is interested in American cultural history, and curious about how we, as a nation, have been arguing about the same things and in the same way since at least 1972 will enjoy this book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Lazy stream of consciousness
I am fascinated by elections and campaigns, and the election of 1972 was especially interesting, and there is much to learn from it as many of the events in 1972 seemed to repeat themselves in 2004 and 2008.In 1972 and 2004, we were involved in a war that was beginning to lose support, scandals had broken (Watergate in 1972, Plamegate in 2004), and the Democratic candidate just couldn't seem to get his act together.

In 1972 and 2008 we had Democratic campaigns that were described as "grass roots".Obama's victory is, in a way, McGovern's victory 36 years later.Obama did what McGovern did, but did it competently.

So I really wanted to like this book.I already read Theodore White's "The Making of the President 1972", so I knew the facts, but I thought Hunter S. Thompson would provide more of the gritty details that White may have found too unappealing to describe.

And, in a way, Thompson did that, but the book is so much more about Thompson and his drug habits than it is about the election.It could have taken place under any circumstances.Let's say Thompson went on a European vacation and got drunk and stoned . . . probably would end up being a pretty similar book.

I got more than halfway through the book, and actually enjoyed how Thompson described his loathing for Muskie and Humphrey.I've never read such hateful prose about those two, and it was pretty funny.

But I got frustrated by his stream-of-consciousness prose and complaints about how he couldn't meet his deadlines, so he'd just toss out some quick, unorganized thoughts.Very lazy.And yes, I'm aware that drink and drugs were involved, influencing his ability to write comprehensibly and timely.

I think if you enjoy books like "The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test" you'll like this one.I don't.

1-0 out of 5 stars I would not purchase from this bookseller.
I was very disappointed when I received my shipment from this bookseller. It took over two weeks to arrive, and was shipped in a cheap, cardboard envelope with no padding. On the outside, the cover was well-worn, with tears on the edges, and the page edges were marked on the top and bottom with a blue "palm tree." The first inside pages were torn, and the cover page had another blue palm tree! The rest of the inside pages were in fair condition, with a brown stain on some of the edges. I paid $30.00 for this book, and it was definitely overpriced. Most booksellers include contact information with their shipment, some even have a comment sheet. This shipment only contained one very beat-up book so that motivated me to write this review.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cited by most notable historians of our time
On C-Span's "In Depth" program, Brian Lamb interviewed Richard Norton Smith and Douglas Brinkley. Richard Norton Smith is probably the most notable living historian specializing on the American Presidency, having had a part in many of the presidential libraries and so forth. Douglas Brinkley is widely regarded as the most prominent living American historian.

Smith cited this book as the best work ever written about the U.S. Elections process, and Brinkley concurred. For those of you who know Smith and Brinkley by reputation, that says far more than anything I could write here. It's not only some of the best political writing of all time, it's some of HST's best work, too. Fantastic. ... Read more

6. Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century
by Hunter S. Thompson
Paperback: 384 Pages (2003-11-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$4.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684873249
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant, provocative, outrageous, and brazen, Hunter S. Thompson's infamous rule breaking -- in his journalism, in his life, and of the law -- changed the shape of American letters and the face of American icons. Kingdom of Fear traces the course of Thompson's life as a rebel -- from a smart-mouthed Kentucky kid flouting all authority to a convention-defying journalist who came to personify a wild fusion of fact, fiction, and mind-altering substances.

Call it the evolution of an outlaw. Here are the formative experiences that comprise Thompson's legendary trajectory alongside the weird and the ugly. Whether detailing his exploits as a foreign correspondent in Rio, his job as night manager of the notorious O'Farrell Theatre in San Francisco, his epic run for sheriff of Aspen on the Freak Power ticket, or the sensational legal maneuvering that led to his full acquittal in the famous 99 Days trial, Thompson is at the peak of his narrative powers in Kingdom of Fear. And this boisterous, blistering ride illuminates as never before the professional and ideological risk taking of a literary genius and transgressive icon.Amazon.com Review
Kingdom of Fear is billed as a memoir, but in essence, all of Hunter S. Thompson's books could fit into this category since his life and work have always been tightly bound together by a mythology largely of his own making. (After all, this is the man who, before earning a single dollar as a writer, began meticulously saving a copy of every letter he ever sent.) Still, this is certainly an unconventional memoir, but then what would you expect from the father of gonzo journalism? In these pages Thompson manages to dig deep and reveal a few "loathsome secrets" without offering the kind of personal details he has always avoided. His childhood, for instance, is basically summed up in a sentence: "I look back on my youth with great fondness, but I would not recommend it as a working model to others." He does, however, reflect upon his considerable legacy, including his well-known, and admittedly exaggerated, use of controlled substances ("The brutal reality of politics alone would probably be intolerable without drugs"), as well as offer assessments of his own work, such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ("It's as good as The Great Gatsby and better than The Sun Also Rises").

In this collection of twisted parables and outlaw adventures, Thompson writes about his early run-ins with agents of authority and the lessons learned; his stint in the Air Force and the beginning of his journalism career; his unsuccessful, though illuminating, bid for Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado in 1970 as the Freak Power candidate; the casualties and unintended consequences thus far in the War on Terror; and numerous examples of present-day injustice and hypocrisy--all with his characteristic mix of brutal frankness laced with humor. He also offers his own take on state of the Union: "The prevailing quality of life in America--by any accepted methods of measuring--was inarguably freer and more politically open under Nixon than it is today in this evil year of Our Lord 2002." Thompson continues to make even the most deadly serious subject matter endlessly entertaining. --Shawn Carkonen ... Read more

Customer Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius
This is a very strong work by a very strong artist.Even though it is a latter work of his, it's a great place for someone new to or for someone who has never heard of HST to be formally introduced.On second thought, no one has ever made it past page 1 of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and not finished it.That's his best work.Maybe this should be the second HST volume you read...

Kingdom of Fear is one of the many works of the great Hunter S. Thompson. Yet unlike his previous books which consisted of letters, reporting and his infamous Gonzo-style of journalism/fiction, Kingdom of Fear is a
different breed.

Written by Hunter himself, this book seemed like a biography of Thompson seen through his eyes. Specifically, its underlying purpose appeared to be for the author to tie up loose ends in any matters whatsoever associated with his professional or personal life...well, sort of.

If you're a HST fan, you're probably not unfamiliar with his style of writing being labeled as offbeat, confusing, controversial or mythological. The myth is essentially Thompson himself, who forever in his career dodged questions of his lifestyle, most of which insisted on dividing the line between fact and fiction within his writing.

More so, Thompson always seemed to answer these inquiries with another question or theory, making us not only feel dumb, but like we should stop examining his life under a microscope and start taking his writing for what it is; exaggerations possibly included.



5-0 out of 5 stars Kingdom of Fear
The is the best writing I have ever read from Thompson. This book reflects the very meaning of Gonzo. A must have for every Thompson freak.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hunter S Thompson
My grandson is getting into reading and this is just the mind expanding material he needs to become a thinker.

4-0 out of 5 stars The "Gonzo" King Near the End
Make no mistake the late, lamented Hunter Thompson was always something of a muse for me going way back to the early 1970's when I first read his seminal work on outlaw bikers, The Hell's Angels. Since then I have devoured, and re-devoured virtually everything that he has written. I have reviewed many of those efforts elsewhere in this space. As I noted recently in reviewing his 2004 work Hey, Rube, a screed on the misadventures of a gambling freak (himself), not all his efforts have been equally compelling. That was the case in my panning of Hey, Rube but here we are back on much more solid`gonzo' style from the old days. Maybe it is because this work is in the form of a memoir and thus intentionally places the good Doc's actions in the center of the writing that puts this effort in the mold of his better compilations like the Great Shark Hunt and Songs of the Doomed.

Thompson uses his patented stream of consciousness trope to create amusing stories starting from the then present (early 2000's) and his then current doings and splices them together, in some segments randomly, to events as far back as his childhood in Louisville, Kentucky. Along the way we find him at age nine in trouble with the FBI, and none the worst for the confrontation. Later, it is down and dirty in Rio with the crazies.Throughout, we find him incessantly testing his beloved guns and various `hot' motorcycles at various and sundry appropriate and inappropriate times.

Additionally, we have some compelling and insightful stories as this radical journalist tours the news breaking global spots, taking trips to places like Vietnam just before the fall, Cuba, Grenada just after the invasion and elsewhere wherever the journalistic action might be and a story, in the Thompson style, might develop. Needless to say there is plenty of ink about sex, drugs and rock and rock including his deeply affecting and traumatic tangle with the law in Aspen the early 1990's. That, my friends, was a close call.

And throughout, as usual, there are pithy political comments about the various idiots-in-chiefs, their henchman and hangers-on that he spent his life hammering. Maybe not hammering your way, definitely not my way, but his way. His fateful run for Sheriff of Aspen on the Freak Power ticket in 1970 probably accurately set the tone as a lifelong description of his politics. For those who have read other works by Thompson some of the signature language may be old hat as he meanders along in this volume. For others it is a chance to learn the lingo.Damn, especially this election year, I miss him. Read on.
... Read more

7. Songs of the Doomed : More Notes on the Death of the American Dream
by Hunter S. Thompson
Paperback: 384 Pages (2002-12-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743240995
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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First published in 1990, Songs of the Doomed is back in print -- by popular demand!In this third and most extraordinary volume of the Gonzo Papers, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson recalls high and hideous moments in his thirty years in the Passing Lane -- and no one is safe from his hilarious, remarkably astute social commentary.

With Thompson's trademark insight and passion about the state of American politics and culture, Songs of the Doomed charts the long, strange trip from Kennedy to Quayle in Thompson's freewheeling, inimitable style. Spanning four decades -- 1950 to 1990 -- Thompson is at the top of his form while fleeing New York for Puerto Rico, riding with the Hell's Angels, investigating Las Vegas sleaze, grappling with the "Dukakis problem," and finally, detailing his infamous lifestyle bust, trial documents, and Fourth Amendment battle with the Law. These tales -- often sleazy, brutal, and crude -- are only the tip of what Jack Nicholson called "the most baffling human iceberg of our time."

Songs of the Doomed is vintage Thompson -- a brilliant, brazen, bawdy compilation of the greatest sound bites of Gonzo journalism from the past thirty years. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Search for the Brown Buffalo
Generally the most the trenchant social criticism, commentary and analysis complete with a prescriptive social program ripe for implementation has been done by thinkers and writers who work outside the realm of bourgeois society, notably socialists and other progressive thinkers. Bourgeois society rarely allows itself, in self defense, to be skewered by trenchant criticism from within. This is particularly true when it comes from a known dope fiend, gun freak and all-around lifestyle addict like the late, lamented Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Nevertheless, although he was far from any thought of a socialist solution and would reject such a designation we could travel part of the way with him. We saw him as a kindred spirit. He was not one of us- but he was one of us. All honor to him for pushing the envelope of journalism in new directions and for his pinpricks at the hypocrisy of bourgeois society. Such men are dangerous.

I am not sure whether at the end of the day Hunter Thompson saw himself or wanted to been seen as a voice, or the voice, of his generation but he would not be an unworthy candidate.In any case, his was not the voice of the generation of 1968 being just enough older to have been formed by an earlier, less forgiving milieu of the 1950's.His earlier writings shows that effect. Nevertheless, only a few, and with time it seems fewer in each generation, allow themselves to search for some kind of truth even if they cannot go the whole distance. This compilation under review is a hodgepodge of articles over the best part of Thompson's career. As with all journalists, as indeed with all writers especially those who are writing under the gun and for mass circulation media these works show an uneven quality. However the total effect is to blast old bourgeois society almost to its foundations. Others will have to push on further.

One should note that `gonzo' journalism is quite compatible with socialist materialism. That is, the writer is not precluded from interpreting the events described within himself/herself as an actor in the story. The worst swindle in journalism, fostered by the formal journalism schools, as well as in other disciplines like history and political science is that somehow one must be `objective'. Reality is better served if the writer puts his/her analysis correctly and then gets out of the way. In his best work that was Hunter's way.

As a member of the generation of 1968 I would note that this was a period of particular importance which won Hunter his spurs as a journalist. Hunter, like many of us, cut his political teeth on one Richard Milhous Nixon, at one time President of the United States and all- around political chameleon. Thompson went way out of his way, and with pleasure, skewering that man when he was riding high. He was moreover just as happy to kick him when he was down, just for good measure. Nixon represented the `dark side' of the American spirit- the side that appears today as the bully boy of the world and as craven brute. Sound familar? If for nothing else Brother Thompson deserves a place in the pantheon of journalistic heroes for this exercise in elementary hygiene. Anyone who wants to rehabilitate THAT man before history please consult Thompson's work. Hunter, I hope you find the Brown Buffalo wherever you are. Read this book. Read all his books.

4-0 out of 5 stars Songs of the Doomed
The Grateful Dead coined the phrase, "what a long strange trip it's been." This has been oh so true for Dr. Thompson throughout his writing career, so his book Songs of the Damned, goes to show. A collection of writings done by Thompson giving glimpses, grim memories and bad flash backs, into an eventful and often intoxicated career.
This book stands as a time line for Thompson's literary career. With excerpts from almost all of his books, there is a little bit of something for all of his many different fans. From the Rum Diary, to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which are two of my personal favorites, to Washington politics from the 70's to the 90's. With this book you get little parts of all his books, as well as his letters to editors, and others of numerous magazines. There are a few letters to Colonel Giang of the North Vietnamese PRG, in 1975, in which Dr. Thompson wanted to meet with the Col. I would suggest this book for the die-hard Thompson fan as well as someone who has never read a book by him before, It's full of Thompson's ravings, and the Gonzo journalism that he is known for.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sampler
This is an excellent introduction to the range of Thompson's writings though the early 1990's. It includes samples of his two early novels (Prince Jellyfish, The Rum Diary) and articles and excerpts from his later journalism and fiction ("Let The Trials Begin" is worth the price of the book).No duplication of material fromThe Great Shark Hunt, his earlier collection. An excellent audio version was realeased when the book was first published.
This book gives you some idea of what he was up to during the time covered by the two volumes of letters he's published and shows that his humor and sense of outrage have matured better than, say, Mark Twain's during a comparable stretch of his writing career.

5-0 out of 5 stars Listening To The Good Doctor
I've been digging the audiobooks version of this book for several years now.Dr.T. is a man who knows his limitations, and so most of the readings are done by people who by standards of technique might be consideredbetter.His own sections are thereby thrown into relief. Repeated listeningsof the "Cherokee Park" segment of "Prince Jellyfish"continue to be a revelation of fictional technique. Makes you want to readthe whole book."Let The Trials Begin" is primo Thompson.

4-0 out of 5 stars Songs of the Doomed
Follow Dr. Hunter S. Thompson on his manic trail of drugs, degeneracy, and discovery through the sixties, seventies, and into the eighties, a decade he has labeled the "Generation of Swine."The goodDoctor is at it once again, and no one is safe from his hilarious yetamazingly accurate social commentary.Relax and let Thompson fill yourbody and soul with horrible tales from the death of the American Dream andother demoralizing corners of modern life.

Songs of the Doomedcontains Thompson's famous article about the Pulitzer divorce trial,"Bad Craziness in Palm Beach: I Told Her it Was Wrong," which isthe summit of ths poignant book.Dr. Thompson delves into a life reservedfor the seriously rich.A place where "price tags mean nothing andpampered animals are worshiped openly in churches...the rules are differenthere, and the people seem to like it that way...there are bizarre trialsover money occasionally and hideous scandals like a half-mad 80 year-oldheiress trying to marry her teenage Cuban butler."

So relax,enjoy and "Let the good times roll!" ... Read more

8. Screwjack: A Short Story
by Hunter S. Thompson
Hardcover: 64 Pages (2000-12-13)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$4.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684873214
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Hunter S. Thompson's legions of fans have waited a decade for this book.

They will not be disappointed. His notorious Screwjack is as salacious, unsettling, and brutally lyrical as it has been rumored to be since the private printing in 1991 of three hundred fine collectors' copies and twenty-six leather-bound presentation copies. Only the first of the three pieces included here -- "Mescalito," published in Thompson's 1990 collection Songs of the Doomed -- has been available to the public, making the trade edition of Screwjack a major publishing event.

"We live in a jungle of pending disasters," Thompson warns in "Mescalito," a chronicle of his first mescaline experience and what it sparked in him while he was alone in an L.A. hotel room in February 1969 -- including a bout of paranoia that would have made most people just scream no, once and for all. But for Thompson, along with the downside came a burst of creativity too powerful to ignore. The result is a poetic, perceptive, and wildly funny stream-of-consciousness take on 1969 America as only Hunter S. Thompson could see it.

Screwjack just gets weirder with its second offering, "Death of a Poet." As Thompson describes this trailer-park confrontation with the dark side of a deservingly doomed friend: "Whoops, I thought. Welcome to the night train."

The heart of the collection lies in its final, title piece, an unnaturally poignant love story. What makes the romantic tale "Screwjack" so touching, for all its queerness, is the aching melancholy in its depiction of the modern man's burden: that "we are doomed. Mama has gone off to Real Estate School

...and after that maybe even to Law School. We will never see her again."

Ostensibly written by Raoul Duke, "Screwjack" begins with an editor's note explaining of Thompson's alter ego that "the first few lines contain no warning of the madness and fear and lust that came more and more to plague him and dominate his life...." "I am guilty, Lord," Thompson writes, "but I am also a lover -- and I am one of your best people, as you know; and yea tho I have walked in many strange shadows and acted crazy from time to time and even drooled on many High Priests, I have not been an embarrassment to you...."

Nor has Hunter S. Thompson been to American literature. Quite the contrary: What the legendary Gonzo journalist proves with Screwjack is just how brilliant a prose stylist he really is, amid all the hilarity. As Thompson puts it in his introduction, the three stories here "build like Bolero to a faster & wilder climax that will drag the reader relentlessly up a hill, & then drop him off a cliff....That is the Desired Effect". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars More of the Good Doctor
Here's a little bit of Thompson at his mescaline-addled stream of consciousness best. It's a quick read and that's the only downer; one can never get enough of the Good Doctor.

4-0 out of 5 stars Screwjack delivers in Gonzo fashion!
Great collection of short stories.I really enjoy Thompson's narrative style.Awesome read.

1-0 out of 5 stars "A publishing event," the dust jacket to the book proclaims; "A publishing scam," I reply
So, it is Hunter Thompson--for what? (How many pages are in this leaflet? Two and one-half? Thirteen? Certainly not 60! BIG TYPE, b i gmargins, and Do-dad typography should not be allowed to count.)

In one the book's earliest drug-induced typing session--was his whole life just one extended such session?--Thompson writes about his hotel room: "We need more hair on these walls. . ." Well, Mr.Thompson (and guilty publishers, now and in the future): "We need more words in this book."

The book, according to this listing, is subtitled: "A Short Story". It is not fair--or accurate--to call it a short story; it is fair only to call it short.

[A P.S. to The Thrifty: I just opened my copy of "Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas" to a random page: 350 is the approximate word count. A random page of "Screwjack"? 180 words. Just a suggestion: save yourself from this little one and read one of his big ones. All Thompson is equally Hunter (for good, bad or redundant)].

((A P.P.S for anticipated reaction to this review. Word count, of course, is not everything: the Gettysburg Address needs no more words, nor the Lord's Prayer. But Thompson is not Lincoln; Thompson is not the Lord. Thompson is Raoul Duke--an exaggeration of himself--or maybe even an exaggeration of Raoul Duke. Precision and conciseness are not his thing. His thing--and he says something close to this in "Screwjack"--is to have his mind plugged in one place and his ears plugged in somewhere else and OH-LORD-ALMIGHTY!!!!! turn the current ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) So, if you want to experience Hunter; experience him for more than the moment this pamphlet allows.))

4-0 out of 5 stars "Mescalito" is the gem here
The gonzo journalist himself, also known as Raoul Duke, Thompson sees his 1991 collector copy pressing of three short pieces released into the mainstream by Simon & Schuster for 2000.Made up of a whacked-out introduction, the journalistic, stream-of-consciousness-heavy "Mescalito" from 1969, and two 90s-era short fiction stories -- "Death of A Poet" & "Screwjack" -- this slim volume is packed full of outrageous lunacy and demented wordplay.

The first selection is by far the best, capturing the rat-a-tat approach that Thompson made famous in his "Fear and Loathing" books and in magazine pieces like "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved."Checked into an eleventh-floor room at the Continental Hotel on the Sunset Strip, Thompson strolls out onto the balcony to chit-chat with hippies, witness police brutality and listen to the cacophonous street sounds of L.A. in the late 60s.And then things get interesting, when he runs out of time, money and dexedrine and decides to reject the Ritalin in favor of mescaline mixed with speed.The wild drug trip that follows, faithfully recorded by the madman himself on a stolen typewriter, is mesmerizing, terrifying and exhilarating.A moment in time, an experience seen firsthand in a stream-of-consciousness, second-by-second blow that has much of the same power of prose that Tom Wolfe displayed in "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" and that Ken Kesey channeled for The Chief's opening narrative rant in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

The other two pieces are both fictional and lack the immediacy and brazen truth that his journalistic work overflows with."Screwjack" is particularly disturbing, but for all the wrong reasons.The whole book is a fun ride, though, despite the clunky second half.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Gonzo flavor
The uttering of a madman. For one that has not read any of Hunter's work. Screwjack is a good start. It picks the brain of the legend giving you his exact characteristics and intermost workings of his brainhouse. On the surface these three short stories seem like random quips, but actually expose a far more deaper intellect on unrecognizable views (Jamais Vu). The love with his cat and the overall understanding of the Los Angeles street life situation are all examples of this. There were alot of harsh reviews for this book. Its not a book at all. It is what it is and dont take it the wrong way. ... Read more

9. Fear and Loathing in America : The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist
by Hunter S. Thompson
Paperback: 784 Pages (2001-12-04)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$3.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684873168
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Brazen, incisive, and outrageous as ever, Hunter S. Thompson is back with another astonishing volume of his private correspondence, the highly anticipated follow-up to The Proud Highway. When that first book of letters appeared in 1997, Time pronounced it "deliriously entertaining"; Rolling Stone called it "brilliant beyond description"; and The New York Times celebrated its "wicked humor and bracing political conviction."

Spanning the years between 1968 and 1976, these never-before-published letters show Thompson building his legend: running for sheriff in Aspen, Colorado; creating the seminal road book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; twisting political reporting to new heights for Rolling Stone; and making sense of it all in the landmark Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. To read Thompson's dispatches from these years -- addressed to the author's friends, enemies, editors, and creditors, and such notables as Jimmy Carter, Tom Wolfe, and Kurt Vonnegut -- is to read a raw, revolutionary eyewitness account of one of the most exciting and pivotal eras in American history. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (37)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fear and Loathing in America
Amazing collection of letters written by one of the most brilliant and strange men during even stranger and loathsome times. A must have if you are a Thompson freak.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gonzo so good to me
This combination of letters, memoirs and articles from Hunters personal life is in my opinion the better gonzo letter book. Hunter portrays the world around him through Kaleidoscope eyes that see something you cant, his rational is dry and logical with a spark here and there at first, but later every so often, until you are blasted by light. Hunters insults can be remembered as trophies and his shattering mad prose as art.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hunter
Short stories.Motivated to stay up all night, blow something up or just ponder.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hunter S. Thompsom
For fans of the good Dr., This rates right up there with his other top sellers.His slant on the American Dream is certinally unique.

5-0 out of 5 stars Into the Belly of the Beast
The second installment in HST's selected letters, Fear & Loathing in America has proved to be a fascinating read.Beginning in the 1950's, HST keep carbon copies of all his letters for filing purposes in the belief that one day he would be a famous writer and his correspondence would be published.Like so many other Thompson predictions, this one proved true.The range and scope of the letters contained in this volume is simply amazing.HST had contacts and correspondence across almost every section of American society from Jimmy Carter, Pat Buchan, Gorge McGovern, and Walter Mondale at one end of the spectrum to Ken Kesey, Tom Wolfe, Jann Wenner, and Oscar Acosta at the other end.

The time period covered by these letters have proven to be a crucial period in modern history and nobody should be without a view from HST's side of things.From the 68' Democratic National Convention to the 75' American withdrawal from Vietnam, the Mint 400 in Vegas to his own personal bid to run for Sheriff of Pitkin County (Aspen) on the Mescaline ticket, HST was there and more often than not part of the action.In this regards his letters read like a quasi-autobiography, tracing the twists and turns of his life throughout this turbulent period of American history. For the creator of Gonzo Journalism, this was his defining period.

It is certainly preferable to start with the first volume HST's published letter, if for nothing else it provides a better context for this volume.I have to confess that I enjoyed vol. 2 more than the first, so I guess it really depends on what you are after.I found myself laughing out loud at numerous occasions while at other times rather stunned at the insight and predictive nature of some of the correspondence, specifically the politically orientated ones.Of course there are other times when HST degenerates into pure gibberish, but all the parts add up to give a composite picture of that unique and individual whole we have come to know as Hunter.So read this book when you get the chance or anything else by HST for that matter.For me he is the best US writer of the last 50 years and I do not say that lightly. ... Read more

10. The Mutineer: Rants, Ravings, and Missives from the Mountaintop 1977-2005
Hardcover: 752 Pages
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$21.00
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Asin: 0684873176
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The third and final collection of literary legend Hunter S. Thompson's previously unpublished letters bears witness to his final years (1976-2005). ... Read more

11. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream
by Hunter S. Thompson
Paperback: 224 Pages (1998-05-12)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$6.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679785892
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the best chronicle of drug-soaked, addle-brained, rollicking good times ever committed to the printed page.It is also the tale of a long weekend road trip that has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest journeys ever undertaken.

Now this cult classic of gonzo journalism is a major motion picture from Universal, directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro.Opens everywhere on May 22, 1998.Amazon.com Review
Heralded as the "best book on the dope decade" bythe New York Times Book Review, Hunter S. Thompson's documenteddrug orgy through Las Vegas would no doubt leave Nancy Reagan blushingand D.A.R.E. founders rethinking their motto.Under the pseudonym ofRaoul Duke, Thompson travels with his Samoan attorney, Dr. Gonzo, in asouped-up convertible dubbed the "Great Red Shark." In itstrunk, they stow "two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets ofmescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shakerhalf-full of cocaine and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers,downers, screamers, laughers.... A quart of tequila, a quart of rum, acase of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls,"which they manage to consume during their short tour.

On assignment from a sports magazine to cover "the fabulous Mint400"--a free-for-all biker's race in the heart of the Nevadadesert--the drug-a-delic duo stumbles through Vegas in hallucinatoryhopes of finding the American dream (two truck-stop waitresses tellthem it's nearby, but can't remember if it's on the right or theleft). They of course never get the story, but they do commit the onlysins in Vegas: "burning the locals, abusing the tourists,terrifying the help." For Thompson to remember and pen hisexperiences with such clarity and wit is nothing short of a miracle;an impressive feat no matter how one feels about the subject matter. Afirst-rate sensibility twinger, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegasis a pop-culture classic, an icon of an era past, and a nugget of purecomedic genius. --Rebekah Warren ... Read more

Customer Reviews (459)

5-0 out of 5 stars A XX Century Classic
Into Savage America and it's Heartless Dream. A must read for anyone that thinks sanity is a given in modern day XXI Century. Funny, witty, marvelous, insane sanity, creative and imaginative. No wonder Terry Gilliam did da movie, which by the way is as good as the book itself...

5-0 out of 5 stars In a Search for the American Dream
Hunter S. Thompson was a much celebrated American journalist and writer, and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is his most famous book. Written in a style of "gonzo journalism," this seminal book aimed to capture as much as possible the wild and reckless drug-induced adventures of Thompson and his lawyer friend over the course of two journalistic assignments in Las Vegas in the early 70s. The actual protagonists of "Fear and Loathing" were actually slightly altered from the real world personages, as is probably a big part of the actual narrative in order to create more dramatic and deliberately outrageous events.

This is perhaps one of the most entertaining and original books that I have read in my life. Some of the slang and jargon feels a bit dated, but overall the book has aged remarkably well. It is as fresh and lively today as when it was first written. I actually did laugh out loud on many occasions while reading it. Most of the time there was a total disconnect between the cognitive parts of my brain and the parts that were in charge of making me laugh - while I was positively outrageous with some behaviors and situations, parts of me couldn't help but laugh.

The book was also meant as a form of social criticism, especially of the over-the-top consumer culture as symbolized by Las Vegas on one hand, and the overly prudish middle-America in the form of small town police officers and Sheriffs. In the middle of it all Hunter S. Thompson was in a search of the American Dream, and what he finally found it was a burnt-down psychiatry club. The symbolism of it needs no further explanation.

3-0 out of 5 stars Fast & Funny, but Less than Advertised
Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) was a talented writer; witty, offbeat, and irreverent.Those skills are abundant in these fast-reading pages.Thompson and his lawyer pal take an irreverent, drug-laden vacation to Las Vegas, a city that then (1971) as now is seen by some as a shrine to the American dream.Our pals get high from a variety of drugs (particularly LSD and Mescaline), drink alcohol like fish, and act out with an immature mix of reality and fantasy.Some passages in this book were quite funny, like their attendance at the convention of district attorney's.Others were sad, like their ill-advised handling of a teenage runaway.Still others left me uncertain about distinguishing between dreams and reality.Many loved Hunter Thompson for his irrerevent, Gonzo-Journalistic style, and many sympathized with his contempt for conformity, Vietnam, and then President Richard Nixon.Still, this book is about two spaced-out dudes on a seemingly aimless trip of drugs, drinks, and dreams.It's often a fast and funny read, but it also seems a bit lacking.

3-0 out of 5 stars Re-examining Fear & Loathing...In Retrospect(by Jim Spinosa)
In retrospect, several facets of Fear and Loathing in Las Veagas need to be examined. Hunter S. Thompson ingested large quantities of powerful drugs with an emphasis on those of a psychedelic variety. He derived no discernible insights from
those experiences. While high,he relished many opportunities to harass low level employees in the service industry. This behavior often branched out to include others that he considered beneath him in the pecking order. By documenting his outlandish behavior, he became very famous. As such,he should be acknowledged as a progenitor of reality television, though his behavior lacked the nuances and moral complexities for which these shows are famous.
Let's examine his motives. As a drug fanatic,he may have been completely unconcerned that his drug experiences left him completely devoid of insights. He could rely on the other drug fanatics of his generation, with which he shared a special bond,to provide those insights. Thus,he could concern himself with glamorizing the drug lifestyle to such an extent that the authorities could not successfully repress drug use. By casting himself as the victim of repressive authorities, he could justify his irresponsible behavior. It is not clear if Thompson was consciously aware of the niche into which he fit. Like the others of his generation, who cast themselves in the role of the victim,he was given an absolute pass. Society's gatekeepers,out of a sympathy for victims,determined his narcissism was a kind of wisdom.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream -- Hunter S. Thomson
I found a lot of the movie to be rather boring and slow. The book has a good pace to it and some of Thompson's observations, while on the assortment drugs taken through out the book, are laugh out loud funny. If you have seen the movie, you'll know a lot of the book line for line. Not much varies; at least for the first half.

It's a fun read. I enjoyed it enough to research a few of the drugs Thomson's character and is attorney take, and found out, some of it is down right fiction. Either way, it is an enjoyable read for a mature person. ... Read more

12. Better Than Sex (Gonzo Papers)
by Hunter S. Thompson
Paperback: 272 Pages (1995-08-22)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$8.43
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345396359
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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"Hunter S. Thompson is to drug-addled, stream-of-consciousness, psycho-political black humor what Forrest Gump is to idiot savants."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer
Since his 1972 trailblazing opus, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, Hunter S. Thompson has reported the election story in his truly inimitable, just-short-of-libel style. In Better than Sex, Thompson hits the dusty trail again--without leaving home--yet manages to deliver a mind-bending view of the 1992 presidential campaign--in all of its horror, sacrifice, lust, and dubious glory. Complete with faxes sent to and received by candidate Clinton's top aides, and 100 percent pure gonzo screeds on Richard Nixon, George Bush, and Oliver North, here is the most true-blue campaign tell-all ever penned by man or beast.
"[Thompson] delivers yet another of his trademark cocktail mixes of unbelievable tales and dark observations about the sausage grind that is the U.S. presidential sweepstakes. Packed with egocentric anecdotes, musings and reprints of memos, faxes and scrawled handwritten notes (Memorable."
--Los Angeles Daily News
"What endears Hunter Thompson to anyone who reads him is that he will say what others are afraid to (.[He] is a master at the unlikely but invariably telling line that sums up a political figure (.In a year when all politics is--to much of the public--a tendentious and pompous bore, it is time to read Hunter Thompson."
--Richmond Times-Dispatch
"While Tom Wolfe mastered the technique of being a fly on the wall, Thompson mastered the art of being a fly in the ointment. He made himself a part of every story, made no apologies for it and thus produced far more honest reporting than any crusading member of the Fourth Estate (. Thompson isn't afraid to take the hard medicine, nor is he bashful about dishing it out (.He is still king of beasts, and his apocalyptic prophecies seldom miss their target."
--Tulsa World
"This is a very, very funny book. No one can ever match Thompson in the vitriol department, and virtually nobody escapes his wrath."
--The Flint Journal
Amazon.com Review
Since his1972 trailblazing opus, Fear and Loathing on the CampaignTrail, Hunter S. Thompson has reported the election story in histruly inimitable, just-short-of-libel style.In Better ThanSex, Thompson hits the dusty trail again - without leaving home -yet manages to deliver a mind-bending view of the 1992 presidentialcampaign, in all its horror, sacrifice, lust, and dubious glory.Complete with faxes sent to and received from candidate Clinton's topaides, and 100 percent pure gonzo screeds on Richard Nixon, GeorgeBush, and Oliver North, here is the most true-blue campaign tell-allever penned by man, beast, or Thompson. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Gateway Drug for the Politcal Junkie
As the good Doctor's work goes, this volume is a relative trifle. That said, it a magnificent and compelling piece of Gonzo Journalism that contains some hard and fast lessons about the political game in this country. Gone is the deep intuitive analysis found in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail and Hell's Angels, replaced instead with an even more freewheeling anecdotal style.

What makes this book great is the behind the scenes look at the weird characters that actually get in to politics.I'm not talking about people who get into legislation or government.This is not a book about policy wonks. This is a book about the people who get into the blood and guts, cutthroat world of national Politics.

Though this dates back to the 1992 election, we get a glimpse of some very interesting minds that are still on the scene in varying forms today.Rahm Emmanuel, James Carville and George Stefanapolus are all on the scene fighting for the political life of Bill Clinton.

This a fast and loose accounting a strange and fast campaign that could reasonably be described as setting the tone and style of National campaigning for over decade to follow.

This is the stuff you don't see on C-SPAN or the Sunday morning round tables, and reading about this and knowing the weirdness that dwells in the heart of the politico class will give you a greater understanding of what lurks beneath the surface.

Be warned: reading this book will make you consider running for office.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great HST book
This was my first venture into the mind of Hunter Thompson. I don't think anyone who was not alive to live the 90's would fully understand the unique view of the great Dr., but that is the only bad thing I have to say. Great book, it kept me up way too late reading rather than sleeping more than one night over the past week.

2-0 out of 5 stars worth five bucks
If, like me, you buy this new you'll feel cheated. This ain't a book. What it is I don't know. To digress some here, when I was twelve a friend of mine got me into Jimi Hendrix (this was the late 80s, a really bad time for music). As any air guitaring Jimi-ster could tell ya there are only four Hendrix albums (plus some live performances). However, on Jimi's death were many folks out there who couldn't get enough Jimi and were willing to shell out continously for "previously unreleased studio material", which of course all really su**ed (hence "unreleased"). Anyway that's what this "book" feels like - that copy of that dodgy Jimi CD your friend was listening to in the French lab class. Well over half of this is just xeroxed incomprehensible memos written in triple spaced free hand to various membersof the Clinton campaign staff. The narrative also makes no sense. Thompson, unlike his great Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail in 72 where he actually went on the campaign trails, went to the conventions and wrote about it ie worked, doesn't go anyway here. He sits in Colorado or whatever and exchanges "memos" with people. He writes about fifty pages of analysis, much of which is about Nixon and 1972 all over again. If you haven't read Campaign Trail much of which will be incomprehensible (for instance you really have to know who Mankowiez (sp?) is - he was McGovern's campaign manager in 1972). Bottom line - if you want to read HST on politics read Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, not this. If you really want to read about Clinton and 1990s politics read Michael Lewis' "Losers" a much better actual book about the 1996 election, in particular the Republican primaries.

5-0 out of 5 stars More Classic Gonzo Journalism
I've read a lot of stuff about how HST hit his peak in the early seventies and then began a gradual decline, while riding on his past success. The two best arguements I could make against this criticism would be to recommend 'The Curse of Lono' published in '83 and 'Better Than Sex' which deals with the Clinton Presidential campaign in that inimatable Gonzo style. There are some excellent photographs- the one with HST and James Carville is great- as well as some of the funniest, drug-fueled prose Thompson ever produced. His near disastrous encounter with Governor Clinton had me in stitches. The book is well paced, funny, inciteful and everything a Thompson fan or casual reader could want. And since he does a fairly good job of skewering both Bush and Clinton, it can truly be described as non-partisan. Everything is fair game for Thompson at his acerbic best.

Know this. The late Hunter Thompson, Doctor Gonzo, was something of a muse for me although our politics, in the final analysis, were light years apart.In the end he never found a Democratic Party presidential candidate that he, even if grudgingly, could not support. I have read everything of his that I could get my hands on. During many a troubled time when I got down on the seemingly hopeless struggle in the fight for socialism his savage humor aimed at the inanities of bourgeois politics and politicians carried me through. That said, the book under review Better Than Sex about the trials and tribulations of covering the ill-starred 1992 presidential campaign eventually `won' by Bill Clinton is not one of his better efforts and even with his vast journalistic skills must have been a chore rather than something to really dig into.I will tell you my take on the matter.

Hunter Thompson started making a name for himself as a political journalist in his first efforts at trying to understand presidential campaigns during the ill-fated Democratic campaign of George McGovern against one Richard M. Nixon in 1972. His Fear and Loathing on Campaign Trail 1972 stands as a classic of `alternative' journalism on the issue. He stated then that a political junkie, and by any definition he was one, could only really stand in the vortex of one such campaign before burning out. Nevertheless he pressed his luck. Unfortunately, Thompson found himself in the place where Teddy White found himself after his seminal `straight' reporting on the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon campaign, The Making of President. White too, went on to write more such books and not to his benefit. In short, pigeon-holed.Take that lesson for what it is worth.

The problem with Better Than Sex is that Thompson had written it all before, and to better effect. The writing seems frantic and tired, very tired. It did not help that his cast of main characters- one President George H. W. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton and the genuine dingo bat Ross Perot- would make even a political junkie get him or herself to the nearest rehabilitation center. The book reflects that hollowness in many ways not the least is the extraordinary amount of filler (literally with `draft' notes, letters, etc.) that clutters the book. If these reasons do not convince you then a three star rating on a genuine five star journalistic hero of mine tells the tale. Still, there is more than enough savagely funny analysis and humor for a real Thompson junkie to get by on during those lonely political nights. Enough said.

... Read more

13. Hunter S. Thompson: An Insider's View of Deranged, Depraved, Drugged Out Brilliance
by Jay Cowan
Paperback: 256 Pages (2010-01-26)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.73
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Asin: 1599219697
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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From military sportswriter to roving correspondent for the National Observer, from quasi Hell’s Angel to counterculture author and gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson led a life of legend. Hunter S. Thompson: The Glory Years tells the remarkable insider’s story.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars By far the best!
I have read many, many books on my favorite author, Hunter Stockton Thompson. This book by his close friend and caretaker at Owl Farm is by far the best inside look at Hunter I have ever read. Many of the books cover the same biographical details and can become cumbersome after awhile. This book is a look you couldn't get from too many people other than Ralph Steadman to a degree or perhaps Sheriff Bob or a few others. I recommend this book to everyone who ever wanted to get an inside look at the king of Gonzo journalism.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Insider's look...
Anyone who has wondered, as most Hunter Thompson fans have, "what it would be like...."
Be careful what you wish for. This is a great look behind the curtain, warts and all, from a writer who posesses considerable skills of his own and knows where the bodies are buried. Or in this case, where the fragments landed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, insider
I like this a lot.Interesting, coherent, one-person view from the inside. He lets us know his perspective as well. Margaret A. Harrell, Hell's Angels copyeditor

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read for Hunter S. Thompson fans
To sum up Hunter S. Thompson's character, career and lifestyle would be a daunting task, as he was one of our most eccentric well-loved literary figures of the twentieth century. Yet, Jay Cowan pulls it off, fully understanding the gravity of the undertaking in writing a biography for the author of numerous books and articles, including Fear and Loathing: on the Campaign Trail, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Rum Diary, and columns in the San Francisco Examiner and on ESPN.com.

Add to the undertaking the fact that Thompson is credited with creating a literary genre dubbed gonzo journalism, with Cowan succinctly assessing, "Only a few artists of any kind have ever developed their own genre so successfully with such a stranglehold of originality and talent that they were the only ones thought competent to pull it off and everyone else was just a pretender." If that's not intimidating, what is?

Ultimately, if anyone could write a credible biography for Hunter S. Thompson, Cowan is a first-class choice. As a friend of Thompson's for over 40 years, a longtime resident of the Aspen area, and someone who even spent a stint living in a cabin on Thompson's property (which Cowan describes as a "psychotic sculpture garden"), he most definitely has the intimate knowledge to reliably deliver a back story.

Cowan's fluid writing style keeps the reader traveling at an energetic pace throughout the book, as he integrates excerpts from Thompson's letters and published material, as well as perspectives from a wealth of Thompson's friends. The author is skillful at creating vivid portraits of characters and moments, providing a holistic story of a life that hardly lacked inspirational material.

It seems like a major challenge faced by Cowan was that of creating a work that operates on a readable continuum. Telling Thompson's colorful story in chronological order would perhaps be an impossible feat, and to tell his life story in any organized matter would perhaps be just as taxing. Cowan manages to weave an intricate and intriguing tale, attempting to provide a central focus for each chapter, including that of Thompson's writing process, his prolific letter writing, his friends and lovers and his extracurricular activities (including, but not limited to, extensive drug-use, gun-use and travel). One finds out that it is clearly not easy to untangle each topic from one another, but this book is a successful attempt to bring clarity and depth to such an interesting life. Cowan most definitely does justice to Thompson's legacy, avoiding the simple reduction of his life to "a days-long, deadline-cheating frenzy of drugs and sleeplessness," yet he acknowledges where truth and myth collide.

Quill says: A must-read for any Hunter S. Thompson fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This is great reading - an interesting book by an excellent author!Hope to see more books by this author. ... Read more

14. Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson
by Corey Seymour, Jann S. Wenner
Paperback: 512 Pages (2008-10-20)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$4.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316005282
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Hailed everywhere as a brilliant biography, GONZO is a startling portrait of Hunter S. Thompson, the genius who spent a lifetime channeling his energy and insight into such landmark works as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas--and revolutionized the art of writing. In their own words, an incredible array of stars--Sonny Barger, Jack Nicholson, Ralph Steadman, Jimmy Buffett, Anjelica Huston, Marilyn Manson, Jimmy Carter, and many more--bring into vivid focus Thompson's creative frenzies, love affairs, drug use, and, ultimately, his tragic suicide. As Thompson was fond of saying, "Buy the ticket, take the ride."

"Gonzo...is no hagiography, and it is in its unflinching look at this singular character in American letters as fearless-if not more so-as anything Thompson ever dared write....The most comprehensive picture of Thompson so far, and...likely the best we'll ever get." --Patrick Beach, Austin American-Statesman

"A fond and exhilarating look back at the wild man of American journalism, put together by a couple of guys who were pretty close to him." --Billy Heller, New York Post ... Read more

Customer Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars Scarf it - Quick!
Don't let these negative reviews, apparently written by candy-assed cretins with rose-colored contacts screwed into their eyeballs, keep you from inhaling this most excellent volume.
Wenner et. al. are in no way "bashing" Hunter, simply telling it straight - TAANSTAAFL, and Hunter was a hellacious buffet.
Also made me feel much better about his death - I was afraid he had, if you'll pardon the expression,"jumped the gun", but apparently not so much.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Life Less Ordinary
Hunter S Thompson was a true American original. His best works help define the "New Journalism" of the 1960s and 1970s. Hunter's colleagues at Rolling Stone attempt to explain the man in Gonzo, a 2007 "oral biography." While readers may disagree with some of the things that are said in the book, it is a true page turner.

The book contains a good overview of Hunter's life from his boyhood in Louisville through his 2005 suicide. Unsurprisingly, the strongest sections are on the middle and later years of his life, when the people at Rolling Stone knew him best. The reader leaves Gonzo with a good idea of just what it was like to try to work with Hunter. I think that Gonzo also does a good job of explaining Hunter's maverick appeal.

The negative reviews of Gonzo on this site surprise me. Many readers feel that this book is overly negative. While I admire Hunter, I think that only a pollyanna could believe that his lifestyle was costless. In my opinion, Hunter's contributions to journalism largely ended in the early-1970s. For the rest of his life, he was more of a performance artist, playing a version of Uncle Duke, than a writer.

Certainly, there is plenty of negative material in Gonzo. The reader learns that Hunter was an abusive husband, an absent father, and a narcissist. One of the surprises to me was that Hunter had actually made a one-week attempt at rehab in the 1980s. I don't think that Gonzo is a hatchet job, but Hunter does emerge as an ambivalent figure.

Gonzo is great reading. I tore through its 400+ pages in about 24 hours. Find a copy and read it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Total coverage?
I picked this book up without reading much about it, and without reading what Anita Thompson had to say (wow).Yes...this is another book about Hunter S. Thompson, one of many to be released since his death, and one in a longer line to come.The Jann Wenner connection made it sound 'juicy' from the get-go.

Overall, having read most of the book (you don't have to go front-to-back since it breaks up the life and career of HST into succinct chapters of quotes), I don't get the real feeling it's a hatchet job through and through.Sure, Wenner and HST, after a glorious beginning, had problems, with Wenner trying everything he could to lure the writer back to Rolling Stone.But I found a lot of love and affection for HST coming from most, if not all, of those interviewed.Yes, Wenner is making another buck off HST, and will likely continue to pen something on the man here and there, or at least contribute forwards for years to come.But this is about perspective, and this summary of the writer's life is no more 'definitive' than any other.

The book is divided into periods---'Hell's Angels' or 'Fear and Loathing--Vegas' or 'Height of Gonzo' or whatever.The book is a collection of quotes from many people in the writer's life, including Wenner, of course, as well as neighbors, editors, other celebrities, his family, etc.Each chapter jumps from person to person and they provide a detail, a memory, a thought, etc, like a documentary, going from talking head to talking head with flashbacks and postcards.Yes, Wenner is the biggest talking head, but he has much to say (even if yes, some of it is hatchet work to put Hunter's legend in perspective).After all, following the successful adventures under the Rolling Stone flag, the Gonzo mania drove Hunter away from his earlier dreams of being a serious figure and into a 'role' for the rest of his life and career.

The book flows very well from thought to thought, and it goes way back, and way to the end.Especially insightful are the final two chapters, discussing the last few years of HST's life.While I think short-shrift is made of his later work---the ESPN writing and his collections and interviews---it does provide key insight intohis last few years of physical decline.Though his seemingly mind was still sharp (despite the Herculean chemical intake), his body was giving out on him and the resulting pain became too much to bear.These details, though obviously very personal and painful, do provide some welcome context and gravity to the author's suicide in early 2005.

Still recommending it for HST fans.Okay, it doesn't carry the seal of approval of everyone who ever knew him, but it's still people talking about Hunter, and providing some new insight, and should be read skeptically and with other bios and material on the legendary writer.Despite the criticism, it does not come off as a hateful Wenner screed that some have made it out to be.After all, why would Wenner want to totally destroy the man?He's still selling his books...

4-0 out of 5 stars Take the ride
Some reviewers here seem to take exception to Jann Wenner's comments in this oral biography of Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.Having been a fan of Hunter for years, I didn't find anything insulting or derogatory in what Wenner had to say.Let's be honest here, someone as wild as Hunter is bound to ruffle a few feathers along the way.

I thought GONZO presented a well-rounded picture of a talented artist who eventually became prisoner to his public persona.Somewhere along the way, the focus shifted off Thompson's writing and came to bare on his chemical-fueled lifestyle.It seems clear reading this that Thompson came to somewhat regret his public image, wishing instead to be known for his writing and not his diet of alcohol and narcotics.It makes for a tragic story and an interesting read.That is, of course, if you're interested in Thompson the man and not Thomopson the public image.

5-0 out of 5 stars "I slept with all my assistants..."
For anybody who's read through H.S.T's entire library, for anybody looking for another part of the story, for anybody looking to add to their accumulated knowledge of Dr Gonzo...this book is for you...It's a great, extremely accessible book.

The only people that should stay away from this title are those that are so uptight & tightly wound, that are so concerned with preserving a myth rather than telling a story, that would rather read (or release or publish or allow) the same monotonous versions of the same rehashed stories time & time & time again...

(...monotonous is probably an exaggeration, especially in HST's case...)

I don't understand all this great decrying of this book based on the fact that HST's wife "disapproved".

Who cares?

There's many stories here from the people that knew Hunter Thompson best, & they each have the right to see & tell things as individually as the man they're busy describing....

When they each & all come out & say they were conned & baited & paid off, I'll change my humble opinion.....

Until then, I'll continue reading & laughing & cursing & waiting for releases of the next couple Hunter books to be allowed...or at the very least, morally approved of....

... Read more

15. Conversations with Hunter S. Thompson (Literary Conversations Series)
Paperback: 240 Pages (2008-06-01)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$13.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1934110779
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In 1971, the outlandish originator of gonzo journalism, Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) commandeered the international literary limelight with his best-selling, comic masterpiece Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Following his 1966 debut Hell's Angels, Thompson displayed an uncanny flair for inserting himself into the epicenter of major sociopolitical events of our generation. His audacious, satirical, ranting screeds on American culture have been widely read and admired. Whether in books, essays, or collections of his correspondence, his raging and incisive voice and writing style are unmistakable.

Conversations with Hunter S. Thompson is the first compilation of selected personal interviews that traces the trajectory of his prolific and much-publicized career. These engaging exchanges reveal Thompson's determination, self-indulgence, energy, outrageous wit, ire, and passions as he discusses his life and work.

Beef Torrey is the editor of Conversations with Thomas McGuane and co-editor of the forthcoming Jim Harrison: A Comprehensive Bibliography. Kevin Simonson has been published in SPIN, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, and Hustler. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars For the hardcore fans
If you are looking for the gonzo journalist that the majority of his books contain, you won't find it but this book is one that's even better in my opinion...

While I LOVE his journalism I always wanted to find out what Hunter S. Thompson was as the man...

He always talked about always having a burden on his shoulders, as everyone thought he was the stereotype of an outlaw that lives by his standards and not society's. This resulted in that whenever he made a public speech or met fans in the streets, they expected the 'crazy' Hunter when in reality he wasn't. He wasn't putting on a front, but he exaggerated it because he knew it would give him an advantage, one that could (and did) significantly help his career, especially considering all the competition in the journalist field at the time.

I always wondered how that effects him, how it effects his writing, and most importantly, WHO IS HUNTER S. THOMPSON the man???

If you are curious about anything I just listed, this book is for you.

It will show you who Hunter was underneath the skin and away from the cameras.... just and ordinary person with problems like all of us....

5-0 out of 5 stars Reference, Reflection and Revelation
Torrey and Simonson have given us insight into Thompson's mind and methods not found in any other book. "Conversations with Hunter S. Thompson" is more than mere echos of the man and rememberences of others rehashed over and over again. It is the voice of Thompson himself speaking clearly and understandably to the reader with intimacy and frankness.

This book has value beyond it's collectable worth (thought it certainly belongs in everyone's collection). It is a reference, a reflection and a revelation. ... Read more

16. Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson
Paperback: 432 Pages (2009-07-07)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0306816512
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Bristling with inspired observations and wild anecdotes, this first collection offers a unique insight into the voice and mind of the inimitable Hunter S. Thompson, as recorded in the pages of Playboy, The Paris Review, Esquire, and elsewhere.

Fearless and unsparing, the interviews detail some of the most storied episodes of Thompson’s life: a savage beating at the hands of the Hells Angels, talking football with Nixon on the 1972 Campaign Trail (“the only time in 20 years of listening to the treacherous bastard that I knew he wasn’t lying”), and his unlikely run for sheriff of Aspen. Elsewhere, passionate tirades about journalism, culture, guns, drugs, and the law showcase Thompson’s voice at its fiercest.

Arranged chronologically, and prefaced with Anita Thompson’s moving account of her husband’s last years, the interviews present Hunter in all his fractured brilliance and provide an exceptional portrait of his times.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hunter Thompson's Wisdom: Wonderful!
This collection of Dr. Thompson's interviews over a period of several years reflects his essential, irascible attitude. His widow, Anita Thompson, who assembled and edited this important work, has unique insight into the real Hunter behind the Gonzo image.
Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hunter LIVES in his timeless writing
This book is fabulous the Interviews allowone to see his genius though his eyes not just his published work

5-0 out of 5 stars It all depends on your view of Hunter S. Thompson
Your pleasure or displeasure in this book will depend entirely on your liking for and tolerance of the late Hunter S. Thompson.

I happen to have enjoyed most of Thompson's writings but considered him just another ill-mannered, self-absorbed and self-referential celebrity of the dawning of the age of celebrity. The times favored Thompson with his let it all hang out style: open drunkenness and drugs, outrageous commentary. But he had keen powers of observation and turned in craftsman like sentences and had a devilish wit. He was also opinioned and, in my opinion, dead wrong.

In any event, for those who are interested - and the interested are the only ones who will appreciate some of these interviews - Thompson's widow has collectedand edited 48 interviews of Hunter S. Thompson spanning the years 1967 through 2005. Like Andy Warhohl, Thompson kept the publicity machine whirring for a long time, fueling it with an endless succession of weird episodes.

Some of the interviews are hilarious with self-revering interviews who are - in their own mind's eye - great public intellectuals approaching the Great One. Needless to say, these interviews are trite: "Do you still live life at a fast pitch?" "Due to your hedonistic misbehavior, do you find it hard to discipline yourself to write?"

Other interviews have more depth.

Does this collection add only to the wealth of Thompson's estate? Or does it add to our understanding of Thompson?

I think the latter, but only in the sense that Hunter S. Thompson understood better than most that publicity was good and that publicity about being the "bad boy" was even better. Do we gain insight into the mind and character of Hunter S. Thompson? I don't really think so.

But this collection of interviews to a someone like myself who is a mild fan of Thompson Is still interesting and an enjoyable read.


4-0 out of 5 stars An Immovable Force
Thompson's shining Gonzo Intellect is displayed here with humor and insight. Thompson was a seer, a visionary, an immovable force of which our culture will have to contend with for decades to come. His interviews read like his prose - evidence that what you read in print was the Good Doctor himself without pretense, without a mask. The earth's axis has shifted since his departure and we are all at a loss with his absence.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gonzo Wisdom
Always interesting and often funny, Hunter Thompson rations answers to helpless interviewer's and public forum's questions giving insight to his writing, lifestyle, philosophies and opinions from the 70's till just before his passing in 2005. A wealth of nutritional info and sages for our times included as well. ... Read more

17. The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967 (The Fear and Loathing Letters, Vol. 1)
by Hunter S. Thompson
Paperback: 720 Pages (1998-04-07)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$12.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345377966
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Here, for the first time, is the private and most intimate correspondence of one of America's most influential and incisive journalists--Hunter S. Thompson. In letters to a Who's Who of luminaries from Norman Mailer to Charles Kuralt, Tom Wolfe to Lyndon Johnson, William Styron to Joan Baez--not to mention his mother, the NRA, and a chain of newspaper editors--Thompson vividly catches the tenor of the times in 1960s America and channels it all through his own razor-sharp perspective. Passionate in their admiration, merciless in their scorn, and never anything less than fascinating, the dispatches of The Proud Highway offer an unprecedented and penetrating gaze into the evolution of the most outrageous raconteur/provocateur ever to assault a typewriter.Amazon.com Review
This first volume of the correspondence of Hunter S. Thompsonbegins with a high school essay and runs up through the publication ofThompson's breakout book, Hell'sAngels. Thompson apparently never threw a letter away, so thereader has the treat of experiencing the full evolution of hispyrotechnic writing style, rant by rant. The letters--to girlfriends,to bill collectors, to placers of "Help Wanted" ads, toeditors and publishers--are usually spiced with politicalcommentary. The style and the political animus always seem to driveeach other.For instance, an 11/22/63 letter to novelist and friendWilliam J. Kennedy about the day's cataclysm is apparently thebirthplace of the signal phrase "fear and loathing."(Thompson summed up the Kennedy assassination thus: "The savagenuts have shattered the great myth of American decency.") And thewillingness to write strangers is stunning: this collection includesThompson's letter to LBJ seeking appointment to the governorship ofAmerican Samoa. You might have thought Garry Trudeau was exaggeratingin his Doonesbury characterization of the Thompson-based characterDuke. He was not. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (52)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Sage of a Desperate Southern Gentleman
The Proud Highway is a huge, entertaining collection of Hunter S. Thompson's letters. I am a Thompson fan, but his writing was uneven. Thompson wrote these letters between 1955 and 1967 and they provide an excellent idea of how his writing and persona developed.

Thompson's fans will find that much of his "gonzo" attitude developed in his early years. The book opens with the following quote from Don Quixote: "Arms, my only ornament - my only rest, the fight." Indeed, the letters bristle with confrontations.

It is a thrill to read of Thompson's adventures. His letters describing his trip to South America as a freelance correspondent for the National Observer and his time living in Big Sur are great entertainment. (The Proud Highway reprints his excellent 1961 Rogue magazine article on Big Sur, which was Thompson's first major sale).

As is often the case, Thompson's writing also reveals his dark side. Financial problems constantly dogged Thompson. He sponged money off family (including his grandmother) and friends well into adulthood.

More ominously, readers see the beginnings of Thompson's alcoholism and its dire effects on his life. At the same time, Thompson's letters denigrate his first wife, Sandy, and provide insight into their rancorous marriage that ended in divorce.Here's Thompson on Sandy - "Her capacity for love is her only big talent... I can't bring myself to belittle it because if I crippled that I don't know what she'd have left" (p. 225).

Before Thompson became a prisoner of his own image, he was an immense talent. The Proud Highway is an entertaining book and the "letter" format makes it easy to pick up and put down. The book is also sad because 20/20 hindsight allows the reader to see that Thompson is headed toward a dark, unhappy place. I recommend The Proud Highway.

This is a must for Thompson fans and aspiring writers alike, as it shows with true grit and honesty the truths and hardships of becoming a professional writer/journalist at that time in America. (Today's system is similar, but even harder to crack in my opinion.)

From the beginning of the book you see Hunter start off from the bottom. No matter how hard it got or who told him that writing wasn't the appropriate profession, he someone knew deep down that this was it for him. He had a natural hatred for the working-class slave and refused to join their ranks, even if it meant living in wretched poverty as a result.

We see him get angry, disenchanted, cynical...tired from rejection letters and countless bills...lonely and weary from travel and lack of human contact. Yet if this hardened him it only did so within his writing, as never once did we see him become so cold at the core that he gives up and quits his dreams.

Most of all, what makes these letters anything-but-boring to read is that his personality is constantly present. If you received a letter from Thompson you should consider youself lucky, as his style of writing was anything but ordinary, and he had way more to inquire about than the weather.



5-0 out of 5 stars Take The Highway...
Imagine your favorite author isn't quite so productive anymore. You sulk and wish for the glory days. And then...you learn that he is publishing a book of his personal correspondence. It doesn't hurt at all that he kept carbon copies of all the letters he wrote and received during his entire life! The Proud Highway is a look into the world of a prolific author who, when it seemed his story had been told, turns the tables and blows your mind! R.I.P.? Not Thompson, his spirit is just getting started...


5-0 out of 5 stars Why Hunter S Thompson has no peer
I have every book that Hunter S Thompson has ever written and if asked which was my favorite I would have to say"The Proud Highway" because it's the most private and most intimate correspondence of one of America's most influential and incisive journalists/writers - In letters to luminaries from Norman Mailer, Charles Kuralt, Tom Wolfe, Lyndon B Johnson, William Styron, his mother, the NRA and a host of newspaper editors, HST vividly catches the tenor/ feel of the times in the 1960's and channels it all through his own razor sharp perspective. His letters are passionate in their admiration and merciless in their scorn and never anything less than fascinating. It is never far from reach and I
can and do turn to any page at any timeand
"The Proud Highway"NEVERfails to be at once thought provoking, entertaining, amusingand inspiring.

5-0 out of 5 stars The first stop...
This book is the first stop on my discovery of Hunter S. Thompson. While being a fan of many of those he had inspired and befriended throughout his years, I randomly picked this as a starting point, and I'm glad I did. While a good chunk of his bibliography is already on order, I believe this glimpse into the man of a cocky and [mostly] broke individual from his childhood up until just after his first real break at the money provides a foundation upon which the rest of his catalog can be interpreted with a little more detail and insight then just going in it blind.

It is a giant volume to read no doubt, clocking in at about 660 pages worth of letters, and even more to come. Invaluable to anyone that is intrigued and a fan of HST, and ripe to be torn by those that feel the fear and the wrath of his contempt. ... Read more

18. The Kitchen Readings: Untold Stories of Hunter S. Thompson
by Michael Cleverly, Bob Braudis
Paperback: 304 Pages (2008-02-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$7.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006115928X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description


This book contains the following:

Unsafe use of powerful firearms in combination with explosives

Cultivation of illegal crops

Impressionable minors being exposed to illicit activities

Piloting of automobiles under impaired conditions

Transporting large sums of cash across national borders

*Stunts performed in this book were undertaken by professionals. Do not attempt them at home.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Read for Any HST Fan
It should come as no surprise that the personal stories of friends of HST and his antics are just as, if not more, entertaining as his books. Yet what we get here is more than just tales of Gonzo crazy...we get tales of another side of HST, one rarely seen or read about beyond the walls of the Owl Farm kitchen. A great read for any HST fan.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Kitchen Readings
I devour anything about the doc, this was well worth it, giving insight into the life and the goings on at owl ranch. good read

4-0 out of 5 stars Personal recollections of HST
The men who wrote this knew Thompson personally, so there's plenty of inner details about life on Owl Farm and the ways of the good doctor. Some of the stories I loved as they caught the man's feral energy, others carry a weight of sadness with them as they show a great talent winding down and ready to leave this earth.

Would I recommend it? Oh yes, in fact I read it in a couple of sittings.

3-0 out of 5 stars Need to be a Hunter fan
This book will be enjoyed for those that knew his work and his personality.It's more a collection of old friend's stories and diaries than a book.For those that don't good luck but it does come across as funny and crazy overall.

5-0 out of 5 stars If You Are A True Gonzo Devotee/Fan.......
then this is a must read for you!For those of us that were never blessed (and cursed! :) to have ever met this great man and one of the truly greatest outspoken literary giants of our generation, this is as close as we will ever get to knowing the real man inside the "Gonzo" exterior.Written with love and great humor by Bob Braudis and Michael Cleverly, it is a warm tribute to their friend of many years and allows us inside the "inner circle" of the Owl Farm kitchen.I laughed and laughed, but mostly I cried for having not been able to buy the ticket and take the ride myself. ... Read more

19. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Other American Stories (Modern Library)
by Hunter S. Thompson
Hardcover: 304 Pages (1998-05-05)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679602984
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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First published in Rolling Stone magazine in 1971, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is Hunter S. Thompson's savagely comic account of what happened to this country in the 1960s. It is told through the writer's account of an assignment he undertook with his attorney to visit Las Vegas and "check it out." The book stands as the final word on the highs and lows of that decade, one of the defining works of our time, and a stylistic and journalistic tour de force. As Christopher Lehmann-Haupt wrote in The New York Times, it has "a kind of mad, corrosive prose poetry that picks up where Norman Mailer's An American Dream left off and explores what Tom Wolfe left out."
This Modern Library edition features Ralph Steadman's original drawings and three companion pieces selected by Dr. Thompson: "Jacket Copy for Fear and Loath-
ing in Las Vegas," "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan," and "The Kentucky Derby Is Deca-
dent and Depraved."

Amazon.com Review
Dr. Thompson made the list of inspirational scribes when Ipolled in a recent writing workshop, and why not? Back in a spiffyModern Library edition, replete with additional essays, I find in thisiconographic work that HST both invoked--and provoked--an era that wasnot so much the '60s proper, but rather the mean, shadow-filled deathof that time, which is still playing out. Thank God Thompson was thereto explode the myth of "objective" journalism and help pavethe way for the pens and voices that followed. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (54)

3-0 out of 5 stars Fear and Loathing
This was a gift to my son. He had had the first edition and it was lost in a home break up. He said okay, but definitely edited.

5-0 out of 5 stars A LAS VEGAN POINT OF VIEW
When I was in college in the early 1970's a friend turned me on to Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and his Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas. Little did I know then that in 1979 I would be moving to Las Vegas because of a job. I had the book with me on the plane and I remember reading it, and people around me looking at the title and freaking out a bit. What were they, and I getting into?

32 years later, the views that Dr. Thompson expresses about Las Vegas hold mostly true. Yes we have gone from a mob run city to a corporate run city, but the reality is there is little difference. We just dress better now and can use credit cards. The population has gone up 200+%, but life is the same. The same characters are still here, just better dressed and slightly better educated. It's still hot and dusty and the use and availability of mind altering substances is still here. We just don't have the crazed attorneys and the Great Whale cars. We do have Hummers though.

What was true in 1971 is true in 2010, "There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge."

Thank you Hunter for a book that is as good now as it was 39 years ago. A classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quick delivery, good service
The book arrived promptly and in the condition it was promised to be in.Very nice.

3-0 out of 5 stars Satisfied
Wasnt exactly what I thought it was going to look like. Had different cover. Eventually was happy with the product and its looks.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream" by Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter Thompson practiced total immersion journalism.This form of reporting is called gonzo journalism.

Hunter Thompson drove to Las Vegas to report on a motorcycle race and ended up writing a story about himself writing a story about a motorcycle race.If he would have written a conventional report on motorcycle racing it would have been interesting to motorcycle enthusiasts for a few days.Since he wrote a gonzo story he had a very wide canvas and he used it well to create a classic.

The reader might be turned off by the obstreperous behavior, extreme self indulgence and offensive inconsiderate language.If you can look past this offensive conduct and you will see that Hunter Thompson gave us an insight into the American character of the 1970's.

See also: Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga (Modern Library)

I completely enjoyed this book and recommend it to others.

... Read more

20. Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80's
by Hunter S. Thompson
Paperback: 336 Pages (2003-11-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$4.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743250443
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Generation of Swine, the second volume of the legendary Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's bestselling "Gonzo Papers," was first published in 1988 and is now back in print.

Here, against a backdrop of late-night tattoo sessions and soldier-of-fortune trade shows, Dr. Thompson is at his apocalyptic best -- covering emblematic events such as the 1987-88 presidential campaign, with Vice President George Bush, Sr., fighting for his life against Republican competitors like Alexander Haig, Pat Buchanan, and Pat Robertson; detailing the GOP's obsession with drugs and drug abuse; while at the same time capturing momentous social phenomena as they occurred, like the rise of cable, satellite TV, and CNN -- 24 hours of mainline news. Showcasing his inimitable talent for social and political analysis, Generation of Swine is vintage Thompson -- eerily prescient, incisive, and enduring. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars Shame and degradation abounds...
Volume 2 of 'The Gonzo Papers' compiles HST's material as a weekly columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle in the mid-80s.This was the most regular gig the writer had in some time, and other books chronicle the trials and tribulations of getting HST on anything resembling a 'normal' schedule with deadlines.

The columns are presented in chronological order, but I don't think it's critical to read them that way.If anything, the randomness of the columns (even when chronological) will enhance the overall effect of the good doctor's writing...and further highlight the insight he had even while under the influence.This was really more a 'money project' than a true passion, though HST seemed to have a lot of leeway.Indeed, some weeks the 'story' is nothing more than an anecdote discussing how a hobo followed him onto a train from Penn Station, or an enjoyable two-part bit on a random football bet he made with a rich man from Arizona at the airport.But for the most part, the column deals with the politics of the day: the climate, the scandals, and the '88 election.HST takes aim at the rampant greed and the depravity of the decade, and few are safe.There are heavy doses of Iran/Contra, Ollie North, the possible impeachment of Reagan, and what he perceives as the general criminality of the people in power.Plenty of Gary Hart (and his own scandals), George H.W. Bush (see aforementioned criminality), Ed Meese, senators and congressmen and televangelists.Needless to say, sometimes it's hard to tell them all apart.

What comes through is that HST was a very good writer when he wanted to be.Unfortunately, as has become clear from so much of the biographical output that's appeared since his death, he wasn't always interested enough (or certainly focused enough) to be that great writer.However, if anything, the Chronicle columns served as some of his most 'regular' outlet in a long time, and though I'm sure there were great pains to get him to produce every week (some wonder if his assistant(s) sometimes filed these pieces in a pinch), there is a lot of good insight into the USA, into politics, and into the new age of cynicism that really struck the author as far harsher than the Nixon days.There are plenty of cracking sentences, too...his mind, clouded as it may have been by lord knows what, could come up with some real gems.There was a definite rhythm to his best writing, as if he understood how to read himself and make it sound.And of course, there are some marvelous barbs at villains of the day (Reagan, Bush, Swaggart, and Oral Roberts, recipient of perhaps my favorite barb in the book).

Can it be erratic?Definitely.Is there some Gonzo genius buried in here?For sure.Is it always coherent?Absolutely not.But the thread through much of the material is indeed the shame (or lack thereof) and degradation (plenty) in the 'Me' decade.The column titles are part of the fun, revealing everything or nothing about the contents.Some are funny, cryptic, or tempting all by themselves (The Worst People In The World, Ronald Reagan Is Doomed, White Trash With Money, etc).

In terms of an intro to HST, I probably would not begin here (start with Gonzo Papers Vol 1).Newcomers, or less than-fanatical HST fans may want to knock a star off the rating.However, for the fan, it's an interesting chapter in the author's celebrated life and unpredictable output.

4-0 out of 5 stars very good writing
Hunter Thompson is a good writer.He is very good at writing about Ollie North.
This collection benefits from not being overly immersed in drugs and alcohol abuse.Some of the allegorical articles went over my head.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sad Fate for a Brilliant Writer
It's hard to believe that these columns are the work of the same author who wrote "Hells Angels" or some of the articles in "The Great Shark Hunt." While "Shark Hunt" was often uneven (and had one of the worst editing jobs in modern publishing-his article on the NFL is still screwed up),it also contained some of the finest satire written during the 20the century.Like William Burroughs,Thompson was capable of writing which was insanely,savagely funny. Thompson's refusal to compromise,with life, with his drinking, with his drugs, led to the almost complete destruction of his talent and career, and the man whose work was a huge draw for Rolling Stone (they serialized his Las Vegas book)was reduced to churning out a weekly column for a newspaper.His biographies are truly sad-Thompson was a supremely selfish man who left a trail of destruction and pain everywhere he went. His ability to write brilliantly and hilariously about the damage he'd done was what made his a success, but by the time of his pathetic suicide Thompson was finished. The articles in this book help document his decline.

4-0 out of 5 stars The more things change, the more they stay the same
This is another in a series of collections of Hunter's columns.The other compilations are:

The Great Shark Hunt (Gonzo Papers Vol. 1) about the 70's, mostly post Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail,

Better than Sex (Volumen 3) about the 90's, and his final release before his untimely death,

Hey Rube (about the early 00's).

I should mention here that I'm only in my 20's, and the first administration I ever really paid attention to was the second Clinton term.

Reading this book and the other Gonzo Papers books, along with Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, gives you a perspective on the past 30 years that is hard to find elsewhere in this context.Since these columns were written as critiques on current events, you get a feel for what was going on in the 70's, late 80's and early 90's. You find that for everything that has changed over the past 30 years, that politics is quite static.Corrupt presidents, sex-scandal plagued politicians, and more.

There's not too much to dislike about this book, assuming you enjoy Hunter's writing style.And it is valuable to those who can't get enough of Hunter's style.

3-0 out of 5 stars History Redux
This review was originally used to comment on Hunter Thompson's Songs of the Doomed. Since most of the points I made in my review of that book apply here I will let that review stand in here. Obviously each book is formatted differently but whether Thompson was skewering the Nixon era, the Reagan era or the Bush eras the song is the same. And it aint pretty.

Generally the most the trenchant social criticism, commentary and analysis complete with a prescriptive social program ripe for implementation has been done by thinkers and writers who work outside the realm of bourgeois society, notably socialists and other progressive thinkers. Bourgeois society rarely allows itself, in self defense, to be skewered by trenchant criticism from within. This is particularly true when it comes from a known dope fiend, gun freak and all-around lifestyle addict like the late, lamented Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Nevertheless, although he was far from any thought of a socialist solution and would reject such a designation we could travel part of the way with him. We saw him as a kindred spirit. He was not one of us- but he was one of us. All honor to him for pushing the envelope of journalism in new directions and for his pinpricks at the hypocrisy of bourgeois society. Such men are dangerous.

I am not sure whether at the end of the day Hunter Thompson saw himself or wanted to been seen as a voice, or the voice, of his generation but in any case he would not be an unworthy candidate.In any case, his was not the voice of the generation of 1968 being just enough older to have been formed by an earlier, less forgiving milieu.His earlier writings show that effect. Nevertheless, only a few, and with time it seems fewer in each generation, allow themselves to search for some kind of truth even if they cannot go the whole distance. This compilation under review is a hodgepodge of articles over the best part of Thompson's career. As with all journalists, as indeed with all writers especially those who are writing under the pressure of timelines and for mass circulation media these works show an uneven quality. However the total effect is to blast old bourgeois society almost to its foundations. Others will have to push on further.

One should note that `gonzo' journalism is quite compatible with socialist materialism. That is, the writer is not precluded from interpreting the events described within himself/herself as an actor in the story. The worst swindle in journalism, fostered by the formal journalism schools, as well as in other disciplines like history and political science is that somehow one must be `objective'. Reality is better served if the writer puts his/her analysis correctly and then gets out of the way. In his best work that was Hunter's way.

As a member of the generation of 1968 I would note that this was a period of particular importance which won Hunter his spurs as a journalist. Hunter, like many of us, cut his political teeth on one Richard Milhous Nixon, at one time President of the United States and all- around political chameleon. Thompson went way out of his way, and with pleasure, skewering that man when he was riding high. Thompson was moreover just as happy to kick him when he was down, just for good measure. Nixon represented the `dark side' of the American spirit- the side that appears today as the bully boy of the world and as craven brute. If for nothing else Brother Thompson deserves a place in the pantheon of journalistic heroes for this exercise in elementary hygiene. Anyone who wants to rehabilitate THAT man before history please consult Thompson's work. Hunter, I hope you find the Brown Buffalo wherever you are. Read this book. Read all his books.
... Read more

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