Hunter S. Thompson
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About Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter S. Thompson is incomparably the most celebrated exponent of the New Journalism. His books include Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 and Generation of Swine.
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This cult classic of gonzo journalism 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.
Also a major motion picture directed by Terry Gilliam, starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro.
“California, Labor Day weekend . . . early, with ocean fog still in the streets, outlaw motorcyclists wearing chains, shades and greasy Levis roll out from damp garages, all-night diners and cast-off one-night pads in Frisco, Hollywood, Berdoo and East Oakland, heading for the Monterey peninsula, north of Big Sur. . . The Menace is loose again.”
Thus begins Hunter S. Thompson’s vivid account of his experiences with California’s most notorious motorcycle gang, the Hell’s Angels. In the mid-1960s, Thompson spent almost two years living with the controversial Angels, cycling up and down the coast, reveling in the anarchic spirit of their clan, and, as befits their name, raising hell. His book successfully captures a singular moment in American history, when the biker lifestyle was first defined, and when such countercultural movements were electrifying and horrifying America. Thompson, the creator of Gonzo journalism, writes with his usual bravado, energy, and brutal honesty, and with a nuanced and incisive eye; as The New Yorker pointed out, “For all its uninhibited and sardonic humor, Thompson’s book is a thoughtful piece of work.” As illuminating now as when originally published in 1967, Hell’s Angels is a gripping portrait, and the best account we have of the truth behind an American legend.
Begun in 1959 by a 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. The narrator, freelance journalist Paul Kemp, irresistibly drawn to a sexy, mysterious woman, is soon thrust into a world where corruption and get-rich-quick schemes rule, and anything (including murder) is permissible. Exuberant and mad, youthful and energetic, this dazzling comedic romp provides a fictional excursion as riveting and outrageous as Thompson’s Fear and Loathing books.
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.
Forty years after its original publication, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 remains a cornerstone of American political journalism and one of the bestselling campaign books of all time. Hunter S. Thompson’s searing account of the battle for the 1972 presidency—from the Democratic primaries to the eventual showdown between George McGovern and Richard Nixon—is infused with the characteristic wit, intensity, and emotional engagement that made Thompson “the flamboyant apostle and avatar of gonzo journalism” (The New York Times). Hilarious, terrifying, insightful, and compulsively readable, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 is an epic political adventure that captures the feel of the American democratic process better than any other book ever written.
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.
Brilliant, provocative, outrageous, and brazen, Hunter S. Thompson's infamous rule breaking—in his journalism, in his life, and under the law—changed the shape of American letters, and the face of American icons.
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.
“Buy the ticket, take the ride,” was a favorite slogan of Hunter S. Thompson, and it pretty much defined both his work and his life. Jann S. Wenner, the outlaw journalist’s friend and editor for nearly thirty-five years, has assembled articles—and a wealth of never- before-seen correspondence and internal memos from Hunter’s storied tenure at Rolling Stone—that begin with Thompson’s infamous run for sheriff of Aspen on the Freak Party ticket in 1970 and end with his final piece on the Bush-Kerry showdown of 2004. In between is Thompson’s remarkable coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign and plenty of attention paid to Richard Nixon; encounters with Muhammad Ali, Bill Clinton, and the Super Bowl; and a lengthy excerpt from his acknowledged masterpiece, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The definitive volume of Hunter S. Thompson’s work published in the magazine, Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone traces the evolution of a personal and professional relationship that helped redefine modern American journalism, presenting Thompson through a new prism as he pursued his lifelong obsession: The life and death of the American Dream.
--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."
"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."
"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
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.
Brazen, incisive, and outrageous as ever, this second volume of Thompson’s private correspondence is 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.