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J.A.A. Purves

Hunter S. Thompson

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Going on a Thompson reading binge recently. Finished reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diary. Now I'm in the middle of Hell's Angels, which is turning out to be the most interesting thing I've read from him so far. He actually bought a motorcycle and started riding with them, making friends with them, and just hanging out at their bars and clubs - and this book is the result of the experience.

I've been told that I'm not supposed to like reading this guy. But I feel like I'm a LATE late-comer to a spellbinding, if sometimes coarse and rough, style of writing that I've just never ever read before. It's got to be a cliche to say that this guy is crazy, but this guy is CRAZY!

I have Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 on my shelf tempting me. Trying to hurry up and finish Hell's Angels first. I can't help it - the guy writes about politics and football and his adventures as he's traveled up and down the country hanging out with the outcasts and sinners of society.

(I searched the forums to see if Thompson had a thread to his own on here yet, but could only find an old one about the news of his death. If there is already a thread on his books that I've missed, please let me know.)

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Just finished Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 - highly enjoyable, and actually a very libertarian point of view on politics coming from a guy who's obviously more favorable to the Democrats than the Republicans.

I'm not sure if you could read a better summary of early 1970s American politics, unless you tried one of the volumes of collected essays written during that time period by William F. Buckley. Put both points of view together in your reading, and you probably have two of the most eloquent political writers of the time period.

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Just finished Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 - highly enjoyable, and actually a very libertarian point of view on politics coming from a guy who's obviously more favorable to the Democrats than the Republicans.

I'm not sure if you could read a better summary of early 1970s American politics, unless you tried one of the volumes of collected essays written during that time period by William F. Buckley. Put both points of view together in your reading, and you probably have two of the most eloquent political writers of the time period.

Can't believe I missed this thread, initially. I love most of Hunter's stuff, even his latter-era essays. Campaign Trail and Las Vegas probably represent him at his zenith-- before the rock n' roll persona took over completely. However, my absolute favorite Hunter works-- and the ones I return to faithfully-- are the two large volumes of personal correspondence The Proud Highway and Fear & Loathing in America. Both works reveal the complexity and sincerity of the true man, but the former, showing his letters up to 1967, is a revelation. Funny, angry, earnest, probing and gloriously absurd... There are some wonderful insights in the second volume too, when his star was really rising (along with many of the rock star vices). Most memorable to me is his dialogue with his close friend Jann Wenner about the Las Vegas manuscripts, where he admits that NONE of the drug-induced debauchery of Raoul Duke in the novel was real-- that there were in fact, no drugs or psychosis during his actual stay(s) there.

There's also an amazing series of letters during his time on assignment with Rolling Stone, covering the fall of Saigon... little-known stuff revealing how he completely chickened-out of what could've been his greatest moment as a writer. Highly recommended reading...

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I enjoyed the Great Shark Hunt, along with titles already mentioned.

His writing for ESPN was good also. In march of 95 he wrote the The Song Of The Sausage Creature, it was a ride report of a Ducatti for Cycle World magazine. It is still hilarious.

"Some people will tell you that slow is good - and it may be, on some days - but I am here to tell you that fast is better. I've always believed this, in spite of the trouble it's caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba"....

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"Some people will tell you that slow is good - and it may be, on some days - but I am here to tell you that fast is better. I've always believed this, in spite of the trouble it's caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba"....
:lol: Classic Hunter.

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However, my absolute favorite Hunter works-- and the ones I return to faithfully-- are the two large volumes of personal correspondence The Proud Highway and Fear & Loathing in America. Both works reveal the complexity and sincerity of the true man, but the former, showing his letters up to 1967, is a revelation. Funny, angry, earnest, probing and gloriously absurd...

Nice. I have The Proud Highway but haven't read it yet. I plan to read it soon.

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