Hunter S. Thompson was truly unique – he was a writer with a totally inimitable style.
Although Thompson has written over eleven books, three of them are absolute classics.
First there is Hell’s Angels.
This book is Thompson’s journalistic account of what it was really like spending more than a year in close association with the motorcycle outlaws – riding, loafing, plotting and eventually getting stomped. It’s an up-close – too close at times – and unflinching look at the truly savage world of the Oakland, California Hell’s Angels chapter. And it’s an utterly compelling read.
Then there’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Subtitled A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, this is probably Hunter S. Thompson’s most famous – or infamous – book. This one purports to be a journalistic account of HST’s cross-country road-trip to Las Vegas, but it’s really a novel – a very funny novel. This is the book that defined the HST ‘Gonzo’ writing style.
Then there’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.
This is HST’s insider’s take on McGovern’s, Carter’s and Nixon’s 1972 across America election campaign. It’s serious, but scathing – and often hilarious.
The 4 volumes of The Gonzo Papers are very good. They include:
The Great Shark Hunt
The full title is Gonzo Papers, Vol. 1: The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time, which says it all really. And this one’s got so much good material in it that it could be – and perhaps should be – re-titled The Best of Gonzo.
The other volumes of the Gonzo Papers are:
Gonzo Papers, Vol. 2: Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ’80s.
Gonzo Papers, Vol. 3: Songs of the Doomed: More Notes on the Death of the American Dream
Gonzo Papers, Vol. 4: Better Than Sex: Confessions of a Political Junkie
There are other HST books, of course, in particular Rum Diary, an early novel:
and which has just been made into a movie by Bruce Robinson. Here’s the trailer:
Then there’s Screw-Jack & Other Stories, a collection of short stories:
And finally, here’s a clip of HST talking about political journalism and being on the campaign trail. Enjoy:
Hunter S. Thompson is a writer worth reading. Everyone should read at least one of his books. He is a great writer.