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This first volume of the correspondence of Hunter S. Thompson begins with a high school essay and runs up through the publication of Thompson's breakout book, Hell's Angels. Thompson apparently never threw a letter away, so the reader has the treat of experiencing the full evolution of his pyrotechnic writing style, rant by rant. The letters--to girlfriends, to bill collectors, to placers of "Help Wanted" ads, to editors and publishers--are usually spiced with political commentary. The style and the political animus always seem to drive each other. For instance, an 11/22/63 letter to novelist and friend William J. Kennedy about the day's cataclysm is apparently the birthplace of the signal phrase "fear and loathing." (Thompson summed up the Kennedy assassination thus: "The savage nuts have shattered the great myth of American decency.") And the willingness to write strangers is stunning: this collection includes Thompson's letter to LBJ seeking appointment to the governorship of American Samoa. You might have thought Garry Trudeau was exaggerating in his Doonesbury characterization of the Thompson-based character Duke. He was not. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"I'm already the new Fitzgerald," Thompson declares gamely at age 19, in 1957, as his cracking lifelong correspondence gets under way. "I just haven't been recognized yet." The original gonzo journalist, who struck the big time with his book on the Hell's Angels ten years later (when this first volume of correspondence terminates), amply displays his talent for bragging?and barking?in these self-consciously irreverent, wordy, and often tender letters he was fond of banging out impulsively to friends like William J. Kennedy (Ironweed); magazine editors from whom he hoped to scare up work; youths who asked for career advice; Lyndon Johnson, when asking for the job of governor of American Samoa; and writers whose work he read with violent pleasure or loathing (Norman Mailer, William Styron, Nelson Algren). Thompson enjoyed messing up wherever he could but he never lost a grip on his desire to become a damn good writer. This is a shot in the liver for struggling writers and a searing testimony to an important moment in American journalism. Highly recommended.
-?Amy Boaz, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It's been over 20 years since I read HST's work and I enjoy reading it now as much as I did in high school!Published 2 months ago by Wall-E
This is a must for every wannabe author. This is not simply for the diehard HST fan. The author speaks to everybody but for those born before 1964 it is particularly poignant, a... Read morePublished on May 10 2004 by Bruce Oksol
These are letters of Hunter S. Thompson. They range from letters to publishers to letters to his land lord. Great for the Thompson fanatic.Published on Aug. 15 2003
I had picked up an interest in the inimitable Doctor of Journalism & his gonzo styling from reading on the filmic "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas", & then seeing the film, & finally... Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2003
As much as I love reading the good Dr's. books, and as much as it pains me to write this, it must be said that this book is an ill conceived collection of personal letters meant to... Read morePublished on Feb. 17 2002 by Jimmy James
This is really an interesting way to view someone who has been viewed mostly as a drug abusing maniac by the general public, and as a drug abusing revolutionary journalist by the... Read morePublished on Nov. 28 2001
If you've never read any of Thompson's works, I recommend you *not* start with this one. Buy a used copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (it's a relatively short book), read it... Read morePublished on July 2 2001 by CMOS