i'd rather be in haena   

or anyplace with more trees and less concrete

Hunter S. Thompson

by admin - February 20th, 2005.
Filed under: books.

The guy had the strongest and most original writing style I’d ever encountered back in the mid-seventies. It launched a lot of bad fanzine writing later on, sure. But along with the National Lampoon (circa 1973-78), Paul Zindel, The Bell Jar, Ball Four and Confessions Of A Crap Artist, Thompson’s way with words had a big impact on me in my mid-teens through early twenties. He knew when to turn on the hyperbole and he was capable of great investigative journalism. Check out The Great Shark Hunt or his anthologies of essays on Presidential campaigns. There was nobody better at articulating the rage that a lot of people felt during the Nixon/Ford era.
Of course, often he was full of shit and he spent way too much of his career coasting on some very easy “participatory journalism.” The last couple decades found him resembling the Doonesbury cartoon character that pissed him off so much. His public appearances reached new heights of erratica and unfortunately a lot of people felt his drug-addled buffoonery diminished his greatest early/mid-period work.
I’m sure the first couple chapters of Fear and Loathing will be read aloud by candlelight tonight, and a lot of joints and Wild Turkey will be ingested in his memory.

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