June 1998

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. (Sounds so good I had to write it twice). Writer, adventurer, courageous soul, and other things that are best left to his own narrative style.

Thompson first captured the eye of the public with his depiction of a year on the road with the Hell's Angels. He first caught my eye, and quite belatedly, after I wandered in to see the Terry Gilliam adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I sat there like a wide-eyed kid, hardly able to believe what I was seeing and barely able to contain my glee at seeing it. I returned 2 weeks later with a Hunter-expert friend, and was even more pulled into the story. I am debating whether I want to see it a third time before buying it upon video release . . . .

I am happy to report that since the release of the film, there has been a resurgence in interest in Thompson. I have been attempting to find an old copy of the book, and every used bookstore in the major city I occupy is sold out. One bookstore owner told me that he's had hundreds of people looking for Fear & Loathing since the film was released. Of course, I bought myself a new copy so I could read the thing (and it is a very rich book), but there is something special about having an old beat-up paperback from the very same era, to carry, to crack open at off moments, to show friends who, like me, never got around to discovering HST until this unfashionably late date. I have written up these amusing adventures and you can read them here.

There are a few times in this life when something reaches up through the mist and purposely grabs you by the throat. Engulfing myself in a book or article written by HST is several of these such occasions. Do yourself a favor, give him a try. His hand might just appear from nowhere and pull you back down with him.

Web sites by knowledgeable fans who have been fans for a respectable length of time (unlike me), and some film sites:

Test your Gonzo quotient:
1. What is Thompson's middle name?
Gonzo
Stockton
Steadman
2. Where does Thompson live?
Woody Creek, Colorado
San Francisco, California
Washington, D.C.
3. Who is his Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas compatriate?
Tom Benton
Mr. Meeps
Oscar Acosta
4. In what year was Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail written?
1968
1972
1976
Score =
"Hello, Mr. Duke. I'm sorry we were cut off a moment ago . . . but I thought I should call again, because I was wondering . . ."

"What?" I sensed things closing down on us. This fucker was about to spring something on me. What had that crazy bitch said to him? I tried to stay calm. "We're watching the goddamn news!" I screamed. "What the fuck are you interrupting me for!"

Silence.

"What do you want? Where's the goddamn ice I ordered? Where's the booze? There's a war on, man! People are being killed!"

"Killed?" He almost whispered the word.

"In Vietnam!" I yelled. "On the goddamn television!"

"Oh . . . yes . . . yes," he said. "This terrible war. When will it end?"

"Tell me," I said quietly. "What do you want?"
. . . . . . .
My favorite passage from
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
© 1971 by Hunter S. Thompson


photo of HST

I'm sure that everything on this page is owned by Dr. Thompson, so please don't come after me with a cattle prod for reprinting or reproducing it. I'm just spreading the word. I wish I could write like this.

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