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The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (1979)

de Hunter S. Thompson

Séries: The Gonzo Papers (1)

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2,425164,644 (3.99)10
The first volume in Hunter S. Thompson's bestselling Gonzo Papers offers brilliant commentary and outrageous humor, in his signature style. Originally published in 1979, the first volume of the bestselling "Gonzo Papers" is now back in print. The Great Shark Hunt is Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's largest and, arguably, most important work, covering Nixon to napalm, Las Vegas to Watergate, Carter to cocaine. These essays offer brilliant commentary and outrageous humor, in signature Thompson style. Ranging in date from the National Observer days to the era of Rolling Stone, The Great Shark Hunt offers myriad, highly charged entries, including the first Hunter S. Thompson piece to be dubbed "gonzo"--"The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved," which appeared in Scanlan's Monthly in 1970. From this essay a new journalistic movement sprang which would change the shape of American letters. Thompson's razor-sharp insight and crystal clarity capture the crazy, hypocritical, degenerate, and redeeming aspects of the explosive and colorful '60s and '70s.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 16 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Great first line:

“Well... yes, and here we go again.”

Indeed! Lots of good reads in this collection, both serious and Gonzo, though I am a bigger Gonzo fan than serious fan. Hell, the book starts with two scathing letters of reprimand from his Air Force days! And LOTS of different subjects covered within! Quite a bit about Nixon - Hunter's hatred of him, a little bit more about the '72 election, and a lot about Watergate and Tricky Dick's resignation. We get Hunter's first crazed meeting with Ralph Steadman and a trip to the Kentucky Derby! Jean-Claude Killy, Muhammad Ali, and the Super Bowl!
Great stuff about the Brown Buffalo in "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan" and "The Banshee Screams For Buffalo Meat"! Quite a bit from South America. Jimmy Carter, Hemingway in Idaho, and Marlon Brando!
A note on the scene in S.F. from "Hashbury" - a term I've never scene before! Politics in/near Woody Creek! And excerpts from "Hells Angels" and "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas" including my favorite piece from the later - the piece about the 60's movement coming to an end:

"…We were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . . So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."

My favorite piece of new-for-me in here came from the book's title, "The Great Shark Hunt"! Very Gonzo and Thompson and insane! Sport fishing in Mexico probably was never the same after that excursion! Just horribly wonderful! I think the bottom of the book's cover says it all:

"Strange Tales from a Strange Time, America's Quintessential Outlaw Journalist"

Yeah. That's what I was trying to say. Balls. ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Mar 11, 2019 |
Filled with stories about politics and sports, I really should not have liked this book. (I am not a fan of either sports or politics.) Somehow it was still interesting to me, though. Maybe it's the stream of consciousness style of writing or the absurd drug induced mania often described. Anyway, I will likely seek out the next couple if books in the series. ( )
  ktlavender | Jul 17, 2017 |
Probably the book (collection of essays) that made me want to write. ( )
  Gordon.Edgar | Nov 29, 2016 |
Great collection of articles from the foremost journalist of the late 20th century. We need a Fear and Loathing On the Campaign Trail 2016 so badly, and he's not here to write it. What a shame. ( )
1 vote 5hrdrive | Mar 26, 2016 |
What can one say about Hunter S. Thompson that hasn't already been said? He was a madman, a genius, and an excellent writer. Collected here are several of his greatest pieces, such as "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved," which show his mastery of the written word and his search for an absolute truth in his writing which would be the birth of Gonzo. This same truth, unfortunately, also created the character of "Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, wild man of the ages" that would eventually burn out a great mind. Well, the steady influx of drugs didn't help there either...

This book, this massive tome, collects pieces from throughout Thompson's career. We see some of his first attempts at a writing career with his release from the Air Force and the notice he wrote to explain his unbridled joy to be free. There are his trips to South America, where he sees how his own country treats another and has several near-death experiences. On that front, there are also excerpts from his time with the Hell's Angels, which I know they didn't take too kindly once the pieces and the book were released. Then, of course, there are his undisputed classics of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail. We see him rail against Nixon, cheer when the "snarling beast" is finally out of office, and champion a little-known peanut farmer named Jimmy Carter and the moment Carter blew Hunter and a room full of Southern lawyers away with one speech. The book closes with two pieces written on Muhammad Ali and his loss of the title to Leon Spinks.

The only real negative I can mention about this book is that the selected material isn't in any real chronological order. It starts with some of Thompson's more known Gonzo pieces, then about halfway through jumps much earlier in his writing career when he's still playing with his form. Still, an amazing collection from an amazing individual. Everyone should have a little Hunter Thompson in their lives. ( )
1 vote regularguy5mb | Feb 1, 2016 |
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The first volume in Hunter S. Thompson's bestselling Gonzo Papers offers brilliant commentary and outrageous humor, in his signature style. Originally published in 1979, the first volume of the bestselling "Gonzo Papers" is now back in print. The Great Shark Hunt is Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's largest and, arguably, most important work, covering Nixon to napalm, Las Vegas to Watergate, Carter to cocaine. These essays offer brilliant commentary and outrageous humor, in signature Thompson style. Ranging in date from the National Observer days to the era of Rolling Stone, The Great Shark Hunt offers myriad, highly charged entries, including the first Hunter S. Thompson piece to be dubbed "gonzo"--"The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved," which appeared in Scanlan's Monthly in 1970. From this essay a new journalistic movement sprang which would change the shape of American letters. Thompson's razor-sharp insight and crystal clarity capture the crazy, hypocritical, degenerate, and redeeming aspects of the explosive and colorful '60s and '70s.

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