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Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson

de Anita Thompson, Anita Thompson (Editor)

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"Bristling with inspired observations and wild anecdotes, this first collection offers a unique insight into the voice and mind of the inimitable Hunter S. Thompson, as recorded in the pages of Playboy, The Paris Review, Esquire, and elsewhere." "Fearless and unsparing, the interviews detail some of the most storied episodes of Thompson's life: a savage beating at the hands of the Hells Angels, talking football with Nixon on the 1972 Campaign Trail ("the only time in 20 years of listening to the treacherous bastard that I knew he wasn't lying"), and his unlikely run for sheriff of Aspen. Elsewhere, passionate tirades about journalism, culture, guns, drugs, and the law showcase Thompson's voice at its fiercest." "Arranged chronologically, and prefaced with Anita Thompson's moving account of her husband's last years, the interviews present Hunter in all his fractured brilliance and provide an exceptional portrait of his times."--BOOK JACKET.… (mais)
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In Ancient gonzo wisdom. Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson, Anita Thompson has collected all interviews given by Hunter S. Thompson. Anita Thompson started working for Hunter S. Thompson as his assistant in 1999, and a four years later they got married. Hunter S. Thompson commited suicide in 2005.

Ancient gonzo wisdom. Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson collects a lot of material. Is encompasses all written and published interviews from magazines, such as Playboy, The Paris Review, and Esquire and the transcripts all all radio interviews. Some of the interviews are long, but there are also many short, or even very short interviews of just one or two pages. The book is a quite cumbersome read, and contains a lot of repetition. Some interviews are almost identical, as interviewers would come up with more of less the same questions, and Thompson provides more or less the same answers.

Hunter S. Thompson expresses several times that he never expected to live to such a high age. When he commited suicide, he was 67 years old. His lifestyle was characterised by recklessness, insanity and the use of drugs, alcohol and violence. Thomson's most famous book, Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs is a fictionalized description of the Hell's Angels. To gather material for this book, Thompson lived and rode with the Angels for a year. Obviously, not just any person would fit into the subculture of the Hell's Angels. The post-humously published, short novel, The Rum Diary describes Thompson's struggling early years as a writer, in a somewhat seedy expat environment. Thompson's life early on was "on the wild side". Still, while classified as belonging to 1960s counter-culture, his work is not affiliated to the Beat Generation.

In 1966, the year Hell's Angels was published, the genre of the non-fiction novel was brand new. The genre came into existence during the preceding decade, while Truman Capote's novel In Cold Blood, published in 1965, is its most well-known example. With Hell's Angels Hunter S. Thompson is identified as having initiated the genre of Gonzo journalism, i.e. the style of news reporting that allows for fictional elements, without the attempt of objectivity.

1965/66 was not the time the Hells Angels emerged, but it was a moment the club achieved notoriety. In fact, at that time, the Hells Angels were not the only organized band, that was characterized by a sub-culture and cult of violence. However, the Hells Angels, through their high degree of organization, and the luck of having been led by a number of smart people, and their ability to tie in with contemporary Beat-culture, outlasted most of the other gangs and clubs.

Ancient gonzo wisdom. Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson makes very clear that Thompson's year with the Hell's Angels was not an under-cover operation. The Angels knew he was a journalist, and they knew he was there to collect materials to write a book about them. Many of the interviews ask about this period in his life and the way the book about the Hell's Angels was written.

In many of the interviews, Hunter S. Thompson's eccentricity is exemplified. Many interviews have a weird opening, at which the interviewers are weird questions, or Thompson ignores the interviewer, does not answer of gives strange answers. From the early 70s, Thompson is addressed as Dr. Thompson; this was after he attained a doctorate from a university. Obviously, later interviews mention or talk about the later books, such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, but most interviews return to asking about the book Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs and the origins of Gonzo journalism.

Ancient gonzo wisdom. Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson is interesting as a primary source, to get a lively impression of the madness of Hunter S. Thompson. ( )
1 vote edwinbcn | Feb 18, 2016 |
Thompson's shining Gonzo Intellect is displayed here with humor and insight. Thompson was a seer, a visionary, an immovable force of which our culture will have to contend with for decades to come. His interviews read like his prose - evidence that what you read in print was the Good Doctor himself without pretense, without a mask. The earth's axis has shifted since his departure and we are all at a loss with his absence. ( )
  NateJordon | Oct 9, 2009 |
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"Bristling with inspired observations and wild anecdotes, this first collection offers a unique insight into the voice and mind of the inimitable Hunter S. Thompson, as recorded in the pages of Playboy, The Paris Review, Esquire, and elsewhere." "Fearless and unsparing, the interviews detail some of the most storied episodes of Thompson's life: a savage beating at the hands of the Hells Angels, talking football with Nixon on the 1972 Campaign Trail ("the only time in 20 years of listening to the treacherous bastard that I knew he wasn't lying"), and his unlikely run for sheriff of Aspen. Elsewhere, passionate tirades about journalism, culture, guns, drugs, and the law showcase Thompson's voice at its fiercest." "Arranged chronologically, and prefaced with Anita Thompson's moving account of her husband's last years, the interviews present Hunter in all his fractured brilliance and provide an exceptional portrait of his times."--BOOK JACKET.

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