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Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson Paperback


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Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson + Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century + Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Original edition (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306816512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306816512
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #586,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

National Public Radio
“This amusing collection pulls from 30 years of conversations and reveals the gonzo journalist to be much more of a craftsman than he is often given credit for being. It would, in fact, make a great gift to any budding journalist.”

Crawdaddy!
“What better way to explore any mind (and perhaps especially a mind, like Thompson’s, as warped as it was brilliant) than to go straight to the source?...The interviews in this book capture the outlaw journalist at every glorious twist in the road…This book contains Thompson at his peak, with all the cryptic wit and irony that made him one of America's true literary greats. A must-read for any Thompson aficionado.”

A.V. Club, 7/16/09
“The best items in Gonzo Wisdom are among the straightest: a gratifyingly sober 1979 confab with Washington Journalism Review, and the classic Playboy interview finished right after Nixon’s resignation. Wild and funny though he was, Thompson was always serious about his writing.”

New York Times Paper Cuts book blog, 7/20/09
“The book is fun to rummage around in.”

Creative Loafing Daily Loaf blog, 7/14/09
“A substantial new volume…A solid and indispensible record of Hunter S. Thompson’s public life as a writer.”

Tucson Citizen, Shelf Life blog, 8/5/09
“Arranged in chronological order, the interviews provide remarkable insight into the thinking of this extraordinary man.”

Library Journal, 9/1/09
“All of [the interviews] emphasize Thompson’s flamboyant and exaggerated style. His fervent base of fans will want this book.”

PopMatters.com, 8/27/09
“Recently, Conversations with Hunter S. Thompson, another book collecting Thompson’s essential interviews was published, and with Ancient Gonzo Wisdom coming so close after that, you might think that there’s a glut of the good doctor out there. Fortunately, there are only a couple of overlapping interviews between the two, and because Anita Thompson has done such an extensive excavation of the Thompson archives—including transcribing rare broadcast interviews in addition to his most important interviews from the publication of Hell’s Angels right up through the months before his death in 2004—this is the vital volume…Trying to pick out the best, or most interesting, interviews here is, of course, impossible. Thompson’s mind is so sharp, his responses so detailed, his considerable charm consistently outpaces his crankiness, even in the later years that it’s hard even to choose a favorite… Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson is as close as we as readers can get to having Thompson as a conversational companion. It’s challenging and clever, frustrating and funny, and it’s a great companion to his canon.”

WNTI Radio website, Hackettstown, NJ, 8/25/09
“Thompson has done all fans of the 'Good Doctor' a favor in compiling these interviews…Ancient Gonzo Wisdom provides a close and personal look at the great gonzo journalist.”

Roanoke Times, 8/23
“Thompson may have seemed to treat Q&As like a lark, but he used them to promote an image of himself, increasingly that of a crazed, politically obsessed Yosemite Sam behind a typewriter. That persona is on full display in Ancient Gonzo Wisdom, a career-spanning collection of interviews, transcripts and profiles…Ancient is a solid overview.”

Waterbury’s Republican-American, 9/6
“Worthy of being placed on the shelf alongside [Thompson’s] reportage and letters, to put a lie to the image that he was an out of control madman who got by on attitude alone. Indeed, the real lesson upon reading this book is that Thompson was as serious a journalist as we had in this country over the past four decades.”

Blogcritics.org and AssociatedContent.com, 9/8
“A marvelous read for fans…Hunter, by way of his editor and widow Anita Thompson, presents an autobiography of sorts through his responses to questions in print, in a lecture hall, on television, and online. Anita does a great job providing footnotes to make clear what is being discussed in the conversations…Provide[s] a very good portrait of the man and his work.” 

New York Press 9/9
“Features previously unpublished interviews from 1974 to 2005 studded with outrageous anecdotes and quotes and some plain-old folk wisdom from the ‘Doctor,’ as he liked to call himself.”

HybridMagazine.com, 10/9
“An important part of any library dedicated to The Doctor of Divinity, The Creator of Gonzo Journalism, the man that faced ‘The Fear’ headlong and survived…The book is a superb chronological collection of interviews…The interviews used here in this fine collection are wide ranging…With a collection as good as Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson we get a good glimpse inside the literary giant that created Gonzo Journalism.”

Sinning in L.A., 12/28/09
“With many turns as well as consistencies, the book provides a look at the man behind the typewriter…Sometimes dark and distant, but usually very witty and charming, he’s allowed to show himself, rather than the cartoon caricature that had been created of him by others.”

About the Author

Anita Thompson was Hunter S. Thompson’s wife and assistant. She is the author of The Gonzo Way, a celebration of Thompson’s legacy, and lives in Woody Creek, outside of Aspen, Colorado.

More About the Author

Hunter S. Thompson's books include Fear and Loathing in America, Screwjack, Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Proud Highway, Better Than Sex, The Rum Diary, and Kingdom of Fear. He was contributor to various national and international publications, including a weekly sports column for ESPN Online. Thompson died February 2005.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L. Viets on June 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This collection of Dr. Thompson's interviews over a period of several years reflects his essential, irascible attitude. His widow, Anita Thompson, who assembled and edited this important work, has unique insight into the real Hunter behind the Gonzo image.
Highly recommended!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey H. Noleen on August 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Always interesting and often funny, Hunter Thompson rations answers to helpless interviewer's and public forum's questions giving insight to his writing, lifestyle, philosophies and opinions from the 70's till just before his passing in 2005. A wealth of nutritional info and sages for our times included as well.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hunter S. Thompson is one of the most brilliant minds to have ever existed! As I sat reading this incredible compilation of his interviews I was engulfed in the Doctor's world...Definitely worth the read!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Garry Engelberg on May 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is fabulous the Interviews allow one to see his genius though his eyes not just his published work
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nate on October 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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