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Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson Hardcover – October 25, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Hunter was the only twentieth-century equivalent of Mark Twain.” —Tom Wolfe

“Thompson is a genuinely unique figure in American journalism, a superb comic writer and a ferociously outspoken social and political critic.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

“Mr. Thompson, the flamboyant apostle and avatar of gonzo journalism, still exerts a powerful hold on the American psyche. . . . He was first and foremost an original, vivid prose voice.” The New York Times

“Some of the finest political and social writing of our times.” The Seattle Times

“Thompson should be recognized for contributing some of the clearest, most bracing and fearless analysis of the possibilities and failures of American democracy in the past century.” Chicago Tribune

“At his best he has the kind of trenchant, mordant wit of H. L. Mencken and Mark Twain.”Houston Chronicle

About the Author

Hunter S. Thompson was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. His books include Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, The Rum Diary, and Better than Sex. He died in February 2005.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1St Edition edition (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439165955
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439165959
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Rory Feehan on January 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is an utter disgrace. It is far from "The Essential Hunter S. Thompson" as it is heavily edited throughout by Jann Wenner and Paul Scanlon. So what the reader is getting is a chopped and butchered version of Hunter S. Thompson's original articles. We are not even talking about excerpts here, the articles in this collection bear no resemblance to the original writing. For example, Strange Rumblings in Aztlan has the entire first page chopped out, with this new edited version kicking off in the middle of a paragraph. To mask this Wenner and Scanlon have combined two of Thompson's sentences to start off the article. Yeah you read that correctly, the first sentence is a mutated piece of writing thanks to the hand of the editors. Fear and Loathing at The Super Bowl has pages upon pages cut from the original source, leaving an article that is disjointed and all over the place. The entire collection continues in this fashion with only 2-3 articles remaining untouched.

I cannot fathom what Jann Wenner was thinking when he decided to take this approach with Hunter's writing. Thompson would never have tolerated such interference with his work and Wenner knows this only too well. The collection also claims to include letters and memos between the pair but the reality is that you get 50 short letters of little substance, some of which are already published in Fear and Loathing in America. Comparing the two, the reader will also discover that Wenner has edited the letters, as if butchering the articles wasn't enough.

So at the end of the day, this book serves no real purpose. All of this work is already freely available in its original form, as Thompson intended, in both The Great Shark Hunt and The Gonzo Papers Anthology.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Johnny LaRue on January 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
From Totally Gonzo dot org: "... Jann Wenner, with the help of Paul Scanlon, decided to severely edit Hunter's original prose. I am not just talking about taking excerpts from the original articles - that might actually have been a sensible move considering the length of some of his work. Instead however, what is contained in the pages of this collection can only be described as a kind of horrific experiment gone wrong, FrankenGonzo if you like, starring Jann Wenner as the crazed creator holed away in a workshop of filthy creation. The result of his efforts of course is a creature of monstrous ugliness.

It is hard not to form this impression when you see the heavy handed dissection of Hunter's work. The original flow of his writing is all but destroyed, with paragraph after paragraph hacked away in favour of this new re-imagined beast..."
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on October 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Hardcover-3 page Forward by Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine (RS) and Thompson's friend, 8 page Introduction by writer Paul Scanlon, 561 pages of text, and Acknowledgments page. The book contains no photographs or other reproductions, except the cover photo. Interspersed throughout is a very small sampling of correspondence between RS publisher Wenner and Thompson, which tries to tie together the various pieces used in this book. But the various pieces (and I mean pieces) of writing lose most, if not all, their effectiveness used the way Wenner has done here. He should be ashamed of himself for exploiting Thompson's name and writing in this manner.

Depending on how you view this book, it may simply be a money generating effort (which I believe), or as a kind of (very) loose, alternative biography (?) of Hunter Thompson and his (early) years at RS, as seen through heavily edited excerpts of his writing. If (like me) you've read all of Thompson's writing over the years-including his books and articles published in RS-you won't glean anything in the way of information about Thompson's life and/or writing. But for some new readers, they will find Thompson's take on America and the legal/political machine-and the people involved-during some intense years interesting. But purchase the original books as written by Thompson. The "star" rating is used as a loose guide for people who've read nothing of Thompson's writings.

This is a look, using Thompson's writing and some "correspondence" between Wenner and Thompson, at the "Hunter Thompson era" at RS. Is it interesting? Yes-maybe if you're new to Thompson and the many articles published in RS over a number of years. But to most readers this will read as a travesty.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By CHELSEA J MATHEWS on January 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If Hunter was still with us he would have hogtied and butchered the poor fools responsible for the raping of some of his finer work.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Mesrine on September 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a pathetic attempt by Jann Wenner to squeeze a few more dollars out of his association with Hunter S. Thompson. As some of the other reviews have already mentioned, many of the pieces in this book have been edited. If you want to read a good HST collection that hasn't been butchered, buy a copy of The Great Shark Hunt.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jared Smith on August 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What does a writer have but their words? Apparently not even their words. The misavengers will not stand for this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alfred Johnson on December 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
Sometimes it is just nice to be able to grab an author’s work, especially an author whose stock and trade was essentially working as a free- lance journalist, in one place. That is the idea behind this collection of all of the late Hunter S. Thompson’s (Doctor Gonzo’s) work for Rolling Stone magazine which launched him to some fame in the counter-cultural world in the early 1970s and later. Although the bulk of the work was done in that 1970s period occasional articles pop up almost until his death. An added feature is that Jann Wenner, the editor/owner of the magazine and Hunter’s ally/nemesis, introduces the book and each individual piece to give a little back-ground history of what did (or did not) happen with each article.

Hunter Thompson first became widely known as a crackerjack journalist when he “rode” and wrote about Oakland’s Hell’s Angels and set a new path for a proper way to write journalistic articles. No more so-called objective on the one hand, on the other stuff but considered reportage with the writer in the middle of the drama. Not everybody liked it (or likes it) but it got the attention of whole generation of kids (the now fading, greying generation of ’68) excited about more than drugs, sex and rock and roll (although that too).

Here you have articles ranging from Thompson’s 1970s Freak Power alternative political campaigns in the Rockies, the tense happenings in the East Los Angeles barrios, the skewering (there is no other word for it) of one Richard M. Nixon, one time President of the United States and common thief, a solid tribute to the old war-horse and ally Oscar Acosta (the Brown Buffalo), the Pulitzer Palm Beach divorce case and a quick swing through the hardships of the polo set to name a few.
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Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson
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