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Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80's Paperback – November 6, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743250443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743250443
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Thompson may be correct in assuming that the greed and immorality pervading the American social landscape are obscene, but his surreal, half-demented style has hardened into a pose. These columns from the San Francisco Examiner prove only that journalism can become dated quickly. The author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas calls Colonel Khadafy smarter than Ronald Reagan and takes potshots at television news, Gary Hart, Ed Meese, evangelists, Michael Dukakis, Pat Robertson and the Iran-contra hearings. He predicts that the Democrats will self-destruct in the 1988 presidential campaign. People he dislikes are described as "money-sucking animals," "brainless freaks," "geeks," "greed-crazed lunatics" and so on. Thompson's flaccid diatribes seem designed to instill a sense of smug superiority in the reader.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Thompson's outrageous reporting style, called "Gonzo journalism," was the rage in the early 1970s. The protest generation cleaved to his Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ( LJ 8/72) and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ' 72 ( LJ 6/1/73), both genuinely funny and often perceptive social and political commentaries. This new effort, a collection of 100 short pieces originally published as a column in the San Francisco Examiner over the past two years, tries to recapture the old ebullience, but much of it falls flat. Still, Thompson's fansthere are manywill savor his wild words on Ted Kennedy, Gary Hart, Al Haig, Ollie North, George Bush, TV preachers, et al. Kenneth F. Kister, Pinellas Park P.L., Fla.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

There's just nobody else who writes like Mr. Thompson.
Mary Caballero
In any case, his was not the voice of the generation of 1968 being just enough older to have been formed by an earlier, less forgiving milieu.
Alfred Johnson
These were originally meant to be read at the rate of one a week, but of course you can increase your speed on this compilation.
Tom Bruce

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy C on May 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is another in a series of collections of Hunter's columns. The other compilations are:

The Great Shark Hunt (Gonzo Papers Vol. 1) about the 70's, mostly post Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail,

Better than Sex (Volumen 3) about the 90's, and his final release before his untimely death,

Hey Rube (about the early 00's).

I should mention here that I'm only in my 20's, and the first administration I ever really paid attention to was the second Clinton term.

Reading this book and the other Gonzo Papers books, along with Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, gives you a perspective on the past 30 years that is hard to find elsewhere in this context. Since these columns were written as critiques on current events, you get a feel for what was going on in the 70's, late 80's and early 90's. You find that for everything that has changed over the past 30 years, that politics is quite static. Corrupt presidents, sex-scandal plagued politicians, and more.

There's not too much to dislike about this book, assuming you enjoy Hunter's writing style. And it is valuable to those who can't get enough of Hunter's style.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Tom Bruce on August 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
What we have here are over 100 op-ed pieces (about 2 1/2 book pages each) that ran in the San Francisco Examiner over a three-year period, December 1985 thru November 1988 and are now compiled in Gonzo Papers Volume 2 (Volume 1 was The Great Shark Hunt). These were originally meant to be read at the rate of one a week, but of course you can increase your speed on this compilation. However, I read them in a handful of sittings and suffered from severe overload. First of all, at this fast rate you get a good deal of duplication that waters down the overall affect Thompson was trying to create in his weekly column. Thompson reminds me of the famous Groucho Marx line: "Whatever it is, he's against it!" Just picked at random: "Any baboon with a healthy heart and good diction... could do Neil Frank's job (director of the National Hurricane Center). President Reagan: "...seems to be dumber than three mules." Frank Sinatra: "...is said to be smart, but he was fired and cut off from every casino in New Jersey when he tried to play blackjack by rules he learned in Nevada...They chased him out like a wino. It was an ugly thing to see." And these quotes all come from just one article. Pick a name or event from the headlines of these three years and you'll find a bombastic opinion from Thompson aimed directly at it. It is a fun and funny read. You'll find yourself thinking and speaking in the Thompson style. It's addictive. But, too much at one time can put you over the top. For more reasons than one, this would make for good bathroom reading material.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By keith pervatt on November 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
I read this book when it first came out and thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, it helps if you are a political junkie.
The surprising thing, though, is how I think it holds up, even though so many of the anecdotes and columns are topical of the era in which it was written. I picked this up the other day at the book store, on a whim, and sat down to revisit it. I was laughing so uncontrollably, and for such a period of time, that a lady sitting nearby asked me what I was reading, went and got a copy for herself, started perusing it and ended up buying it.
Nobody...NOBODY is as perfectly vicious and insanely funny at the same time. He is like an impressionist political commentator. His portraits of George Bush Sr here aren't quite accurate...but something about the way he exagerates the man's traits captures his essence more clearly than any attempt at objectivity could hope for.
If only he were still covering politics...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
I read this book right after "The Great Shark Hunt," and it was a bit of a let down. The articles are all around two to three pages in Generation of Swine, so none of them are as intricate nor as detailed as some of the masterpieces found in Shark Hunt.
The first half of the book is the most relaxed writing I've read of Thompson, lots about gambling, shooting and life around Woody Creek. When the Iran Contra scandal starts to heat up Thompson comes alive. He's back to his acid spitting deconstruction of the American political engine. His attacks become ever more frenzied until Bush Sr. escapes the noose for his involvement in the whole affair. This seems to cool Thompson down he seems resigned to fate; 15 years earlier he would have written 30 page rallying cries, like "The Scum also Rises," but he's an older now and he takes it in stride.
It's an interesting book, and fantastic journalism. The 80's weren't half as dynamic as the 60's or 70's and as such it's not the place to start with Thompson. However, it might very well be the place to end.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Fear & Loathing on the campaign trail is probablly the good doctor's masterpiece but pretty much any of the gonzo papers books are well worth a read. It might have been interesting if a younger, angrier HST had been unleashed on the 1980s but this is a mellowed Thompson. But not too mellow. What you get is often hilariously funny stuff about Reagan, drugs, gambling, Iran and inevitably, Richard Nixon. Not a major work and it is slightly inconsistant, but every so often the doc's depraved mind slips into a higher gear and you're glad that the old bugger isn't dead yet. In fact, when he does finally peg out, someone should white the last few paragraphs of the introduction on his tombstone: Hunter's almost serious take on heaven and hell which is worth the price of admission alone.
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