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Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness--Modern History from the Sports Desk Hardcover – August 3, 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This collection of rants and reflections, taken from the king of gonzo journalism's new sports column at ESPN.com, displays an energy and humor lacking in some of his more recent collections and should please both his old and new fans enormously. Thompson has admitted being as much a sports fanatic as a political junkie, and these columns offer many hard-hitting but indisputable sportswriter insights, such as how a Sports Illustrated cover on Boston Red Sox star Nomar Garciaparra featured a "cynically homoerotic image." A sidebar on "New Rules for Baseball" ("Eliminate the Pitcher") is not only funny but also an astute critique of how boring he believes baseball has become. But Thompson never loses sight of his bigger picture: "The only true Blood Sport in this country is high-end Politics." His view of George Bush—"a half-bright football coach who goes into a big game without a Game Plan"—can sometimes be repetitious. But he hasn't lost his skill as a reporter: e.g., his description of the "exact moment" when he knew Gore would never win Florida—when the Bush family appeared on TV "hooting & sneering at the dumbness of the whole world" that they would let Florida slip away.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Thompson is, of course, the author of several New York Times best-selling books, including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1972), which is perhaps his most readily recognized one. He is the great and famous practitioner of so-called gonzo journalism, which means, at least by the definition set here in his latest collection of journalistic pieces, commentary in which his ruminations go far past the thought-provoking into the realms of the audacious, preposterous, and outrageous. Specifically, what is collected here are Thompson's popular ESPN.com columns; more specifically, the essays are about sports events and figures and what sports means in today's society, but he uses the broad subject of sports to launch into commenting humorously, fiercely, and quite intelligently on politics and sex. He calls being a politician "living in Public Housing"; he sees the death of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt as being publicly perceived as a message that something is wrong with the "machinery of the American nation"; and he avers that "the world situation has become so nervous and wrong that disasters that would have been inconceivable two years ago are almost commonplace today." Readers may disagree with Thompson, but he's hard to ignore. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (August 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684873192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684873190
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It was like being socked in the gut when I read that the doctor is dead. Hunter S. Thompson was--pound for pound and word for word--the most talented author of the Twentieth Century. Here was a man who could start from anywhere, write about anything, and have you completely sucked into his world be the end of the first paragraph.

And this is the least of the reasons he will be missed.

The doctor wrote in eulogy of his friend George Plimpton a little over a year ago: "He lived his life like a work of fine art."

If Plimpton was a piece by Michaelangelo, Hunter S. Thompson was the biggest, boldest Kandinsky ever to stalk the canvas.

Of my three favorite Twentieth Century authors (the other two being Thomas Merton--who reached upward, ever searching the silences, and Jack Kerouac--who was always reaching inward, bravely facing what he saw as the void) Hunter S. Thompson was my favorite. His writings reached out. They slapped one hell of a bear hug on the world he knew.

There is something to be said for letting it ride.

I read most of the columns in this book as they were published on ESPN.com. I recently reread them this past December when I checked Hey Rube out of the library. If you don't know the doctor, you might as well start here with his last work.

It's like everything else he ever wrote: damn good. My God, you made one heck of a writer when you made this guy. What a journey he had.

Now, to my great regret, I don't know where the good doctor has gone. I am truly saddened by the loss--the world is just smaller without him. Yet I am thankful all the same for having known him, if only through his works.

We all tip our hats and send up a good word.

Mahalo Doc...fare thee well.

May you make half the show of the second act that you did of the first.
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Format: Hardcover
The biggest shame of this book is how little work has been put into it. Hunter is still a lot of fun to read, and for what it is Hey Rube is an excellent read. It is NOT Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, or F&L at the Watergate. It's a collection of short ESPN columns that are usually half about sports, and half about politics. There is little room for development of either, but he's usually fairly interesting to read in both cases throughout Hey Rube.

One problem is how much Hunter has been copied over the years, and how it really weakens his delivery. When you compare Hey Rube to the Great Shark Hunt articles, very little has changed. He hasn't resorted to catch phrases more than before, nor has he become brain dead. Its just now more and more people have begun stealing from his style, and he's just published so much that it seems redundant.

But having said that I had more fun reading Hey Rube than I had reading The Proud Highway or Generation of Swine, since Thompson is very much in his element with the ESPN articles. They are quickly done, and mostly what is on his mind at the time. There's little revision, its very raw, but an absolutely needless release seeing how little NEW content there is in there that you can't just read for free. Even something on the 2004 election would be a nice addition to make it a real book, or small pieces to link articles together as he did in Songs of the Doomed.
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Format: Hardcover
Review of Hunter S. Thompson's new book "Hey Rube."

"Hey Rube" lacks the magic that kept Hunter in the tower of literary song for so long. Where he once shone bright as a welding torch in the junkyard, somebody or something has been tinkering with the fuel knobs lately and his famous glow has diminished. Other gonzo authors no doubt feel comfortable with this, believing his greatness is now approachable, even achievable. But hell, not even the universal genius of Einstein shone as bright in the twilight years of his life, and only a fool would think it somehow moved the goal posts closer. Hunter's new book is a natural easing back on the pedal, a law of nature that even he can't defy - despite the number of other natural laws he's broken by living this long on a diet of toxins so horrible that he must surely struggle to find honest medical insurance.

Hunter S. Thompson, father of Gonzo Journalism and author of over a dozen books on topics from The Hells Angels, Las Vegas & The American Dream, to Politics and Sports, now at the luminous age of 67, is still carving his initials ever deeper into the laureate's desk. To me, Hunter stands across the years as a writer of genius; an author of nerve, talent, insight and creativity - and this latest work is yet another step up the ladder, another rung ahead of the rest. Sure, not as large a stride he has taken with previous work - where he could bound four or five leaps ahead of the pack with a single essay - but it's a step none-the-less; a step in an infinite series that seems to keep Hunter one pace ahead of his peers on any subject he ponders.

Yet "Hey Rube," essentially a collection of his sports column writings on ESPN's website, is lacking.
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Format: Hardcover
Anything Hunter wrote was acerbic and psychedelic, but somehow hopeful and downright hilarious.. I suggest you read all of it, including this collection of ESPN articles.. Read especially Hunters article on the last election:

Some samples,

...Republicans have never approved of democracy, and they never will. It goes back to pre-industrial America, when only white male property owners could vote...

...Did you see Bush on TV, trying to debate? Jesus, he talked like a donkey with no brains at all...

Hunters Fear and Loathing of Bush and the Republicans since the 60s shot to the heart of political commentary.. Not bad for a Sports Writer..

I wonder what the future holds when the Weird start checking out.. Hunter will be missed by anyone with a heart and mind.
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