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Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century Paperback – November 6, 2003
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In this collection of twisted parables and outlaw adventures, Thompson writes about his early run-ins with agents of authority and the lessons learned; his stint in the Air Force and the beginning of his journalism career; his unsuccessful, though illuminating, bid for Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado in 1970 as the Freak Power candidate; the casualties and unintended consequences thus far in the War on Terror; and numerous examples of present-day injustice and hypocrisy--all with his characteristic mix of brutal frankness laced with humor. He also offers his own take on state of the Union: "The prevailing quality of life in America--by any accepted methods of measuring--was inarguably freer and more politically open under Nixon than it is today in this evil year of Our Lord 2002." Thompson continues to make even the most deadly serious subject matter endlessly entertaining. --Shawn Carkonen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
a rehash of a lot of stories that have been told before. I'm not familiar enough with his other books to tell so can only judge this book on its own merits. And it works great.
The publisher has been billing this book as a biography or a memior, but it really isn't. Although the book is organized around incidents and stories in the life of HST by the end of the book it became clear to me that all of the stories have one theme and purpose - to illuminate HST's view that American culture is making an authoritarian shift in what HST calls the "Final Days of the American
HST describes himself as a "fifteen year old girl in the body of a 65 year old junkie." A writer who came out the 1960's counterculture, he is now a libertarian who calls September 11th "the day the fun stopped."
For HST since then America has been gripped by fear and worry. He doesn't see the country in a state of war but having a nervous breakdown.
The result is a crackdown on freedom and behavior which is seen as a threat to the system and an overzeolous justice system. Almost every single story in the book touches on this. That's why I don't think it is really a biography. There is a reason why he chose the stories that he did.
HST is the only author I know of who is talking about this great shift in American post Sept-11th right now. America has changed and the country is at a fork in the road. George Bush is not going to be able to kill all of the terrorists or stop them. A choice is going to be made.Read more ›
Yet Kingdom Of Fear is not entirely without theme or structure. There is an underlying message, as the title suggests, that the nation is moving into a dark period that seriously jeopardizes our privacy and civil liberties. Thompson relates this post-Sept. 11, 2001 environment to episodes in his own life when authorities violated his rights. Unlike a book by the average political commentator or activist, however, Thompson makes his case with emotional verbal outbursts and poetic observations more than logical arguments. This is refreshing; Thompson's style is an anachronistic challenge to the overly regulated, homogenized and conforming culture that has been building, not only since 9/11, but over the last few decades.
A great drawback is that he recycles a lot of stuff from his earlier work, which if you're a fan/reader of his you can't help but feel a bit cheated about. The book isn't that long as it is, but when half the material already has been printed before, and therefore probably, for fans at least, is on your shelf already, it gives the feeling of the good Mr Thompson not really making an effort writing this volume.
It's not all bad though. There are highlights in the book. His description of his childhood is enjoyable and very biographical. The last chapter is also very enjoyable, although not that good as biographical material, it does for a good reading.
It starts out legitimate enough, but quickly turns to his rambling and at times incoherent style of writing. Worth reading if you're a completist. I would recommend the compilations of his letters "The Proud Highway" and "F&L in America" as biography instead. They are much better.
Our proud doc laces his own personal experiences with his dire outlook on todays world. Hopefuly this voice can be heard louder up and down the food chain and can influence another generation to see something besides the processed meilieu on the news today.
Its scary to see things were freer under President Nixon than today. It opens your eyes.
All and All a brilliant script to the whirlwind life of the Grand Pubah of Gonzo.
Many More to come, PLEASE!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read! Many tales woven into this one. Not exactly an omnibus, but it is a great long view of Thompson's perspective made clear by the title.Published 1 month ago by Benjamin W. May
Can't believe I hadn't read Hunter before. This book was eye opening and mind blowing and crazy. Probably not the best place to start reading Hunter's work, but I enjoyed the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michael Beverly
and then all hell broke loose. Excellent book if you want to even begin to understand the concept of freedom on today's terms.Published 3 months ago by ssprockets
A lot of crazy writings and word usage, random thoughts, some paths are dead ends and wild goose chases.
It's strange but interesting at the same time- half way through it.
More HST, and articles I wasn't familiar with. Also many interesting photos. Live On, HST! RadPublished 12 months ago by rad
The author displays way too much self interest. It's pretty obnoxious actually. Lacks the self-awareness and accuracy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.Published 13 months ago by Avander