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Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson Paperback – April 1, 2012

3.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Will Bingley began his career in the film industry, working as a scriptwriter and script editor on several major studio productions before moving into TV and advertising work. He is a contributor to several major U.S. anthologies and journals. Anthony Hope-Smith studied graphic design and animation and now works as an illustrator. This is his first full-length graphic novel.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Original edition (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419702424
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419702426
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amanda C. Peterson on April 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
I really wanted to love this so desperately. But between a few serious factual errors, trying to write in HST's voice first person (and not coming close to capturing it), skipping over big chunks of life in a way that felt like rushing lazily to the finish line and the art being OK but not fantastic, it is just a disappointment. I'm sure the creators love Hunter S. Thompson and his legacy, but they capture neither journalism nor great story telling -- like an eighth-grade book report well illustrated.

Sad to say that even Ellis' reinterpretation (ripoff?) of HST's life "Transmetropolitan" is more emotionally true to why people loved Hunter and his writing and just reading Hunter's essays and letters give you a better sense of the what.

I wish this was what I got my hopes up about when I first heard about it. Sad to say that getting a copy dashed those hopes. It's a great idea, but one that's difficult to pull off well -- especially with such a devout and knowledgeable fan base of the subject.

Perhaps they'll revisit it with a little more research, a little more care and it'll live up to its potential.
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By Erin Britton on November 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
"I want you to keep in mind that I'd just as soon not be dismissed as some drug-addled clown." While this question of image and public perception isn't one that troubles the majority of us, it was certainly an issue that plagued Hunter S. Thompson. By turns described as the great American iconoclast, the great American outlaw, the great American hedonist and, depressingly far less regularly, the great American writer, Thompson carried for years a justified fear that he had succeeded best in becoming a caricature of himself. It's true that the legend very nearly eclipsed the man. Despite his fairly prolific literary and journalistic output, Thompson is still, even after his relatively quiet final years and untimely death, best known for his excesses rather than for his creativity and innovation. With Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson Will Bingley and Anthony Hope-Smith aim to redress this fact by offering an account of Thompson's life that highlights those achievements and events of which the man himself was most proud.

After a brief introduction, Gonzo begins properly with the incident of the mailbox that will be familiar to readers of Thompson's Kingdom of Fear. This act of childhood rebellion and the defiance of authority that followed it were considered by Thompson to be the defining moments of his life, the moments in which the chaotic and rebellious pattern of his adulthood was begun.
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Format: Paperback
Having been an avid consumer of everything HST related since I discovered F&L back in the early 90's, I was delighted to come across this attractive looking book by accident in my local Waterstones.
However, despite a fairly insightful introduction by one of HST's old editor's, I was almost instantly disappointed. The portrayal of HST is dismally one dimensional if that. There is no sense of the fun, Joy, humour and surreal japery HSt embodied. Instead he stalks these pages like the sombre, scowling 'Black night' of journalisim. This portrayal seems to suit the author's ideal less than it serves the facts. For instance, when HST lost the vote for mayor of Aspen he was, famously, wearing a woman's curly blonde wig as the results came in. Here he is bald and stern. The last few decades of his life are dismissed by a page each and all we get is a grim trudge through the over familiar earlier years. The final few pages have a touching poignancy, coincidentally mirroring a time when humour was lacking from HST's life. And yet even here it's argued that in his last days HST was still grieving the divorce from his first wife sandy...as if she represented some kind of lost potential and innocence. Anyone familiar with HST's life through his letters and work will know that most of HSTs life was a romp and celebration with little time for self pity or regret.
This is a curiously mournful and misguided telling of a unique and atypical life that was anything but the one note cliche depicted here.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm such a huge HST fan that I impulsively bought this book the moment I say it, and I wish it was as good as its cover, but it's not. If I can, I'll be returning it.

The book seems like it was done by people with only second or third hand knowledge if the subject, like they based their portrayal on bad movie characatures and Doonsberry cartoons. The story's don't seem to get far enough into Thompson's life to be interesting, the factual errors will drive superfans crazy and the art is poorly done. Save your money and stick to stuff actually written by Thompson, or at least by people who know how to tell a story.
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Format: Paperback
I love stuff about HTS and I love graphic novels so this was a perfect fit for me.

If you've read biographies about HST, don't expect a graphic novel to cover everything. A graphic novel is usually short when it comes to words. This is because you have pictures on every page telling the story along with the narration.

I've read plenty of stuff about HST and I've seen plenty of interviews. At first I thought this was a autobiography pieced together by a recording from a friend. Hunter was known for late night phone calls and I figured he gave a story like this to someone.

I think some reviewers are angry that the Las Vegas stuff and other drug romps weren't touched. If you know your HST history, you know that he didn't want to be known as a drug addict and felt trapped by the Dr. Gonzo persona. The graphic novel puts this well as stating maybe Las Vegas was a real story and maybe it was only partly real.

There is alot of switching back and forth between humor and dark reality. This feels right up the HST alley. The writing and illustrations are great. I've collected many comics over the years and I think this artist won't be hurting for work in the future.

If I wanted to introduce someone to HST, it would be with this graphic novel...then followed by Fear and Loathing.
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