- Series: Gonzo Papers, Volume 1
- Paperback: 602 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 6, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743250451
- ISBN-13: 978-0743250450
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (Gonzo Papers, Volume 1)
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In addition to being a testament to the undeniably beatifying properties of American excess--literary, political, chemical, you name it--Hunter Thompson is the high priest of the ad hominem attack. Anyone unlucky enough to get in the way of his satirical sledgehammer will end up with soup for brains. Still, even Thompson needs a good villain to get properly lathered up; that's why he peaked simultaneously with America's 37th president, Richard Milhous Nixon. Tricky Dick was Thompson's dark-jowled, pale-calved Muse, and with his departure Thompson seemed to lose his place a bit. Swatting flies with a baseball bat.
You need look no further for this writer's best: this collection of pieces, first published in 1979, spans all of Thompson's primo era, including short pieces and selections from longer works. The Great Shark Hunt sports a few articles filed by a pre-Gonzo Hunter S. Thompson, which show flickers of passion but no real fire; the first experiments with the author's drug-fueled brand of journalism at the Kentucky Derby; and finally the gigs that made him an American institution, in Las Vegas and on the 1972 campaign trail.
Thompson's style is so unique that a reader is tempted to think that he leapt, fully formed, into Gonzohood. However, along with the crazy, careening prose itself, one of the auxiliary pleasures of The Great Shark Hunt is the map that it gives of Thompson's ascent (or descent, if you prefer) from the workaday hyperbole of sports writing to the hell-blast vigor of his later work. The drugs are, by and large, a distraction--lifestyle points that get in the way of the genuinely perceptive journalism that Thompson created. (But they are there, always, and in quantity.) If you're looking for insight into the underbelly of America, Hunter S. Thompson is your best and only guide, and The Great Shark Hunt is an excellent place to begin the grim safari. --Michael Gerber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The Washington Post He amuses; he frightens; he flirts with doom. His achievement is substantial.
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Top customer reviews
Nowhere else is the richness of Thompson's talent so fully illustrated than in _Shark Hunt_. Here, in "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved," a chronicle of the yearly madness in Thompson's hometown of Louisville, the reader experiences the earliest rumblings of what would later become a totally unique journalistic style that he further developed in "Fear and Loathing at the Super Bowl," also found here.
We are also treated to assorted dispatches from Thompson's travels throughout North and South America, written when he was a roaming correspondent for Dow Jones' _National Observer._ Here the true skill and power of Thompson's writing becomes apparent -- an observation both powerful and poignant when these writings are compared to his later works, making it clear that the drugs have indeed taken their toll on his remarkable mind.
For the new Gonzoist, excerpts are included from _Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas_ as well as _Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72._ Through not very useful if you own these books already, they still make for fun bathroom reading.
Also included are most, if not all, of Thompson's articles for "Rolling Stone" about the Watergate scandal and Nixon's resignation -- truly rollicking political tales full of savage grace and fiendish wit. Sadly lacking are Ralph Steadman's original drawings which accompanied the stories in RS.
There's more, too: stories about the "Brown Power" revolts in Los Angeles in the late 1960s; tales of Oscar Acosta, Thompson's mysterious Mexican-American lawyer friend who was the model for the "300-pound Samoan lawyer" in _Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Thompson's experiences in Muhammad Ali's training camp; his bizarre times with Jean-Claude Killy and O.J. Simpson as they travel through America hucking Chevrolets at auto shows in the early 1970s.
These are indeed strange tales from a strange time. Buy this book.
There is this one part where he is covering the superbowl as a reporter back in the 70s and was so jacked up that he was was taking breaks from drinking and mingling with socialites in the penthouse of some hotel to close himself on the balcony to shout verses of his modified Revelations for a few minutes, then calmly return and socialize. Classic HST.
Thompson took journalism to a `higher' level in regards to reporting and we should be grateful for his twist on script and text. It's not for everyone, but then again what is.
From covering sporting events such as the Kentucky Derby, the Super Bowl, skiing with Jean-Claude Killy, hanging out with Muhammad Ali to the '72 political campaigns of Nixon-McGovern, Watergate renderings and Jimmy Carter from '74-'76, we also venture into his times off the coast of Yucatan and into South America to domestic issues such as the killing of Ruben Salazar and other more somber matters.
It's all here... amusing, entertaining and affecting with a cutting edge slant.
many originally from Rolling Stone, are as pertinent now in many ways, and as pleasant to read. HST has a constant humorous bite. Some of the articles are from his book 'Fear and Loathing On the Campaign Trail '72' and some are from various other publications, and the entire collection is enjoyable and evokes thought. Rad.