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Hunter S. Thompson: An Insider's View of Deranged, Depraved, Drugged Out Brilliance Hardcover – March 3, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is by far the most thought-provoking and honest look at the late outlaw journalist…HUNTER S. THOMPSON is the most cohesive and comprehensive text yet to be written and is well worth the hours.”

- Steve Rosen, CurledUp.com

"Imagine Hunter Thompson as your landlord . . . as your next door neighbor. Jay Cowan spent several years living just a few yards away from Hunter and lived to tell this tale. With insight and grace, he shows us what Hunter S. Thompson was like off-stage. He also shows how this much-misunderstood man was underestimated as a craftsman. This book brims with madness and affection, not to mention fear and loathing. All gonzo fans will treasure this monumentally entertaining story."
William Mckeen
Author, Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S.Thompson

 



Many would like a ringside seat to the life of Hunter Thompson, but Jay Cowan provides something more:  he puts you in the ring.  Cowan was not merely an observer, but a friend and confidant for over three decades.  Part of this time he actually lived on Thompson’s Colorado compound.  The writing and chemical consumption that made Thompson famous is all here, but so are many moments when Thompson wasn’t playing to his reputation, so that in the end we have an intimate portrait of the man, good and bad, that only Jay Cowan could provide. Were Thompson able to read Hunter S. Thompson, he may not always like it, but he’d have to admit it’s the truth.

 

Scott Lasser

Novelist, Author of "All I Could Get" and "Battle Creek"

Review

“This is by far the most thought-provoking and honest look at the late outlaw journalist…HUNTER S. THOMPSON is the most cohesive and comprehensive text yet to be written and is well worth the hours.”

- Steve Rosen, CurledUp.com

"Imagine Hunter Thompson as your landlord . . . as your next door neighbor. Jay Cowan spent several years living just a few yards away from Hunter and lived to tell this tale. With insight and grace, he shows us what Hunter S. Thompson was like off-stage. He also shows how this much-misunderstood man was underestimated as a craftsman. This book brims with madness and affection, not to mention fear and loathing. All gonzo fans will treasure this monumentally entertaining story."
William Mckeen
Author, Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S.Thompson

 



Many would like a ringside seat to the life of Hunter Thompson, but Jay Cowan provides something more:  he puts you in the ring.  Cowan was not merely an observer, but a friend and confidant for over three decades.  Part of this time he actually lived on Thompson’s Colorado compound.  The writing and chemical consumption that made Thompson famous is all here, but so are many moments when Thompson wasn’t playing to his reputation, so that in the end we have an intimate portrait of the man, good and bad, that only Jay Cowan could provide. Were Thompson able to read Hunter S. Thompson, he may not always like it, but he’d have to admit it’s the truth.

 

Scott Lasser

Novelist, Author of "All I Could Get" and "Battle Creek"

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; First edition (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599213575
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599213576
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,168,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rory Feehan on April 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit that when I first heard about this book I was a little apprehensive. The amount of ink spilled over the years on Hunter is extensive. Some of the better titles I have enjoyed immensely and I return to them regularly. I cannot say the same for them all however, with one offender in particular annoying me to the point that I fired it into the rubbish bin because it was the best place for it. I guess I am a tough customer to please. Having read everything on Hunter it really takes something special to stand out from the crowd. Thankfully this offering by Jay Cowan more than passes the test.

So why exactly does this book add anything new to the field? Well for one Jay Cowan had access to Hunter that few can match. Not only was he a close friend but he actually lived for a number of years at Owl Farm in the guest cabin. The detail that Jay provides about life at Owl Farm is immense and it ranges from an almost inventory-like description of the house and surroundings to various stories from over the years. Some of these capture the King of Gonzo in all his glory, holding court amid the madness and frequently trampling the limits of excess to a pulp. This is familiar and expected territory regarding any book on Hunter and here Cowan more than delivers. Yet he also carefully balances the madness with a genuine account of Hunter the Writer, hard at work and dedicated to perfecting his craft. There is an abundance of information regarding not only the process behind Hunter's work but also the advice that he dished out to Jay. Whether it was some wisdom on how Jay could develop as a writer or informing him on how NOT to handle a loaded weapon, Hunter was more than happy to help out.
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Format: Hardcover
Many would like a ringside seat to the life of Hunter Thompson, but Jay Cowen provides something more: he puts you in the ring. Cowen was not merely an observer, but a friend and confidant for over three decades. Part of this time he actually lived on Thompson's Colorado compound. The writing and chemical consumption that made Thompson famous are all here, but so are many moments when Thompson wasn't playing to his reputation, so that in the end we have an intimate portrait of the man, good and bad. The book's epigram, from Voltaire, says, "One owes respect to the living: to the dead one owes only the truth." That's exactly what you get here.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Hunter S. Thompson: An Insider's View of Deranged, Depraved, Drugged Out..., one gets the picture soon enough. The book is well written, but aside from reinforcing the information that has already been available about Mr. Thompson's life, it has tidbits here and there, but in the end I found the book just average. Without being disrespectful in any way, shape or form to the well lived life of Mr. Hunter S. Thompson. Apparently, a gifted writer endowed with a high IQ, he probably heard a different drummer most of his life. Read most of his books, except perhaps the heavy laden politics ones. Saw the Fear and Loathing movie, which I found far fetched and almost impossible to follow or believe, or perhaps I am dead wrong and those parties behind closed doors where exceptionally bizarre and out of this world.
Mr. Jay Cowan knew Hunter on a first name basis, he even lived in his property, so he obviously is well qualified to bring this book to life. I started skipping pages, and that is never a good sign for an excellent book deserves complete attention and completion, which did not happen in this instance. Then again, I have read many books that I liked and other did not. The writing is smooth and easy to enjoy. 3.5 Stars.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like this a lot.Interesting, coherent, one-person view from the inside. He lets us know his perspective as well. Margaret A. Harrell, Hell's Angels copyeditor
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who has wondered, as most Hunter Thompson fans have, "what it would be like...."
Be careful what you wish for. This is a great look behind the curtain, warts and all, from a writer who posesses considerable skills of his own and knows where the bodies are buried. Or in this case, where the fragments landed.
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Format: Hardcover
Also about the most interesting. The author is not some drive-by biographer he knew Thompson very well, and even lived In a guest house on the same property for years. He was a close friend and confidante and saw Thompson at his best and his worst. Lots of fascinating detail, about Thompsons writing process, the drugs, the wives and girlfriends, the money, the celebrities and the guns. If you're a fan this book is one you'll probably find interesting.

The only other book near as good is the Jann Winner biography. I've read all the bios and those two books are the best.
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