Gonzo: The Life and Times of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Summary
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Hunter S. Thompson is a mythic American figure, a man that Tom Wolfe called our "greatest comic writer," whose suicide, by gunshot, led Rolling Stone Magazine, where Thompson began his career, to devote an entire issue (its best-selling ever) to the man that launched a thousand sips of bourbon, endless snorts of cocaine and a brash, irreverent, fearless style of journalism--named "gonzo" after an anarchic blues riff by James Booker. Borrowing from Kris Kristofferson, Thompson was a "walking contradiction, partly truth, mostly fiction." A die-hard member of the NRA, he was also a coke-snorting, whiskey-swilling, acid-eating fiend. While his pen dripped with venom for crooked politicians, he surprised nervous visitors with the courtly manners and soft-spoken delivery of a Southern gentleman. Careening out of control in his personal life, Thompson also maintained a steel-eyed conviction about righting wrongs. Today, in a time, when "spin" has replaced the search for deeper meaning, Thompson remains an iconic crusader for truth, justice and a fiercely idealistic American way. Like Jack Kerouac's On the Road, his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (and the movie made from it) remains a wanderlust myth for generation after generation of American youth. And for America's most esteemed journalists--from Tom Wolfe, and Walter Isaacson (former editor of Time) to the NY Times' Frank Rich--he remains an iconic freelance, never afraid to gore every sacred cow in his path. He believed that writing could make a difference. It could change things.
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