Provocative and revealing, this new collection covering Hunter's most infamous years, has sold over 10,000 in hardback.'There are only two adjectives writers care about any more - "brilliant" and "outrageous" - and Hunter has a freehold on both of them' TOM WOLFE'Very few editions of collected letters are worth reading from cover to cover, but this is one' SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY
Hunter S. Thompson's books include Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, The Proud Highway, Better Than Sex, and the Rum Diary. A regular contributor to various national and international publications, Thompson now lives in a fortified compound near Aspen, Colorado
"The years that were covered in these letters," says Thompson, "were like riding on a bullet train... with no sleep and no wires to hang on to." Apparently he hung onto his typewriter, though, churning out not only his drugged-up, wigged-out road book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and similarly outrageous articles for Rolling Stone but also for letter after lengthy letter, in the same white-hot, turbo-charged style. Thompson altered permanently the nature of political journalism by injecting into his reportage the personal and the pathological, and this second volume of letters reads like rehearsals for his more public utterances, almost every page ringing with the sound of gunfire, revving motorcycle engines and partying that began at a level where most partying ends. What may surprise readers is the sweetness of much of the writing. While Thompson's correspondents include a virtual who's who of the era, from Tom Wolfe and Kurt Vonnegut to Jimmy Carter and George McGovern, he wrote to his fans like a kind if slightly deranged uncle, trying to convince one not to join the Hell's Angels, offering a second help with her term paper. Despite the occasional lollipop, however, Thompson's strong suit is still invective, of which he remains the unsurpassed master. It's been 30 years since his series of sulfurous missives to a local Colorado TV station for showing only "the cheapest, meanest swill" and to mail-order companies that dared send the journalist from hell what he deemed shabby merchandise, but surely Thompson's name still provokes shudders at the Alaska Sleeping Bag Company and elsewhere. B&w photos. (Dec. 13) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
This is the second of a projected three-volume edition of Thompson's letters; the first, The Proud Highway (LJ 5/15/97), covered the period 1955-67. The voluminous correspondence of this "gonzo" journalist and author covers all of the important events of this tumultuous period in American life: the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon's triumphs and ultimate disgrace, race relations, and more. These momentous events in American history are paralleled by the personal adventures of a writer who is angry, profane, and witty and yet also hopeful that his unique vision of America may eventually come to pass. Fans of Thompson will be thrilled to read this edited collection of letters; those who are not enthralled with his style and point of view may be less than enthusiastic to wade through this huge collection, which covers everything from world events to mundane, everyday episodes in his life. It also includes correspondence to Thompson, most notably letters by Oscar Acosta, the radical Chicano lawyer. For larger public and academic library collections.ÄMorris Hounion, New York City Technical Coll. Lib., Brooklyn Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.