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  • Timothy Denevi
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Freak Kingdom

review ñ eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Timothy Denevi review Freak Kingdom Ø eBook or Kindle ePUB Being to fight against it rewriting the rules of journalism and political satire in the process This skillfully told and dramatic story shows how Thompson saw through Richard Nixon's treacherous populism and embarked on a life defining campaign to stop it In his fevered effort to expose institutional injustice Thompson pushed himself far beyond his natura. I do not think he was a great writer I think he clearly had great potential both as a writer and a leader However he fell dramatically and a very very long time ago Hunter wanted to be a great writer and he had the genius the talent and early on the will and the means He was horrified by whom he had become and ashamed or I really should say tortured He knew he had failed He knew that his writing was absolutely not greatand yet he could never climb back Sandy Hunter S Thompson s first wife years later This is not exactly a biography but rather a portrait of the roughly ten years of Thompson s life from Kennedy s assassination in 63 to Nixon s resignation in 74 that made up his prime as a writer You get to know Thompson intimately through his letters particularly those in The Proud Highway but Denevi s book offered a number of scenes that were new to me It s good for the soul to imagine others at their best moving in and out of history so I enjoyed hearing about the night Thompson showed up at a Hell s Angels meeting won their trust without getting beaten brought a pack of them back to his apartment first showing them his shotgun and assuring them that he knew how to use it and spent the night with them drinking talking and listening to Dylan I enjoyed picturing him at a club called the Matrix for Jefferson Airplane s debut concert to Thompson the Airplane captured the sound that was 1960s San Francisco an electric cacophonous wave and then a few years later at the Watergate Hotel bar with his friend Tom uinn talking until last call about life and politics and professional football unaware that a break in was taking place above them Denevi also helped to fill in a number of gaps in my understanding of Thompson s life particularly in regards to his drug use By 64 according to Denevi Thompson had already been a functioning alcoholic for about a decade ever since his high school years In 64 a doctor friend recommended that he try Dexedrine which he would take daily throughout the next ten years Denevi makes it clear that Thompson s use of the drug was utilitarian and that it helped him to get through some incredibly difficult crunches like when he had to turn in his first draft of Hell s AngelsThe deadline was now four days awayThompson s plan was to work straight through without sleep In the morning he walked across the street to a McDonald s where he bought hamburgers his only source of sustenance Other than that he stayed in the room An old radio provided a steady crackle of music The cars beyond his window hissed by with varying freuency It was the tail end of Northern California s rainy season A marine dimness across the stateIt might be easy to paint with a broad brush about San Francisco and drug use in the 60s but Denevi draws a meaningful contrast between Thompson s motivations for Dexedrine and those of say Ken Kesey or Tim Leary for using LSD not to mention those of the Angels who used everything indiscriminately and often simultaneously Later in writing Thompson described that latter mindset contemptuously referring toa generation of permanent cripples failed seekers who never understood the essential old mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture the desperate assumption that somebody or at least some force is tending that Light at the end of the tunnelDexedrine on the other hand Thompson understoodwas really a performance sustainer a way for talented but presently overwhelmed individuals to bridge the gap between ambition and productivitybut it was no magic bullet It helped him stay seated and focused for longer amounts of timebut it couldn t create worthwhile ideas out of thin airDenevi presents this as a cautionary tale and I suppose it is He ascribes somewhat heroic ualities to Thompson making the argument that Thompson sacrificed himself his long term health and well being to bring the country word of the incipient fascism he glimpsed at the RNC in 64 among the Hell s Angels unlike Kesey and the Merry Pranksters Thompson always had a fairly sober view of the Angels on the streets of Chicago in 68 and in the election of Richard Nixon I think that s fair I have no doubt of Thompson s moral purpose or skill but I think Denevi also elides the fact that this is the same kind of trade off that ambitious people in all walks of life tend to make for better or worse not just writers and artists that is but no doubt athletes and lawyers members of Congress and medical students Nobility and ambition aren t mutually exclusive and we don t need to pretend that they are If you re a writer and you sense that you re living through history that this is your time to say what you were perhaps put on earth to say you will probably do just about anything to write a great book conseuences be damned I m not sure that Denevi really wrestles with that mindset in all its nuance and perversity There might be wisdom in taking it slow taking care of yourself biding your time playing the long gamebut that s not how Thompson chose to live his lifeThompson s career after 74 is neatly summed up by Denevi in two words cocaine and fame both of which writers would do well to avoid By 74 he d become pretty well established Rolling Stone assigned him to review Freud s The Cocaine Papers mailed him a copy of the book along with a generous sampling of the substance in uestion and the article never got written From then on as one of his editors put it he wouldn t do a story unless you included cocaine with the payment And he dried up and couldn t write Around the same time Thompson discovered that his reputation allowed him to earn about 20000 a pop for giving impromptu monologues on college campuses According to Denevi Thompson would use cocaine Dexedrine had lost its effectiveness for him regularly for the rest of his life the next thirty years Then again 74 was also the year Nixon resigned Maybe there s a lesson in that as well Maybe we should never take our enemies for granted because they sustain and inspire us Or to paraphrase esteemed cultural critic Marilyn Manson it s good for art when there s an evil president Which is partly why I think it s a shame that Thompson isn t around today Shinsengumi rewriting the IM rules of journalism and political satire in the process This skillfully told and dramatic story shows how Thompson saw through Richard Nixon's treacherous populism and embarked on a life defining campaign to stop it In his fevered effort to expose institutional injustice Thompson pushed himself far beyond his natura. I do not think he was a great writer I think he clearly had great potential both as a writer and a leader However he fell dramatically and a very very long time ago Hunter wanted to be a great writer and he had the genius the talent and early on the will and the means He was horrified by whom he had become and ashamed or I JRR Tolkien - The True Lord of the Rings really should say tortured He knew he had failed He knew that his writing was absolutely not greatand yet he could never climb back Sandy Hunter S Thompson s first wife years later This is not exactly a biography but Legacy rather a portrait of the Ampney Crucis Investigates roughly ten years of Thompson s life from Kennedy s assassination in 63 to Nixon s Why Do Women Write More Letters Than They Post? resignation in 74 that made up his prime as a writer You get to know Thompson intimately through his letters particularly those in The Proud Highway but Denevi s book offered a number of scenes that were new to me It s good for the soul to imagine others at their best moving in and out of history so I enjoyed hearing about the night Thompson showed up at a Hell s Angels meeting won their trust without getting beaten brought a pack of them back to his apartment first showing them his shotgun and assuring them that he knew how to use it and spent the night with them drinking talking and listening to Dylan I enjoyed picturing him at a club called the Matrix for Jefferson Airplane s debut concert to Thompson the Airplane captured the sound that was 1960s San Francisco an electric cacophonous wave and then a few years later at the Watergate Hotel bar with his friend Tom uinn talking until last call about life and politics and professional football unaware that a break in was taking place above them Denevi also helped to fill in a number of gaps in my understanding of Thompson s life particularly in دشتِ سُوس regards to his drug use By 64 according to Denevi Thompson had already been a functioning alcoholic for about a decade ever since his high school years In 64 a doctor friend Way of the Samurai recommended that he try Dexedrine which he would take daily throughout the next ten years Denevi makes it clear that Thompson s use of the drug was utilitarian and that it helped him to get through some incredibly difficult crunches like when he had to turn in his first draft of Hell s AngelsThe deadline was now four days awayThompson s plan was to work straight through without sleep In the morning he walked across the street to a McDonald s where he bought hamburgers his only source of sustenance Other than that he stayed in the Letter Bee Vol.7 room An old Astérix in corsica (Astérix en corse en langue corse) radio provided a steady crackle of music The cars beyond his window hissed by with varying freuency It was the tail end of Northern California s Doctor Who: The Doll of Death rainy season A marine dimness across the stateIt might be easy to paint with a broad brush about San Francisco and drug use in the 60s but Denevi draws a meaningful contrast between Thompson s motivations for Dexedrine and those of say Ken Kesey or Tim Leary for using LSD not to mention those of the Angels who used everything indiscriminately and often simultaneously Later in writing Thompson described that latter mindset contemptuously فرهنگ لغات زبان مخفی referring toa generation of permanent cripples failed seekers who never understood the essential old mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture the desperate assumption that somebody or at least some force is tending that Light at the end of the tunnelDexedrine on the other hand Thompson understoodwas The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History really a performance sustainer a way for talented but presently overwhelmed individuals to bridge the gap between ambition and productivitybut it was no magic bullet It helped him stay seated and focused for longer amounts of timebut it couldn t create worthwhile ideas out of thin airDenevi presents this as a cautionary tale and I suppose it is He ascribes somewhat heroic ualities to Thompson making the argument that Thompson sacrificed himself his long term health and well being to bring the country word of the incipient fascism he glimpsed at the RNC in 64 among the Hell s Angels unlike Kesey and the Merry Pranksters Thompson always had a fairly sober view of the Angels on the streets of Chicago in 68 and in the election of Richard Nixon I think that s fair I have no doubt of Thompson s moral purpose or skill but I think Denevi also elides the fact that this is the same kind of trade off that ambitious people in all walks of life tend to make for better or worse not just writers and artists that is but no doubt athletes and lawyers members of Congress and medical students Nobility and ambition aren t mutually exclusive and we don t need to pretend that they are If you Jangles re living through history that this is your time to say what you were perhaps put on earth to say you will probably do just about anything to write a great book conseuences be damned I m not sure that Denevi Le 7e péché: Un roman noir haletant really wrestles with that mindset in all its nuance and perversity There might be wisdom in taking it slow taking care of yourself biding your time playing the long gamebut that s not how Thompson chose to live his lifeThompson s career after 74 is neatly summed up by Denevi in two words cocaine and fame both of which writers would do well to avoid By 74 he d become pretty well established Rolling Stone assigned him to New Legenda Naga Vol. 2 review Freud s The Cocaine Papers mailed him a copy of the book along with a generous sampling of the substance in uestion and the article never got written From then on as one of his editors put it he wouldn t do a story unless you included cocaine with the payment And he dried up and couldn t write Around the same time Thompson discovered that his Etapes, numéro 57 : Hydraulique industrielle, connaissances de base reputation allowed him to earn about 20000 a pop for giving impromptu monologues on college campuses According to Denevi Thompson would use cocaine Dexedrine had lost its effectiveness for him Dont Say That! regularly for the Vesnický román rest of his life the next thirty years Then again 74 was also the year Nixon Regards From Serbia resigned Maybe there s a lesson in that as well Maybe we should never take our enemies for granted because they sustain and inspire us Or to paraphrase esteemed cultural critic Marilyn Manson it s good for art when there s an evil president Which is partly why I think it s a shame that Thompson isn t around today

review ñ eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Timothy Denevi

review ñ eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Timothy Denevi review Freak Kingdom Ø eBook or Kindle ePUB L limits sustained by drugs mania and little else For ten years he cast aside his old ambitions troubled his family and likely hastened his own decline along the way producing some of the best political writing in our history This timely biography recalls a period of anger and derangement in American politics and one writer with the guts to tell the truth. This book kinds of falls off a ledge at a decade into HST s career The thesis is that HST dried up and became a caricature of himself once he became famous His passionate desire that America could do better had been dashed again and again until HST concluded we are a nation of cheap hustlers and used car salesmen who will kill anyone who makes us uncomfortable That the booze IV drip and heroic uantities of amphetamines finished him off I still miss him and would love to know what he would make of the epic shit show playing out before us today Pornostern recalls a period of anger and derangement in American politics and one writer with the guts to tell the truth. This book kinds of falls off a ledge at a decade into HST s career The thesis is that HST dried up and became a caricature of himself once he became famous His passionate desire that America could do better had been dashed again and again until HST concluded we are a nation of cheap hustlers and used car salesmen who will kill anyone who makes us uncomfortable That the booze IV drip and heroic uantities of amphetamines finished him off I still miss him and would love to know what he would make of the epic shit show playing out before us today

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review ñ eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Timothy Denevi review Freak Kingdom Ø eBook or Kindle ePUB The story of Hunter S Thompson's crusade against Richard Nixon and the threat of fascism in America and the devastating price he paid for it Hunter S Thompson is often misremembered as a wise cracking drug addled cartoon character This book reclaims him for what he truly was a fearless opponent of corruption and fascism one who sacrificed his future well. Not sure why this tome is generating so much GoodReads love Hunter S Thompson lived an action packed life and fearlessly wrote about all of it in scorching prose that inspired generations of literary outlaws so why would you need a collection of bland academic sounding summaries of those very same articles and exploits Every time Denevi included an actual Thompson excerpt I wanted to chuck this and go back to the original worksHow do I feel about Thompson in general Well it s complicated Ten years ago I wrestled with it in 2900 words for EightMillionStoriescom That site went dark years ago so here tis again WHAT HUNTER S THOMPSON COULD AND COULDN T DOby Jon ZelaznyI came of age in Ronald Reagan s America My parents were Eisenhower style Republicans and we lived in a solidly middle class Republican town in a cultured but conservative provincial suburb My parents were happily married as were the parents of all my friends Our white collar dads came home for dinner every night most of our moms were homemakers who eventually reentered the workforce My public schools and our church were full of adults who were all pretty much like my parentsWere there rebels in our town It s hard to say There were teenage hoods easily identified by their black tee shirts and jean jackets with the logos of heavy metal bands stenciled on the back but they didn t strike me as thwarted idealists just kids who weren t into school and liked to party We also had a scattering of artsy poet drama types musicians and brainy oddballs but I can t remember anyone pushing the idea that the authority figures in our lives were human scum who deserved to be subverted and scorned I certainly had no inclination to rebel against anything or anyoneYet I was drawn to a pantheon of ne er do well characters from my favorite movies Peter Fonda Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson in EASY RIDER Donald Sutherland and Elliot Gould in MASH Gene Hackman in THE FRENCH CONNECTION Warren Beatty and Hackman in BONNIE CLYDE and Malcolm McDowell in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE My favorite actor was Jack Nicholson not the paunchy middle aged ham of TERMS OF ENDEARMENT and HEARTBURN but the smart ass firecracker of early 70 s classics like FIVE EASY PIECES CARNAL KNOWLEDGE THE LAST DETAIL CHINATOWN and CUCKOO S NESTUnlike my town s metalheads most of these characters didn t enjoy the luxury of social apartness They were adults stuck in the real world who had to continually fight like tigers to maintain their dynamic individualistic personalities against stifling surroundings and the humorless uninspiring authority figures who happened to be in charge of Army hospitals police stations small town cafes or mental health facilities These dramas struck a heavy chord in me nothing seemed as admirable as the indomitable will of a crazy funny person trying to live and work on their own terms To such a teenage mindset the ethos of Hunter S Thompson fit like a glove I first read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when I was sixteen and was enthralled by the idea of a gainfully employed adult who viewed the world as a grotesue playground run by and predominantly filled with witless stupid nobodies and that the Very Hip Those Who Clearly Saw What the Deal Was were socially bound to judge and condemn the straight world and have a king hell time while doing it Las Vegas had only been published thirteen years before but the America Thompson feared and loathed seemed like it was from another century or even another planet After Las Vegas I uickly devoured Thompson s other four books Hell s Angels Campaign Trail 72 The Great Shark Hunt and The Curse of Lono Collectively his books became my secret social history of America from 1963 and 1977 a shattering evocation of thoughts and feelings that totally flew in the face of my day to day reality Lono was the only misfire a gorgeous showcase for illustrator Ralph Steadman but Thompson s scattershot text regarding Hawaii was and remains almost instantly forgettableI was so enad I wrote blatantly Thompson esue articles for my high school newspaper writing as though I too were a globetrotting trouble prone hard partying professional journalist I d love to say I really set my classmates hair on fire but I don t think anyone actually read them And as the Reagan glow waned Thompson s vision of The Truth seemed increasingly apropos to current events I had registered Republican when I turned 18 but within two years Iran Contra killed my faith in the party and I soon resigned I was nearly out of college when Thompson s next book appeared but sadly Generation of Swine was a rag bag of lesser commentary and the maestro was irrevocably slipping Ever the optimist I was sure he had at least one masterpiece percolating somewhere that like the Dylan of 97 Hunter Thompson too would suddenly burst forth afresh as intuitive and insightful for a new generation as he d once been for his own but he never published anything again that made the slightest impact on me Only his 2005 suicide and funeral would evoke the pathos humor bombast and social commentary of his best writingSo it was bittersweet watching Alex Gibney s new documentary GONZO THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR HUNTER S THOMPSON which opens with the revelation that Thompson was eually disappointed by the decline of his later work As one might expect Gibney provides plenty of celebration of the man s bad craziness but there s a surprising amount of tough criticism Jann Wenner can only think of three great articles Thompson wrote after 1977 Gary Hart calls his political outlook childish and his first wife obliuely deems his suicide an act of cowardiceWhy did Thompson s intellect and output burn so brightly for about a decade then fall into such irrelevance GONZO highlights the paradox that even as Thompson relentlessly pursued fame his three greatest long form works Hell s Angels Las Vegas and Campaign Trail 72 could only have been written by a non celebrity In all three Thompson presents himself as a Wise Fool offering a guided tour of isolated worlds He profiles the people details behavior and social custom and offers pointed judgments at every turn Thompson truly embedded himself in these situations and the people he met to become so used to his presence that they behaved naturally around him Once he became an infamous public personality however such infiltration was no longer possible Thompson summarizes the dilemma when he describes attending a function with Jimmy Carter during the 1976 presidential campaign and how embarrassed he was when people were interested in him than the candidateFame and it s excesses were certainly reasons Thompson didn t write further social studies to stand with his classic trio but that doesn t really answer the important and strangely unasked uestion once comfortably established as an author why couldn t Thompson evolve from journalism and commentary into literary fictionConsider Tom Wolfe his most notable New Journalism peer following the stratospheric success of the nonfiction The Right Stuff Wolfe stopped accepting assignments and settled in for the better part of the eighties to write the epic New York novel he d been dreaming of for twenty years The result The Bonfire of the Vanities was a hell of a novel and a uantum leap from Wolfe s highly regarded journalism His subseuent novels A Man in Full and I Am Charlotte Simmons while not as strong are still insightful technically dazzling and never less than wholly entertaining As a young man Thompson likewise aspired to be a great American novelist freuently citing his admiration of heavyweights like Hemingway Fitzgerald and Joseph Conrad In GONZO someone repeats the anecdote that Thompson once retyped The Great Gatsby in order to absorb Fitzgerald s literary rhythm When I first heard that years ago I thought Wow Thompson copied Fitzgerald and I copied Thompson But it isn t really true while I aped my hero s style and persona those stories I wrote for my high school paper were my own It wouldn t have occurred to me to retype Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and at this point in my life I think the idea that you could learn anything about writing by retyping a famous book is stupidA number of people in GONZO praise Thompson for his imagination but the film ultimately revealed the opposite to me that Hunter S Thompson s greatest failure as a writer was that he possessed almost no imagination whatsoeverRetyping Fitzgerald aside can you think of any other best selling author whose body of work was assigned articles I consider Las Vegas one of my favorite novels but it really wasn t it too was a magazine assignment Thompson s friends and family admit his later books of repackaged old material and letters were put out simply to make money so where are all the short stories outlines for novels and assorted scraps of fiction one would expect to find in the dusty storage bins of any famous writer How is it possible a man who worshipped Hemingway Fitzgerald and Conrad didn t leave behind even one short story from his youth And if didn t write any then why not laterPart of the answer can be found in his second novel The Rum Diary which Thompson completed when he was 22 but only published forty years later His first novel remains unpublished Both were autobiographical stories with The Rum Diary based on Thompson s experiences as a journalist in Puerto Rico circa 59 It s competent but uninspired witless and dull Did this early failure forever hobble Thompson s confidence in his abilities If so he was a coward and fool How could he not have understood that great novelists spend years honing their craft Did he set himself such impossibly high standards for fiction that they became his lifelong excuse for not even tryingSurveying the breadth of his work today I m most struck by Thompson s narrowness All he was ever able to write about were his own thoughts and feelings and describe things he had observed firsthand Yet even as he was drawn to all kinds of human excitement he clearly lacked the crucial traits of curiosity and empathy a good writer needs to imagine what other people are thinking or feeling You can feel him trying in some of his sixties articles and in Hell s Angels but as his gonzo persona began to solidify his interest and willingness to wrestle with the beguiling complexities of human relations was rapidly ebbing Instead he just started making up funny shit then honed his knee jerk assumptions into well crafted but outrageous fantasies If he observed people acting in a strange manner he generally chalked it up to drug use It s pretty funny in Las Vegas two guys on an epic drug binge accusing everybody else of being on drugs It s not uite as funny in Campaign Trail 72 when Thompson claims veteran newsman John Chancellor did acid or spins a fantasy of troubled Democrat Ed Muskie abusing a drug called ibogaine a false story that was picked up by other reporters and damaged the candidate s reputation Why did Thompson make such an obnoxious choice What kind of person couldn t offer a glimmer of sympathy for a candidate floundering under intense pressure What the ibogaine story demonstrates to me is Thompson s ever growing emotional disconnection The price his work ultimately paid for this defect was its crushing lack of subtlety His view of humanity WAS childish the vast majority of people he encounters are denounced as treacherous greedheads while occasional exceptions like George McGovern Muhammad Ali or Jimmy Carter are venerated as Honest Decent Openhearted and Fair minded No character better illustrates Thompson s method of typecasting than Richard Nixon It s generally noted the 37th President held the uintessential master villain role in Thompson s worldview and once he resigned Thompson was left without a comparable public figure to focus his contempt on I too considered Thompson s Nixon articles the most powerful work of his career until Oliver Stone released his biopic NIXON in 1995 Stone and Thompson are sixties rebels cut from the same cloth with Stone s SALVADOR a better Thompson homage than Terry Gilliam s FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS and one can easily assume Stone harbored tremendously bad feelings about Nixon throughout his life but the compassion and empathy he mustered as a middle aged man to tell NIXON is nothing short of astounding Stone depicts a nervous little boy who grows up to be an insecure political animal and shows how the little things that ate away Nixon s good ualities eventually left a damaged and dangerous man at the helm of the most powerful country in the world You can debate the film s facts and interpretations but firebrand Stone s uietest movie ever is a profound and nuanced meditation on the confluence of person persona and power Thompson could only make you fear and loathe a monster but Stone makes you weep for a man Is there any doubt which task reuired the greater imagination I also think Thompson had nowhere to go as a writer after Watergate because he had long ago dispensed with the actual ethos of journalism replacing them solely with his own personality He had no capacity to create original characters and stories and lacked the interest or discipline to channel his creative skills into new forms When collected newspaper editorials began appearing in the nineties it was immediately apparent his best stories were the ones he physically participated in As a mere commentator watching CNN for cues issuing barky screeds from his home in rural Colorado his thoughts were no or less interesting and insightful than those offered by hundreds of other career journalists penning opinion columns I d further posit that after his youthful dreams of literary success died what Hunter Thompson most feared and loathed was writing itself He sure bitched about it enough and GONZO again offers that photo of him taking a bead at his typewriter with a44 Magnum If true it suggests an arc even tragic than Nixon s A failed novelist becomes a journalist because he has no other talents abilities or inclinations He treats his profession with increasing contempt his work gets sloppier until miraculously his rebelliousness strikes a chord with a generation in turmoil and thus he achieves a fame beyond his wildest dreams only his astounding success further cements him to the profession he s long despised He still can t bring himself to attempt the kind of writing he once loved and can t think of anything else to do so he adopts the persona of a professional party animal until he gets old and can t even do that as well as he used to so he shoots himself in the head I used to love hearing what a wild and crazy guy Thompson was but the the stories are told in GONZO the less enad I became Was he really that much fun to be around Maybe for a short visit or if your idea of a great time is to get loaded talk a lot of shit and shoot off some guns Thompson was a hoodlum in the fifties and probably would ve been a metalhead if he grew up in my town thirty years later I m pretty sure those guys thought I was a dipshit in high school so I can t imagine I would have impressed my old literary outlaw icon either But that s okay I love action drama neurosis violence profanity bad behavior and outrageous humor but only in books movies music and my own writing My actual life is uiet and peaceful and I wouldn t want it otherwise or even pretend it was otherwise for the purpose of sustaining a cult of personality because I ve thought a lot about the dichotomy between person and persona and I think people who confuse the two often end up in a giant stew of psychic traumaI owe Hunter S Thompson immeasurably His work has been an enduring influence on my own But his work is still here right there on my shelf when I need a jolt of inspiration or a good laugh As for the man himself who he was what he did and how he lived I really don t give a shit any Murder for Profit reclaims him for what he truly was a fearless opponent of corruption and fascism one who sacrificed his future well. Not sure why this tome is generating so much GoodReads love Hunter S Thompson lived an action packed life and fearlessly wrote about all of it in scorching prose that inspired generations of literary outlaws so why would you need a collection of bland academic sounding summaries of those very same articles and exploits Every time Denevi included an actual Thompson excerpt I wanted to chuck this and go back to the original worksHow do I feel about Thompson in general Well it s complicated Ten years ago I wrestled with it in 2900 words for EightMillionStoriescom That site went dark years ago so here tis again WHAT HUNTER S THOMPSON COULD AND COULDN T DOby Jon ZelaznyI came of age in Ronald Reagan s America My parents were Eisenhower style Republicans and we lived in a solidly middle class Republican town in a cultured but conservative provincial suburb My parents were happily married as were the parents of all my friends Our white collar dads came home for dinner every night most of our moms were homemakers who eventually The Venice Lido reentered the workforce My public schools and our church were full of adults who were all pretty much like my parentsWere there Tangled Up rebels in our town It s hard to say There were teenage hoods easily identified by their black tee shirts and jean jackets with the logos of heavy metal bands stenciled on the back but they didn t strike me as thwarted idealists just kids who weren t into school and liked to party We also had a scattering of artsy poet drama types musicians and brainy oddballs but I can t The Mammals: A Guide to the Living Species. remember anyone pushing the idea that the authority figures in our lives were human scum who deserved to be subverted and scorned I certainly had no inclination to The Rameses Connection rebel against anything or anyoneYet I was drawn to a pantheon of ne er do well characters from my favorite movies Peter Fonda Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson in EASY RIDER Donald Sutherland and Elliot Gould in MASH Gene Hackman in THE FRENCH CONNECTION Warren Beatty and Hackman in BONNIE CLYDE and Malcolm McDowell in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE My favorite actor was Jack Nicholson not the paunchy middle aged ham of TERMS OF ENDEARMENT and HEARTBURN but the smart ass firecracker of early 70 s classics like FIVE EASY PIECES CARNAL KNOWLEDGE THE LAST DETAIL CHINATOWN and CUCKOO S NESTUnlike my town s metalheads most of these characters didn t enjoy the luxury of social apartness They were adults stuck in the Medical Math (Laminated Reference Guide; Quick Study Academic) real world who had to continually fight like tigers to maintain their dynamic individualistic personalities against stifling surroundings and the humorless uninspiring authority figures who happened to be in charge of Army hospitals police stations small town cafes or mental health facilities These dramas struck a heavy chord in me nothing seemed as admirable as the indomitable will of a crazy funny person trying to live and work on their own terms To such a teenage mindset the ethos of Hunter S Thompson fit like a glove I first Rose's Will read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when I was sixteen and was enthralled by the idea of a gainfully employed adult who viewed the world as a grotesue playground The Rice Dragon run by and predominantly filled with witless stupid nobodies and that the Very Hip Those Who Clearly Saw What the Deal Was were socially bound to judge and condemn the straight world and have a king hell time while doing it Las Vegas had only been published thirteen years before but the America Thompson feared and loathed seemed like it was from another century or even another planet After Las Vegas I uickly devoured Thompson s other four books Hell s Angels Campaign Trail 72 The Great Shark Hunt and The Curse of Lono Collectively his books became my secret social history of America from 1963 and 1977 a shattering evocation of thoughts and feelings that totally flew in the face of my day to day Wrong Number and other Stories reality Lono was the only misfire a gorgeous showcase for illustrator Ralph Steadman but Thompson s scattershot text Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More (Genreflecting Advisory Series) regarding Hawaii was and Japan Journeys remains almost instantly forgettableI was so enad I wrote blatantly Thompson esue articles for my high school newspaper writing as though I too were a globetrotting trouble prone hard partying professional journalist I d love to say I Tolkien's Oxford really set my classmates hair on fire but I don t think anyone actually Passing the Risk Management Professional (Pmi-Rmp)(R) Certification Exam the First Time! read them And as the Reagan glow waned Thompson s vision of The Truth seemed increasingly apropos to current events I had Hellfire registered Republican when I turned 18 but within two years Iran Contra killed my faith in the party and I soon The Comic Worlds of Peter Arno William Steig Charles Addams and Saul Steinberg resigned I was nearly out of college when Thompson s next book appeared but sadly Generation of Swine was a Addicted rag bag of lesser commentary and the maestro was irrevocably slipping Ever the optimist I was sure he had at least one masterpiece percolating somewhere that like the Dylan of 97 Hunter Thompson too would suddenly burst forth afresh as intuitive and insightful for a new generation as he d once been for his own but he never published anything again that made the slightest impact on me Only his 2005 suicide and funeral would evoke the pathos humor bombast and social commentary of his best writingSo it was bittersweet watching Alex Gibney s new documentary GONZO THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR HUNTER S THOMPSON which opens with the Primul pas revelation that Thompson was eually disappointed by the decline of his later work As one might expect Gibney provides plenty of celebration of the man s bad craziness but there s a surprising amount of tough criticism Jann Wenner can only think of three great articles Thompson wrote after 1977 Gary Hart calls his political outlook childish and his first wife obliuely deems his suicide an act of cowardiceWhy did Thompson s intellect and output burn so brightly for about a decade then fall into such irrelevance GONZO highlights the paradox that even as Thompson Olympus Rises Code of War #1 relentlessly pursued fame his three greatest long form works Hell s Angels Las Vegas and Campaign Trail 72 could only have been written by a non celebrity In all three Thompson presents himself as a Wise Fool offering a guided tour of isolated worlds He profiles the people details behavior and social custom and offers pointed judgments at every turn Thompson truly embedded himself in these situations and the people he met to become so used to his presence that they behaved naturally around him Once he became an infamous public personality however such infiltration was no longer possible Thompson summarizes the dilemma when he describes attending a function with Jimmy Carter during the 1976 presidential campaign and how embarrassed he was when people were interested in him than the candidateFame and it s excesses were certainly Millennium Descendants Saga #4 reasons Thompson didn t write further social studies to stand with his classic trio but that doesn t A Guide to the Reptiles and Frogs of Perth Region result The Bonfire of the Vanities was a hell of a novel and a uantum leap from Wolfe s highly De graanrepubliek regarded journalism His subseuent novels A Man in Full and I Am Charlotte Simmons while not as strong are still insightful technically dazzling and never less than wholly entertaining As a young man Thompson likewise aspired to be a great American novelist freuently citing his admiration of heavyweights like Hemingway Fitzgerald and Joseph Conrad In GONZO someone Portraits in Moonlight repeats the anecdote that Thompson once بر گستره ی سفره های چرمین retyped The Great Gatsby in order to absorb Fitzgerald s literary The Sundial rhythm When I first heard that years ago I thought Wow Thompson copied Fitzgerald and I copied Thompson But it isn t Long Island Modernism 1930-1980 really true while I aped my hero s style and persona those stories I wrote for my high school paper were my own It wouldn t have occurred to me to Awaiting Court Martial Malthouse African fiction retype Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and at this point in my life I think the idea that you could learn anything about writing by Storia della letteratura italiana Volume 3 Con antologia degli scrittori e dei critici retyping a famous book is stupidA number of people in GONZO praise Thompson for his imagination but the film ultimately Mommywood revealed the opposite to me that Hunter S Thompson s greatest failure as a writer was that he possessed almost no imagination whatsoeverRetyping Fitzgerald aside can you think of any other best selling author whose body of work was assigned articles I consider Las Vegas one of my favorite novels but it Lottery really wasn t it too was a magazine assignment Thompson s friends and family admit his later books of When Silver Moons Rise (Lost Immortals, #2) repackaged old material and letters were put out simply to make money so where are all the short stories outlines for novels and assorted scraps of fiction one would expect to find in the dusty storage bins of any famous writer How is it possible a man who worshipped Hemingway Fitzgerald and Conrad didn t leave behind even one short story from his youth And if didn t write any then why not laterPart of the answer can be found in his second novel The Rum Diary which Thompson completed when he was 22 but only published forty years later His first novel Dai tetti in giù Chiara Luce Badano raccontata remains unpublished Both were autobiographical stories with The Rum Diary based on Thompson s experiences as a journalist in Puerto Rico circa 59 It s competent but uninspired witless and dull Did this early failure forever hobble Thompson s confidence in his abilities If so he was a coward and fool How could he not have understood that great novelists spend years honing their craft Did he set himself such impossibly high standards for fiction that they became his lifelong excuse for not even tryingSurveying the breadth of his work today I m most struck by Thompson s narrowness All he was ever able to write about were his own thoughts and feelings and describe things he had observed firsthand Yet even as he was drawn to all kinds of human excitement he clearly lacked the crucial traits of curiosity and empathy a good writer needs to imagine what other people are thinking or feeling You can feel him trying in some of his sixties articles and in Hell s Angels but as his gonzo persona began to solidify his interest and willingness to wrestle with the beguiling complexities of human The Gift of Rest relations was Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ rapidly ebbing Instead he just started making up funny shit then honed his knee jerk assumptions into well crafted but outrageous fantasies If he observed people acting in a strange manner he generally chalked it up to drug use It s pretty funny in Las Vegas two guys on an epic drug binge accusing everybody else of being on drugs It s not uite as funny in Campaign Trail 72 when Thompson claims veteran newsman John Chancellor did acid or spins a fantasy of troubled Democrat Ed Muskie abusing a drug called ibogaine a false story that was picked up by other Bratz, Nautical Cool Cruise reporters and damaged the candidate s Some Rules for Killing People reputation Why did Thompson make such an obnoxious choice What kind of person couldn t offer a glimmer of sympathy for a candidate floundering under intense pressure What the ibogaine story demonstrates to me is Thompson s ever growing emotional disconnection The price his work ultimately paid for this defect was its crushing lack of subtlety His view of humanity WAS childish the vast majority of people he encounters are denounced as treacherous greedheads while occasional exceptions like George McGovern Muhammad Ali or Jimmy Carter are venerated as Honest Decent Openhearted and Fair minded No character better illustrates Thompson s method of typecasting than Richard Nixon It s generally noted the 37th President held the uintessential master villain Echo role in Thompson s worldview and once he Imagerie du foetus au nouveau-né resigned Thompson was left without a comparable public figure to focus his contempt on I too considered Thompson s Nixon articles the most powerful work of his career until Oliver Stone The Brothers uibble released his biopic NIXON in 1995 Stone and Thompson are sixties Crying in the Dark rebels cut from the same cloth with Stone s SALVADOR a better Thompson homage than Terry Gilliam s FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS and one can easily assume Stone harbored tremendously bad feelings about Nixon throughout his life but the compassion and empathy he mustered as a middle aged man to tell NIXON is nothing short of astounding Stone depicts a nervous little boy who grows up to be an insecure political animal and shows how the little things that ate away Nixon s good ualities eventually left a damaged and dangerous man at the helm of the most powerful country in the world You can debate the film s facts and interpretations but firebrand Stone s uietest movie ever is a profound and nuanced meditation on the confluence of person persona and power Thompson could only make you fear and loathe a monster but Stone makes you weep for a man Is there any doubt which task Crashing the Net reuired the greater imagination I also think Thompson had nowhere to go as a writer after Watergate because he had long ago dispensed with the actual ethos of journalism คุยกับประภาส rural Colorado his thoughts were no or less interesting and insightful than those offered by hundreds of other career journalists penning opinion columns I d further posit that after his youthful dreams of literary success died what Hunter Thompson most feared and loathed was writing itself He sure bitched about it enough and GONZO again offers that photo of him taking a bead at his typewriter with a44 Magnum If true it suggests an arc even tragic than Nixon s A failed novelist becomes a journalist because he has no other talents abilities or inclinations He treats his profession with increasing contempt his work gets sloppier until miraculously his Kung Fu rebelliousness strikes a chord with a generation in turmoil and thus he achieves a fame beyond his wildest dreams only his astounding success further cements him to the profession he s long despised He still can t bring himself to attempt the kind of writing he once loved and can t think of anything else to do so he adopts the persona of a professional party animal until he gets old and can t even do that as well as he used to so he shoots himself in the head I used to love hearing what a wild and crazy guy Thompson was but the the stories are told in GONZO the less enad I became Was he Through the Darkness really that much fun to be around Maybe for a short visit or if your idea of a great time is to get loaded talk a lot of shit and shoot off some guns Thompson was a hoodlum in the fifties and probably would ve been a metalhead if he grew up in my town thirty years later I m pretty sure those guys thought I was a dipshit in high school so I can t imagine I would have impressed my old literary outlaw icon either But that s okay I love action drama neurosis violence profanity bad behavior and outrageous humor but only in books movies music and my own writing My actual life is uiet and peaceful and I wouldn t want it otherwise or even pretend it was otherwise for the purpose of sustaining a cult of personality because I ve thought a lot about the dichotomy between person and persona and I think people who confuse the two often end up in a giant stew of psychic traumaI owe Hunter S Thompson immeasurably His work has been an enduring influence on my own But his work is still here Las mariposas entre los antiguos mexicanos right there on my shelf when I need a jolt of inspiration or a good laugh As for the man himself who he was what he did and how he lived I Dumbo A Little Golden Book really don t give a shit any