Tag Archives: hunter s thompson

Hunter Stockton Thompson (18 July 1937 – 20 February 2005) was an American journalist and author. He is credited as the creator of Gonzo journalism, a style of reporting where reporters involve themselves in the action to such a degree that they become central figures of their stories. He is known also for his lifelong use of alcohol, LSD, mescaline, and cocaine (among other substances); his love of firearms; his inveterate hatred of Richard Nixon; and his iconoclastic contempt for authoritarianism. While suffering a bout of health problems, he committed suicide in 2005 at the age of 67. His ashes were fired from a cannon atop a tower of his own design (in the shape of a double-thumbed fist clutching a peyote button), that was originally used for his 1970 campaign for sheriff and has since become a symbol for Thompson and Gonzo journalism as a whole. According to his widow, it was financed by his good friend, Johnny Depp.

     –   The Rum Diary (1998, written in the early 1960s): The story involves a journalist named Paul Kemp who, in the 1950s, moves from New York to work for a fictional major newspaper, The Daily News in Puerto Rico. Set in the late 1950s, the novel encompasses a tangled love story of jealousy, treachery and violent alcoholic lust among the Americans who staff the newspaper.
     –   Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971): An autobiographical novel, illustrated by Ralph Steadman. The story follows its protagonist, Raoul Duke, and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo, as they descend on Las Vegas to chase the American Dream through a drug-induced haze. The novel first appeared as a two-part series in Rolling Stone magazine in 1971 and was later adapted into a film of the same name in 1998 by Terry Gilliam starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro.
     –   Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 (1973): A collection of articles covering the 1972 presidential campaign, illustrated by Ralph Steadman. The articles were first serialized in Rolling Stone magazine throughout 1972. The book focuses almost exclusively on the Democratic Party’s primaries and the breakdown of the party as it splits between the different candidates. Thompson employed a number of unique literary styles in On the Campaign Trail, including the use of vulgarity and the humorous exaggeration of events — but despite the unconventional style, the book is still considered a hallmark of campaign journalism and helped to launch Thompson’s role as a popular political observer.

“I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don’t bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I… And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there’s a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Rolling Stone