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Hunter S. Thompson

Strange and Savage Stories

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Hunter S. Thompson

Legendary author Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) developed a style of writing about American life and politics that was so acerbic and over-the-top, it earned its own nickname: ‘gonzo journalism.’ His magazine articles, essays, and books—of which he penned nearly a dozen, including Hell’s Angels, The Rum Diary, Songs of the Doomed, The Great Shark Hunt, and the monumental Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas—influenced a generation of writers and established his voice as an essential part of America’s socio-political fabric. Portrayed on the silver screen by Bill Murray in the film Where the Buffalo Roam and Johnny Depp in the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Thompson was a wild character whose persona was inseparable from his often semi-autobiographical writing. True to his image, he once said, “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”

Hunter S. Thompson’s work is closely aligned with the New Journalism school of writing, a genre that emerged in the 60s and 70s, which blended fiction and non-fiction, challenging the very principles of ‘objective’ reporting. Thompson’s texts often utilized first person perspective, a device that inserted him into the narratives he was describing, texturing them with his own emotions. He is known for exaggerating events in order to create bizarre and humorous representations, often bordering on the absurd and surreal. Much of the writer’s collection was first published or serialized in Rolling Stone magazine, attesting to his popular following outside the canon of literature. TASCHEN Book’s re-edition of The Curse of Lono, combines Hunter’s unique voice with the drawings and paintings of artist Ralph Steadman, who Hunter often collaborated with. The book covers the 1980 Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii, colored with Hunter’s typical musings on drugs, politics, and American culture, all in his outrageous and hilarious experiential prose.