[PDF.ePUB.MOBI] Freak Kingdom Author Timothy Denevi – serv3.3pub.co.uk

[PDF.ePUB.MOBI]  Freak Kingdom Author Timothy Denevi – serv3.3pub.co.uk [PDF / Epub] ☉ Freak Kingdom By Timothy Denevi – Serv3.3pub.co.uk 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 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 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 natural 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.

10 thoughts on “Freak Kingdom

  1. Evan Evan says:

    By 1974 Hunter S Thompson was a spent husk During the first decade of his career he had risen to fame if not fortune; had already written his best books done his most probing and passionate reporting invented a new style of gonzo journalism in which the truth didn't always have to do with objective fact but with the revealing of its essence and perhaps most importantly for the story of this book arrived at a place where he could witness the downfall of the man who in his time and according to him most represented the ugly face of American fascism Richard Nixon As Nixon prepared to board his helicopter for his last flight from the White House all of America's press was in Washington to see it; all except the one journalist who most vociferously decried his rise to and achievement of power Thompson who at that point was lounging in a pool thousands of miles away in California watching the collapse on a portable TV Thompson was literally adrift giving no shits and missing one of the countless deadlines he so often would heretofore Drugs exhaustion family strife and the unending financial woes that dogged him despite critical acclaim for his work all helped contribute to the collapse of Thompson's work ethic and clarity of vision But perhaps deeply as this book seems to posit the sheer weight of carrying through life an idealistic optimism that was never rewarded because of the relentlessly horrible reality of the world had finally defeated the author Nixon's departure was no time for celebration The political structures the dirty backroom deals the cynical manipulations and disinformation campaigns that kept the public dumb and jingoistic and forever yoked to a system designed to hamper their upward mobility and welfare were still all too well entrenched and as we see today have worsened beyond even what Thompson could have imagined at the time In the face of the soul crushing nature of American politics with public problems festering and seemingly or willfully insoluble ignored or mischaracterized by vested interests while those who pinpoint them and demand sensible solutions are demonized Thompson morphed from a Shakespearean fool shouting his acid critiues in humorous prose into a straight up caricature It turned out to be lucrative for him that way But it was a Faustian kind of deal; it also made him less believable and dismissibleBefore I say any let's get right to the point Timothy Denevi has written a magnificent book and written it in an elegiac meltingly beautiful way If the rather clunky title oversells the theme a bit it can be forgiven Large swaths of the book cover biographical details of Thompson's life already familiar to the writer's devotees but even here the similarities to other HST biographies disappears This isn't just another chronological account of Thompson as merely a colorful and eccentric instigator of antics but a genuine attempt to understand the ideals that motivated his most passionate workDenevi clearly regards Thompson as a hero but makes the case not by repeating the man's comical exploits and legendary alpha male badassery; rather by showing him to be a man of principle and concern digging inside his psyche to understand the beliefs and philosophy that moved him; by getting at the things that drew him and appalled him and explaining how those things drove his artistry and his impetus to set down our times and his for the judgment of posterity It's a first class book about the creative process about the lows and highs the writer's block the fear of failing to communicate the feeling of being the outcast; the messenger crying out ineffectually to people who might not be listening because they're too figuratively deaf or too far gone It is about the eternal struggle of the artist to create not only despite the vicissitudes of a hostile world but despite the contradictory and self destructive impulses within himself After writing Hell's Angels Thompson came to a realization that a writer's voice could not come merely by riding along the thin edge between safety and the unknown but by taking the plunge over the cliff It became the core of his art and his life for better or worse for the rest of his daysThis book is a recasting a remastering and shiny new 180 gram vinyl reissue of Thompson's life that blows the stink off what's come before and for that it's welcome and tremendously well done It's also about as the title suggests Thompson's hatred for the fascist strain in American life and its deep permeation into all facets and levels of society and how he with his pen and political involvement tried perhaps naively despite his intelligence to do something about it Thompson's early career spanned the death of John and Robert Kennedy and the downfall of George McGovern all men who he believed could reverse or slow the country's progressive rot as well as the rise of contemporary conservatism with its fascist appeals Denevi's accounts of Thompson's encounters at the 1964 1968 and 1972 campaigns and political conventions particularly relating to Goldwater's and Nixon's corrosive police state philosophies become themes throughout the book that animated Thompson's anger and his willingness to fight and speak outThe book is first rate and highly recommended kreg '19

  2. Theodore Kinni Theodore Kinni says:

    Read an advance copy really makes me miss HST It provides the political and personal context for his best work Hell's Angels; FL in Las Vegas; and FL On the Campaign Trail of '72 If you love that stuff you'll love this

  3. Jon Zelazny Jon Zelazny says:

    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 fiction?Consider 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 later?Part 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 trying?Surveying 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

  4. Mike Mike says:

    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

  5. Marc Marc says:

    On the Campaign Trail 72' being my favorite Thompson's book I really wanted to know about his politics and this read revealed fascinating details and put his life between 1960 and 1974 in full context The 64' republican convention His trips to South AmericaHow he settled in Colorado His times in California with the Hells Angel's and the Chicano mouvement His run for sheriff of Aspen The Vegas book The Nixon impeachment hearings Everything is explained at length

  6. M. Sarki M. Sarki says:

    Hunter S Thompson is for some an acuired taste His outrageous and destructive behavior added a negative to his celebrity that was earned first as an insightful and brave journalist Drugs and alcohol eventually got the best of him Hunter Thompson was grabbing a drink at the Jerome with some friends when he noticed movement near the entrance; someone he didn’t know was walking up to the bar This stranger was large over six feet tall weighing at least 250 pounds He had curly hair a broad expressive brow His eyes were small and pointed─alert He introduced himself Oscar Acosta “I’m the trouble you’ve been looking for” he added wrylyThompson took his politics seriously and the terror and unrest of the sixties stole from us all some very good men and women The country was in crisis and the best of the best were being shot down “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” Bobby said just before he was assassinated a uote his brother had attributed to Edmund BurkeDue to the character flaws of leaders like Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon Hunter Thompson sought to reveal them for who they were Many of Thompson’s “truths” and observations in print turned out to be revelatory The future Thompson predicted was also something that led to his own personal demons destroying what was best in him When you vote for president today you’re talking about giving a man dictatorial power for four years I think it might be better to have the real business of the presidency conducted by a City Manager type a Prime Minister somebody who’s directly answerable to Congress rather than a person who moves all his friends into the White House and does whatever he wants for four years The whole framework of the presidency is getting out of hand It’s come to the point where you almost can’t run unless you can cause people to salivate and whip on each other with big sticks You almost have to be a rock star to get the kind of fever you need to survive in American politicsAll through the book I kept thinking that if Thompson were here today to witness first hand Donald J Trump he would definitely kill himself again I kept saying to myself as I read that it is true that history does repeat itself In the end the tragedy wasn’t just about Nixon at least in the strictest sense; what was really at stake would be much bigger than the current moment As he’s written that summer “The slow rising central horror of ‘Watergate’ is not that it might grind down to the reluctant impeachment of a vengeful thug of a president whose entire political career has been a monument to the same kind of cheap shots and treachery he finally got nailed for but that we might somehow fail to learn something from it”The author Timothy Denevi has performed a great service for the good citizens of these United States Using Hunter S Thompson as subject Denevi has adroitly shown the parallels between Nixon and Trump without ever mentioning his name For those of us who want the truth and are willing to hear it this book has it in spades This book is a great and important work In May 1974 Republican congressman Charles Wiggins one of Nixon’s staunchest supporters tried to contextualize the mushrooming Watergate scandal “These things go in fifty year cycles” he said “from Grant to Harding to Nixon”And now Trump

  7. Jan Boyd Jan Boyd says:

    Denevi makes history read like a novel I learned things about American history that I never knew and came away with a completely different opinion of HST’s writing than I’d had before A great idea superbly executed

  8. Justin Justin says:

    The author seems to get into Hunter's mind so much that it becomes hard to tell in the audiobook where he is uoting Hunter or telling a narrative involving him I learned a good deal about Hunter and politics and highly recommend the book The main downside of the book is I don't see myself rereading it as its contents often anger me While the book offers somewhat of a rolemodel in Thompson it portrays his nuances enough to not render him as inspiring as he could be if idealized which would be untrue but perhaps useful The result is a book that made me angry without inspiring change This is made even worse by the degree in which the system is shown to be rigged throughout the book it makes most effort seem futile I realize Hunter would've fought the system anyway but the author didn't have an agenda which is great but as such its hard to get much actionable out of the book

  9. Frederick Gault Frederick Gault says:

    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

  10. Wayne Turmel Wayne Turmel says:

    As a big fan of Hunter Thompson this book covered a lot of well known territory but I learned enough new information and got pointed in the direction of some material I needed to read on my own Not brilliant but well worth the read

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