|View of a Joshua tree in the Mojave Desert near Barstow, California. Photo is courtesy Dave Miller of the United States Geological Survey.|
I lectured the day after Thompson died in my column-writing class about the good doctor and the influence of his writing. I found that several of my students had never read him, several were fans, and one young man had a Thompson quote tattooed on his arm... Here's a roundup of stories remembering the good doctor.
The following audio excerpts are taken froma 12-hour interview of Thompson conducted in the summer of 2000 by George Plimpton, Douglas Brinkley and Terry McDonell as part of the Paris Review's Writers-at-Work series. These excerpts appear at Salon.com. The excerpts are available in both MP3 and Real Media formats. They all contain explicit language.
This is the homepage for the author of Hunter, an off-beat biography of Thompson written somewhat in the style of Thompson.
Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson
This gives some background on E. Jean Carroll's biography of HST.
Read an excerpt from Hunter, published in Esquire, about Dr. Gonzo's youth.
An annotated bibliography of Thompson compiled by Cande Carroll.
The book (and subsequent movie) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has done more to cement Thompson's reputation among college students with it's gonzo prose and unique perspective on the world of drugs in the 1960s. (Please note that the movie web site is no more.)
Thompson begins his "savage journey to the heart of the American dream" with car trip to Las Vegas through the Mojave Desert. With one of literatures great opening lines, Barstow becomes a pilgrimage site for young writers.
The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, The Fear and Loathing Letters, Vol. 1, is a collection of Thompson's letters from 1955 to 1967. (They end at about the time Hell's Angels was published.) Thompson wrote thousands of letters, starting at age 10, at kept carbons of most of them. If you have an interest in Thompson, I recommend the collection highly. You will be introduced to a deeper, more rational side of Thompson. (Also pathetic; he is continually complaining about not having money.) The book is available in trade paperback.
This is Thompson's second volume of letters, covering 1968 to 1976 (roughly from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72).
Thompson and his publisher have released some of the source material from this collection of letters to be presented on web pages at various on-line bookstores. These links will take you to many of the pages.
Christine Othitis has created what is currently the definitive fan page devoted to Hunter Thompson and Gonzo Journalism. Take a peek! (Updated with extensive obit items.)
Song of the Sausage Creature: Thompson on modern motorcycles
Thompson first made a name for himself with his book Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga. Several years ago Cycle World magazine had a wonderful features editor who convinced the Good Doctor to write an article about the Ducati 900 Supersport. For those of you who are not bike geeks, Ducati is an Italian company that makes some of the best racing bikes in the world. The article was published under the headline Song of the Sausage Creature. What is a sausage creature you may ask? Imagine wiping out on a motorcycle at 100 miles per hour without benefit of a full leather suit....
Photo of Thompson standing with the Ducati at The Owl Farm.
"Still Gonzo After All These Years," by Richard Keil
Interview with HST that ran in American Journalism Review, April 1996
Hunter S. Thompson served as the inspiration for the character "Uncle Duke" in the comic strip Doonesbury. Thompson has complained vehemently about Trudeau's profiting on his image. Take a look not only at the comic strips here, but at the merchandise as well.
Read Uncle Duke's official biography!
Copyright 2005, Ralph E. Hanson