Hunter S. Thompson, "smart hillbilly"; boy of the South; born and bred in Louisville, Kentucky; son of an insurance salesman and a stay-at-home mom; public school-educated; jailed at 17 on a bogus petty robbery charge; member of the US Air Force (airman second class); copy boy for Time; writer for The National Observer; et cetera.
From the outset, he was the wild man of American journalism, with a journalistic appetite that touched on subjects that drove his sense of justice and intrigue, from biker gangs and 1960s counterculture to presidential campaigns and psychedelic drugs. He lived larger than life and pulled it up around him in a mad effort to make it as electric, anger-ridden, and drug-fueled as possible.
Now Juan Thompson tells the story of his father and of their getting to know each other during their 41 fraught years together. He writes of the many dark times, of how far they ricocheted away from each other, and of how they found their way back before it was too late. He writes of growing up in an old farmhouse in a narrow mountain valley outside of Aspen (Woody Creek, Colorado, a ranching community with Hereford cattle and clover fields)...of the presence of guns in the house, the boxes of ammo on the kitchen shelves behind the glass doors of the country cabinets, where others might have placed china and knickknacks...of climbing on the back of Hunter's Bultaco Matador trail motorcycle as a young boy, and father and son roaring up the dirt road, trailing a cloud of dust...of being taken to bars in town as a small boy, Hunter holding court while Juan crawled around under the barstools, picking up change and taking his found loot to Carl's Pharmacy to buy Archie comic books...of going with his parents as a baby to a Ken Kesey/Hells Angels party with dozens of people wandering around the forest in various stages of undress, stoned on pot, tripping on LSD....
He writes of his growing fear of his father; of the arguments between his parents reaching frightening levels; and of his finally fighting back, trying to protect his mother as the state troopers are called in to separate father and son. And of the inevitable - of mother and son driving west in their Datsun to make a new home, a new life, away from Hunter; of Juan's first taste of what "normal" could feel like....
We see Juan going to Concord Academy, a stranger in a strange land, coming from a school that was a log cabin in the middle of hay fields, Juan without manners or socialization.... Going on to college at Tufts; spending a crucial week with his father; Hunter asking for Juan's opinion of his writing. And he writes of their dirt biking on a hilltop overlooking Woody Creek Valley, acting as if all the horrible things that had happened between them had never taken place, and of being there, together, side by side.... And, finally, movingly, he writes of their long, slow pull toward reconciliation....
©2015 Juan Thompson (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
Hearing Juan retell life with his father Hunter S. Thompson was a roller coaster ride of bone chilling and heart warming recollections.
I knew Hunter in the early to mid 90's as he was going through his polo phase. Juan's portrayal is spot on with my memories- with the added benefit of a lifelong relationship as sole child of this complex and endearing, larger than life, character.
One of the unique opportunities that The Listener gets to experience is the similarity of Juan's voice to his father's in tone and cadence.
If you ever wanted to know what life with The Real Hunter S. Thompson was like- listen to Stories I Tell Myself.
Condolences and congratulations to Juan on surviving and thriving this unique voyage.
Juan Thompson's book was a healing story of an Adult Child of an Alcoholic. The alcoholic just happens to be the brilliantly wild Hunter S.. The story had great rhythm and I followed it with ease. Juan is a miracle, it's a miracle that he survived his childhood and became a stable adult. He seems to of healed throughout the years and this book appears to me to be a continuation of that healing. Great stories - a must read!
I'm just a guy who hates Small talk, thanks to audible and a good set of ear buds. Not shopping, not even waiting rooms are a problem.
Juan thompsons truth
Juan THompson sells himself short as a writer, he really grasps the intimate details of growing up with HST. He has his dad's flair for expressing the didactic nature of an experience more than just listing the bullet points.
I'll listen to anything he does
I found myself staring off with a smile in quite a few places. It's rare an audio book can captivate you like that.
Worth every penny
Found Juan to seem to sigh through it a little, like he was bored of reading it but a great insight into HST.
"Just as tangibly interesting as assumed."
Very interesting to hear about HST from a source that doesn't see him as either a lunatic or a god. It's not written in the style of Hunter but it would be foolish and wrong to assume it would be. Saying that, it is well written. Being very much influenced by his works, it is fascinating to hear more about the man himself.
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