“Buy the ticket, take the ride,” was a favorite slogan of Hunter S. Thompson, and it pretty much defined both his work and his life. Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone showcases the roller-coaster of a career at the magazine that was his literary home.Jann S. Wenner, the outlaw journalist’s friend and editor for nearly thirty-five years, has assembled articles that begin with Thompson’s infamous run for sheriff of Aspen on the Freak Party ticket in 1970 and end with his final piece on the Bush-Kerry showdown of 2004. In between is Thompson’s remarkable coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign — a miracle of journalism under pressure — and plenty of attention paid to Richard Nixon, his bête noire; encounters with Muhammad Ali, Bill Clinton, and the Super Bowl; and a lengthy excerpt from his acknowledged masterpiece, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Woven throughout is selected correspondence between Wenner and Thompson, most of it never before published. It traces the evolution of a personal and professional relationship that helped redefine modern American journalism, and also presents Thompson through a new prism as he pursued his lifelong obsession: The life and death of the American Dream.
©2011 Hunter S. Thompson (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
Warning, if bad words offend you, do not read this book or this review.
Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson is a book that is basically just that. It was in the early 70’s that I first met HST. We used to hang out, smoke a little weed, do a few lines then drop some blotter and discuss the political chicanery going on in Washington or just the basic f--kedupedness of world affairs in general. Vietnam was grist for our mill back then. Ol’ Tricky Dick, being the easy target that he was, had a great deal to be said and written about him. Man, those were some wild times. Crazy..., as messed up as we thought Nixon was back then, how we wished for him back years later when a particular "W" winds up stealing the While House. Man and we thought some cheap, hotel break-in was bad. S--t!
I remember HST telling me about how he met Clarence Thomas on a road trip with these two hookers...
And that’s my rather feeble attempt at Gonzo Journalism. The inimitable writing style that made Hunter S. Thompson so unique and absolutely brilliant. Actually, inimitable back then but not so much now. Gonzo journalism is a style of journalism that is written without claims of objectivity. The reporter is part of the story by way of a first-person narrative. Some of his stories, as mine above, are so outrageously fantastic that they often defy belief but contain elements of truth only in hyperbole that cannot be denied.
The real truth is that I met Hunter S. Thompson in the pages of Rolling Stone (never had the honor in person) in the 70’s and subscribed to that periodical only to read his writings. Journalists are supposed to be objective but objective journalism, as HST has said, is a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron. Fox News stands out today as the paragon of that contradiction but even PBS’s bias these days is only thinly veiled. So give it up, don’t be a hypocrite. Let it all hangout like Limbaugh and Beck. Be who you are and twist and crank the reporting of reality anyway you like, just don’t call it objective (or even real) .
With HST, this was easy reading for me. I adored the guy. To me, he was a true American hero. He was saying things in public not so many people had the guts to say in private. FaLaRS is not only essential Hunter S. Thompson, it is essential reading period. I would like to say that I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you sit, you will laugh your ass off reading this book. But that is probably not the case. Liberals might actually tear-up a little also because they too see the good doctor’s sense of reality. Conservatives, lacking any sense of humor, will probably deny the truth of any of what he had to say and dismiss it all as the ramblings of a drug-crazed maniac.
There’s a lot of talk about drugs here; not so much about sex or rock and roll. There’s mostly politics that is as relevant today as it was between the years of Nixon and George W. Bush, the span of the book. There’s a wonderful part in the book about HST and Mohamed Ali and other parts as well about other sports figures that are priceless.
I absolutely loved this book. There was not a moment that I was not completely entertained by it. It was totally bittersweet and not because HST had the ability to turn the most tragic times in our recent history into something hilarious but because Hunter S. Thompson is no longer with us. And I miss him like crazy.
The narration of this Brilliance Audio production was by Phil Gigante, a better narrator to tell the story of Hunter S. Thompson they probably could not have found. I could not recommend a book more highly.
Being someone that has read a lot of Hunter S. Thompson's work, I was a little skeptical about this compilation. But it's very well done...as the preface states, Rolling Stone attempted to create a narrative out of his various writings done for their magazine and they succeeded in a big way.
It essentially cronicles Hunter's time at Rolling Stone magazine starting in 1970. His personal correspondence with Rolling Stone's editoral staff (mostly unpublished until now) is included, as well as his account of the "Freak Power" local political movement that attempted to prevent Aspen, Colorado from becoming the high-brow Yuppie haven that it is today; "Strange Rumblings in Azltan" about the LAPD violence aganist Chicanos; the hilarious District Attorney's conference of his famous "Las Vegas" book; a sizeable chunk of "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign trail, 72'"...still an extremely relevant work. A ton of his "Politics from the Sports Desk" Rolling Stone features show up in this audiobook as well.
The narrator, Phil Gigante, does a good impression of Thompson as well when reading from Hunter's perspective.
It's a great listen, definately worth the credits. Now, what audible really needs is some more Hunter S, works...."Hell's Angels", the entire "Campaign Trail, 72'" and "The Curse of Lono" would be awesome I would listen to all of them.
The single best thing about the audible version of the book is the narration by Phil Gigante, which is nothing short of masterful. He actually sounds like Thompson, albeit without the incoherent mumbling. I would love to hear him read all of the major HST books and short pieces ("The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved," for instance).
I had the privilege of seeing Thompson and the late, great Warren Zevon at a book discussion in the 90s in Louisville, Ky., and while I was thrilled to see a literary hero of mine, I can attest to the difficulty of actually listening to him speak. He spoke rapidly and in a barely audible mumbling tone that was difficult to understand or even recognize as English.
On another note, I don't really get the Scott Sowers hate on the other audiobook versions of Thompson's work. I preferred Gigante's version, as it was though Thompson himself was speaking directly to the listener, but Sowers did a very competent job that captured the hyperactive, hyperbolic tone that characterized much of Thompson's writing.
I don't know that there is an equivalent in today's journalism/literature.
Has anyone actually read the drivel currently spewed out today by someone like Carl Bernstein, Thomas Friedman, George Will, or--god help us--anything written by anyone at Fox News? Very little real discussion, let alone analysis, of politics is available to a prospective reader/listener by any news source and what there is amounts to nothing more than a series of poorly written press releases written by journalists who are, for the most part, poorly paid PR flacks for either (or both) political parties. The books by these spokespeople tend to be bland, banal descriptions of the "he said/she said" variety of journalism that is in vogue today.
Listening to Thompson makes one realize that, once upon a time in our fading republic, a few reporters not only challenged the status quo but actually managed to change it in some way.
It is perfect as is.
Reading Thompson should be mandatory for high school students. An HST School of Journalism might actually turn out some reporters whose writing is worth reading.
Want to know why Hunter S. Thompson is revered as one of the great writers of the 20th century? Just listen to this book. And Phil Gigante's reading is flawless—in fact, brilliant. This book is hilarious and ingenious. It's so clever that it will actually give you insights into your own mind. In a word, amazing.
The narrator is so good that one would think Hunter S Thompson was narrating it himself. This audio book catches all the subtle nuances, and unique character and writing of Hunter S Thompson. This audio book is a true pleasure to listen to.
Stop listening to other people's opinions and form one of your own. That's sound advice, or not. It all depends on how literal you take it.
Finally, someone that comes close to style of Hunter's rhythm and pitch and tone. Scott Sowers is an awful narrator of Thompson's work, but Phil Gigante comes as close to perfect as anyone we are likely to hear. The first two hours of the book are great. The letters between Jann Wenner and Hunter are pieced together wonderfully and make you feel as though you were standing over the shoulder of Hunter as the days wore on and he banged them out on his godforsaken type writer.
The book, however, takes a bit of a dip once it gets into the articles. Most of them are the same articles that run in other published works from hunter over his last years.
However, if you've never read any other recently published Hunter books, then you will find these articles to be very interesting-- which, by the way, they still are even hearing them for about the three time.
Overall, I rate it a 4... 5 for the Phil Gigante (PLEASE REDO HIS OTHER BOOKS ON HERE) I've read Fear and Loathing in Vegas three or four times over the past eight years and consider it in my top three favorite books of all time and would love to own a copy of you reading it.
It was a wonderful introduction and thesis on Hunter S Thompson.
As a whole its a powerful view into the American culture wars of that period. Hunter takes you behind the campaign trail to provide a contextual view you wouldn't see in mainstream news coverage of the 1972 campaign.
Great performance. Sharp and quick.
This book is right up there with "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "The Curse of Lono." It has all of Hunter's best writing and, coupled with the letters and memos back and forth between Jann and Hunter interspersed between the pieces that were being written at the time, it is a pure gem.
Start to finish the book is a stone cold riot.
Phil sounds like Hunter. I mean it really seems like Hunter talking. It's a great feel.
I'm in the middle of this one and it being my first exposure to HST's literary work (saw a few of his stories that were made into movies) I'm thoroughly impressed. I was unaware Thompson had any political background, so a much welcomed surprise. The narrator, Phil Gigante does a great job and with his personal experience with HST he gives a more personal take on how the story is "meant" to be carried out. In relation to the movies Fear and Loathing and Rum Dairies, Gigante is spot on with his dialect and general demeanor. I can't wait to finish this one and move on to the next.
Learning more about HST's daily life and situation. The political ventures this man went on are comical and compelling at the same time. Not to take away from what he was doing at the time, because if he had succeeded in a few more elections it would have been monumental.
There is a scene where Hunter is checking into a hotel full of cops with a suitcase of drugs. The scene at the counter made me smile from the inside.
Most definitely laughed a lot in this one. The drug references are spot on and the scene at the drug conference is just what I needed at the time I was listening to it. Great work by Hunter. The funny thing is, this parts not a story. He was checking into the hotel with . . . well I'll let you check that one out.
Best of HST.
This is Hunter in his prime: he's young and wild and pissed off, and the English language in his hands becomes just as young and wild. What you get from the Rolling Stone work is eighteen hours of Thompson's most precise, observant, and gregarious reporting, including chunks of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, as well as the meat of Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. You get Nixon, you get Jimmy Carter, you get the whole works. And of course, football. But what you really get is one of the greatest courses on twentieth century American history available, without the crippling reverence to the system that renders a great deal of journalism irrelevant and dull. This is critical text.
This guy did his homework. I think it's perfectly appropriate to try to read this work in the writer's voice, since it's so thoroughly saturated with the writer's voice. There's no other way to say it than Gigante did his best Hunter S Thompson impression, and it's spot on. Seriously.
I guess having the physical text would be a kind of fetishistic necessity for fans of HST. But taking the time to listen to this audiobook is simply necessary for students of American literature and history. It's essentially like listening to a live reading by the man himself.
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