Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Freak power

On Hunter S. Thompson's selected journalism

I wonder if I am underqualified to write about Hunter S. Thompson. Picture Thompson having an average day at the office. Nude except for a pair of Ray Bans, he breakfasts on iced Wild Turkey, types out an eyewitness account of some Hell’s Angels committing a gang rape, throws down a fistful of mescaline, then steps outside to discharge one of his shotguns at a passing bear, inadvertently wounding his secretary in the leg.

Now picture me: fully clothed at my laptop, in a room void of firearms and dead wildlife, fuelled by a cocktail of Lipton’s Intense and chilled juice. I’m not even that sure what mescaline is.

When Thompson shot himself dead in 2005, his best work was well behind him. This burly new anthology of his writings for Rolling Stone provides a generous reminder of how good his best work was ... [read more]