Fear and Loathing in America
by Hunter S. Thompson
Simon & Schuster
“You scurvy pigfucker…”
Of all the ways to start a letter, that is probably my favorite, and I found it in this collection of letters written or collected by famed (infamous? notorious?) “Gonzo” journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson. Spanning his prolific writing timespan of 1968-1976, and more than 700 pages, this book contains his correspondence with book agents, editors, politicians, and other journalists.
The early part of the book contains the letters in reference to his political campaigns of 1969 and 1970, when he ran for Sheriff of Aspen. The early ’70s is spent mostly back and forth with Jann Wenner, publisher and editor of Rolling Stone, as Thompson covered the 1972 presidential campaign for that magazine, a project that led to what some believe is his finest book outside of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (also talked about herein). Meanwhile, the latter part of the book deals with Vietnam and Jimmy Carter.
The best parts of this book are in regards to his publishing and writing deals; yes, the political parts are interesting, but through the letters back and forth between Thompson and his literary agents and lawyers, we get a grasp on how he handled his business and how his books evolved. This is definitely a collection for the HST fan, or somebody who just likes to laugh at the morning ramblings of a man who lived the ’60s and ‘70’s harder than anybody and lived to write about it.