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The Hunter S. Thompson Essentials

Hunter S Thompson

There is not a single sentence that can honestly and completely summarize the aberrant personality of Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson, the father of Gonzo journalism and famed author, is an uniquely eccentric narrator of some of the most intriguing and insightful stories ever written. I first was turned onto Thompson after watching the film interpretation of his famous two-part Rolling Stone expose Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Ever since then I have read book after book of Thompson’s and have found myself being thrown deeper and deeper into the world illustrated in his stories. I would highly recommend Thompson to anyone who has enjoyed works by Tom Wolfe or Gay Talese. Below is a list of what I consider to be the crème de la crème of Hunter S. Thompson novels.


Hell's Angels book cover



Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang


This is one of my all time favorite books. Hunter S. Thompson narrates the story of the notorious California motorcycle gang, the Hell’s Angels. The book details an entire year Thompson spent in close quarters with a particular chapter of the Hell’s Angels.  He is one of few reporters who have been able to associate themselves with a gang, while openly reporting as a journalist. It is through this mix of backhanded professionalism and camaraderie with the lawless motorcycle club that Thompson is able to write a story that is both gripping and powerfully introspective.


Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas book cover



Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream


The plot revolves around Thompson’s alter-ego Raoul Drake and his psychotic 300-pound Samoan lawyer Dr. Gonzo (based on Oscar Zeta Acosta) as they embark on a journey to Las Vegas in hopes of finding, and in a sense defining, the ‘American Dream’. The best way to describe this book is to take the legendary novel The Great Gatsby, place it in 1970s Las Vegas and give Nick Carraway a suitcase full of marijuana, LSD, cocaine and every other drug under the sun.  It is a mind-bending story that ultimately asks its reader to define the essence of the American people and the dream they are chasing.


Other quality novels by Hunter S. Thompson include:

The Rum Diary


Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72


Lee Eigner attends the University of Missouri where he’s double majoring in Mass Media Communications and Film Studies. 

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