Picture of author.

Hunter S. Thompson (1937–2005)

Author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

72+ Works 39,770 Members 441 Reviews 346 Favorited

About the Author

Hunter S. Thompson was born on July 18, 1937 in Louisville, Kentucky. At the age of sixteen he was inducted into the Athenaeum Literary Association and wrote for the Athenaeum Journal. During his two years in the US Air Force, Thompson wrote a sports column for The Common Courier. After he was show more discharged, he moved to New York to work as a copy boy at Time Magazine and later moved to San Juan to write for a Puerto Rican bowling magazine. He also reported to the National Observer from South America. Upon his return to the US, Thompson wrote Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, which became a national bestseller and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was originally published in Rolling Stone magazine. Thompson wrote for Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Esquire. Both Bill Murray and Johnny Depp portrayed Hunter in feature film movies based on his books, Where the Buffalo Roam and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, respectively. Hunter S. Thompson committed suicide on February 20, 2005 at his home in Colorado. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Hunter S. Thompson

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971) 14,379 copies
The Rum Diary: A Novel (1998) 4,054 copies
The Curse of Lono (1983) 876 copies
Screwjack: A Short Story (2000) 614 copies
Gonzo (1988) 227 copies
The Gonzo Papers Anthology (2009) 69 copies
Where the Buffalo Roam [1980 Film] (1980) — Author — 32 copies
Le Nouveau Testament Gonzo (1994) 10 copies
Death of a Poet (2000) 6 copies
Parano dans le bunker (2010) 5 copies
Mistah Leary He Dead (1996) 4 copies
Mescalito (2000) 4 copies
Polo Is My Life (1998) 3 copies
The Hippies 2 copies
Delírio em Las Vegas (2007) 2 copies
Las Vegas 1 copy
Kingdom of Fear Poster (2004) 1 copy

Associated Works

Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson (2007) — Contributor — 603 copies
The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry (1999) — Contributor — 597 copies
The New Journalism (1973) — Contributor — 334 copies
The Portable Sixties Reader (2002) — Contributor — 328 copies
The Revolt of the Cockroach People (1973) — Introduction, some editions — 311 copies
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas [1998 film] (1998) — Original book — 295 copies
Reporting Vietnam: American Journalism 1969-1975, Volume 2 (1998) — Contributor — 269 copies
The Best American Sports Writing of the Century (1999) — Contributor — 191 copies
The Cool School: Writing from America's Hip Underground (2013) — Contributor — 80 copies
The Vintage Book of Classic Crime (1993) — Contributor — 34 copies
Christopher Felver: The Importance of Being (2001) — Contributor — 22 copies
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson [2008 film] (2008) — Actor, some editions — 17 copies
I'm a Little Special (1999) — Contributor — 15 copies


1960s (129) 1970s (102) 20th century (246) America (127) American (284) American literature (354) anthology (250) autobiography (198) biography (380) counterculture (253) drugs (690) ebook (123) essays (457) fiction (1,282) gonzo (1,227) gonzo journalism (456) Hell's Angels (96) history (360) HST (137) humor (485) Hunter S. Thompson (371) journalism (1,642) Las Vegas (269) letters (110) Library of America (112) literature (298) memoir (524) new journalism (135) non-fiction (1,827) novel (180) own (174) poetry (187) politics (916) read (464) satire (99) sociology (98) to-read (1,286) travel (146) unread (148) USA (307)

Common Knowledge



Kind of laughing at myself for labeling this "travel."
caedocyon | 191 other reviews | Feb 23, 2024 |
Whoops, I thought. Welcome to the night train.

I was hoping for the night train. For more bits of HST's non-sequiters that are a bit of stream-of-consciousness, gonzo truth.

This wasn't it. _Screwjack_, a publication of a 90s, private printing only collection of 3 of HST's shorts (2 pieces out of 3 are straight fiction, I think I've read, but not sure). "Mescalito" was messy-- fun, but messy. Better done in _Fear and Loathing_. (although it's still impressive any time I read any writing committed while a human being was that utterly ripped.)

"Death of a Poet" was promising, but felt like it was bailed out on very abruptly. Like perhaps it could have gone on, and even ended the same abrupt way, but instead, the author just cut to the chase, put a period, and forgot to start a next sentence.

I wanted to like "Screwjack". Stylistically, it's one of the voices I expect when I want to read Thompson. But it seemed pretty pointless to me. I read it twice: yep, still pointless. But it does contain this passage which was absolutely worth the double reading

I am guilty, Lord, but I am also a lover-- and I am one of your best people, as you know; and yea tho I have walked in many strange shadows and acted crazy from time to time and even drooled on many High Priests, I have not been an embarrassment to you....

Passages like this are why I keep coming back to Thompson, no matter how twisted, violent, immoral, amoral, nauseating, and depressing it can be. Like no other writer I know, he can find the beauty in a shitheap of desperation.
… (more)
deliriumshelves | 9 other reviews | Jan 14, 2024 |
I started reading this book on a day trip into NYC. I finished it last night on the sofa. Of the two, I'd say NYC is the place to read this: beside annoying yammerers on Metro-North; in a coffee shop with a server who just couldn't be bothered; sitting in the park while also (inadvertently) observing people's bizarre behavior.

I like this one better than Fear & Loathing.

Paul Kemp, the thinly cloaked some-facet-of-HST-protagonist leaves NYC for San Juan to work as a journalist for a newspaper owned by a former communist (not popular in Puerto Rica at the time).And if you've read any HST, you know that the set-up is only incidental to what really happens in the book.

I think the reason I like this better than [b:Fear and Loathing|7745|Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream|Hunter S. Thompson|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1165639648s/7745.jpg|1309111] (or what was that other thing I read by HST? Can't remember...) is Paul Kemp's insights- which, thankfully, are not delievered as "insights". They are his thoughts- among all the others, including the xenophobic and the racist- that are pretty identifiable to me right now.
What's not to love about an imaginary interview that goes like this (excerpted):

"Well, you see, I ...ah...well, I get a strange feeling. I...ah... I sit around here and look at this place and I just want to get out, you know? I want to flee."
"Mr. Kemp, you seem like a reasonable man– just what is it about St. Louis tha makes you want to flee ? I'm not prying, you understand, I'm just a reporter and I'm from Tallahassee, myself, but they sent me out here to–'
"Certainly, I wish I could...ah...you know, I'd like to be able to tell you that...ah...maybe I could say that I feel a rubber sack coming down on me...purely symbolic, you know...the venal ignorance of the fathers being visited on the sons...can you make something of that?"
"Well, ha-ha, I sort of know what you mean, Mr.Kemp. Back in Tallahassee it was a cotton sack, but I guess it was about the same size and–"
"Yeah, it's the $%&damn sack– so I'm taking off and I guess I'll...ah..."

Now I realize an overly long quote does not a review make, nor is it even representative of the writing style of this short novel (which I am told was written to make into a movie). But it does tap into one of the things I like about it. Paul Kemp is trying to, in some way, be an honest man making an honest living, and the best place he can do this is amongst (as I think he labels his compatriots somewhere in the book) the scum of the earth.

He's also trying to have a Life and keep The Sack from coming down over him and keep from getting The Fear.

I am romanced by a world which probably never existed, but which must be based on something real. Typewriters as a valued thing, reporters without cell phones, long drives made for assignments only to find out the thing you had gone after is gone- the intel was too late. A guy making a good living by turning his house into a burger-and-beer (and that's all) joint, hiring in a sad piano player from Miami.

THat;s my book "review". I'd say, read it. For one thing, it's short. And for another, if it doesn't work out for you, you can just say that it gave you The Fear, so you had to leave.
… (more)
deliriumshelves | 56 other reviews | Jan 14, 2024 |
interesting enough, and i like what the author ended up doing for writing. funny to see this contrasted now with our clear view of the angels as a drug smuggling group. some of the stuff (particularly on sexual assault) has definitely not aged as well
rottweilersmile | 40 other reviews | Jan 12, 2024 |


1970s (1)
Find (1)


You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by

Charts & Graphs