TRAVIS Reviews: Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson

Head to the closest subway station and take a seat. Sit there and look around at the hordes of humanity that surround you. Really look at them. Okay, now the strangest, craziest and most talented strangers come nowhere close to the legendary man behind the name, Hunter S.

Click to find more delicious content for TRAVIS' print editions.

Click to find more delicious content for TRAVIS' print editions.

He was popularized to the MTV generation through Johnny Depp (who was a close friend of Hunter’s) and his depiction of Raoul Duke in the film, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Although this is a good start to be plunged into the depths of Hunter’s brilliance in the world of subjective journalism, all Hunter S. neophytes need to read Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson. Although a documentary was released late last year under a similar title, you know what they say: “The movie is never as good as the book.” This is fact save for Fight Club. Check out the documentary though, too.

The book is an oral biography of the legend. It’s a holistic collection of interviews from almost everyone Hunter met throughout his drug-addled adventure of a life. It includes stories from childhood friends, longtime editor Jann Wenner from Rolling Stone, and celebrities like Jack Nicholson, ex-president Jimmy Carter and Marilyn Manson. It’s a beautiful, hilarious and insightful way to learn about a person – especially if that person was the creator of gonzo journalism. The telling of one person’s research in a biography is one thing, but a collection of people who actually knew him throughout his (unpredictable) life is profound and unmistakenly hilarious. 

review by ryanbolton, editor

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