Friday, October 16, 2009

Outlaw Journalist: The Life & Times of Hunter S. Thompson by William McKeen

· ‘This is the Great Red Shark of Hunter biographies… Read it or die’ Greg Palast

Hunter S. Thompson changed the way we think about journalism. One of the pioneers of New Journalism, he wrote books that continue to entertain decades after they were published, melding fact and fiction in a supercharged Gonzo prose style to chronicle his drink- and drug- fuelled adventures. His major work, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is now a bestselling classic. Requesting his ashes blasted into the blue Colorado sky to drift slowly back over the crowd at his funeral was typical of his menacing humour. There was no one better at capturing America, from the presidential campaign trail to the Hell’s Angels’ lair.

William McKeen became friends with Thompson after writing a monograph on his work. He has interviewed many of the writer’s associates who would not speak before, from childhood friends to assistants at his Colorado home, getting behind the drink and drugs to reveal a charismatic figure who was happy to be considered an outlaw but took the calling of journalism as his vocation. Outlaw Journalist is the definitive biography of this compelling American icon.

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