GONZO: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson
Jann S. Wenner & Corey Seymour
Little, Brown and Company
By James Calemine
"People who count on luck don't last long in the business of
defusing bombs and disarming landmines, and that is what my
business seems to be. It helps to know these things. Muhammad
Ali was not lucky. He was fast, very fast."
--Hunter S. Thompson
The work of Kentuckian Hunter S. Thompson propels him into the category of great American writers. GONZO--written and constructed by Rolling Stone mogul Jann Wenner and assistant editor Corey Seymour, both who spent extensive time in The Good Doctor's company--proves an interesting read.
Johnny Depp composed the Introduction to this book. The collection of memories contains personal stories about Thompson from many different people including Jack Nicholson, Angelica Huston, Ed Bradley, Jimmy Buffett, Sean Penn, Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe, Wayne Ewing, Terry Gilliam, and George McGovern.
Each memory and story remains chronological with Thompson's career. This book features insight to the man behind the words. I only wish the book included quotes from Bob Dylan and Keith Richards.
GONZO proves a fine read, but only for the fan who read all of Thompson's work. This is not a publication for literary tourists. Read the writer's work before you read about his life. Even Seymour explained these stories should not overshadow Thompson's work: "We've included a number of Hunter's wild and bizarre escapades. But if an oral history of his life were to consist of nothing but these sorts of things, it would do the rest of his life--his writing, his understanding of politics, his deep friendships--a great disservice. This is a man whose life was given over to the pursuit of perfection, immortality, and, of course, notoriety."
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