Hunter S Thompson, journalist, photographer, travel writer, novelist and hellraiser. Thompson was in the forefront of The New Journalism of the sixties with the likes of Tom Wolfe. He is also credited with inventing "Gonzo journalism" a free form style of reporting in which the journalist himself becomes pro-actively involved in his stories sometimes, as was often the case with Thompson, through major drug and alcohol use. Starting out as a reporter in the 1950's on various papers in the US and throughout Latin America Thompson hit the big time with his first book "Hells Angels" chronicling his involvement with a group of bikers in San Francisco in the mid sixties which famously concluded in him being "stomped" to within an inch of his life when the group considered that he had crossed them. Now with more clout as a journalist Thompson, writing for Rolling Stone, was sent on many assignments which have subsequently become the stuff of legend, most notably The Kentucky derby, the 1972 democratic party election campaign trail, Nixon's impeachment proceedings and the Americas Cup all of which he covered with the illustrator Ralph Steadman. Thompsons own high water mark is undoubtly "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" a fierce, heartfelt, drug addled but pinsharp report on America at the beginning of the cynical 1970's where greed, paranoia and political double-speak had killed off the party that was the sixties for Thompson and his contempories. This short book, part journalism, part social commentary, and, some have always maintained, part fiction was the perfect encapsulation of Thompsons literary style and is shot through with his commitment to truth and integrity above all else. Since the 70's Thompson has continued to write columns for various US newspapers and magazines, released several anthologies of his work and recently published a "long lost" novel which he had written in Peurto Rico in the 50's at the tender age of 22. Today his whereabouts are usually attributed as being "A fortified compound somewhere in Latin America" where, presumably, he can shoot his guns, drink Wild Turkey naked on his porch and generally behave like the 'weirdo turned pro' that he undoubtedly still is.
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