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Better Than Sex: Confe...
 
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Hunter S. Thompson
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Better Than Sex: Confessions of a Political Junkie (The Gonzo Papers #4)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  3,493 ratings  ·  109 reviews
s/t: Trapped Like a Rat in Mr.Bill's Neighbourhood
Since his 1972 trailblazing opus, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, Hunter S. Thompson has reported the election story in his truly inimitable, just-short-of-libel style. In Better Than Sex, Thompson hits the dusty trail again - without leaving home - yet manages to deliver a mind-bending view of the 1992 presidentia...more
Published (first published 1994)
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Ellen
Jun 30, 2010 Ellen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People insanely in love with every word Thompson wrote whether it makes sense or not.
Shelves: nonfiction
description

Hunter S. Thompson's brain on drugs circa 1966 - 1980s

description

Hunter S. Thompson's brain on drugs - 1990s - 2005

I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that Hunter S. Thompson's reputation won't hold up. In fairness, I did go back and read sections of Hell's Angels and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and will acknowledge that he could often write well. Whether he ever wrote well enough to merit the adulation he's been given is questionable.

However, I was stymied by the number of reviewers who gav...more
Benjamin Sobieck
There are two kinds of Hunter S. Thompson fans: Those who get Gonzo tattoos over spring break and those who read his political stuff, like this book.

It's the former who embrace the drug-addled mythology of the man. The latter can appreciate the brilliant writer and social commentator the world lost to suicide in 2005.

Although I was just a young lad in '92, I still find his letters and essays fascinating. He knew how the real political process worked better than anyone else.

Those who want Gonzo...more
Mark Victor Young
"No wonder the poor bastards from Generation X have lost their sense of humor about politics. Some things are not funny to the doomed..."

Though he tried desperately to avoid it, Hunter S. Thompson in this book again casts himself into the pit of despair that is modern politics. It is "Fear and Loathing" all over again, but this time on the Campaign Trail '92. He was lured in partly by his hatred of Bush and the hope that he could be beaten, and partly because of his addiction to politics; the q...more
David
Some say that the high obtained from a successful political campaign is “better than sex,” but not Hunter S. Thompson. He was certainly a political campaign junkie, but even Thompson couldn’t place politics above carnal pleasure. And he would know a thing or two about politics, having ran for Sheriff (on the “Freak Power” vote - losing by a slim margin) in Pitkin County, Colorado and closely following and reporting on the 1972 Presidential Campaign.

I have almost completed reading the Thompson ca...more
Missy
The Basics

A non-fiction (well mostly) account of the 1992 presidential election. With emphasis on Thompson’s perspective.

My Thoughts

I’m not a politically-minded person. I know no one likes to hear that, and I don’t like saying it, but I’ve never really understood having an obsession with politics. Even Thompson, in this book, bemoans the fact that it’s an addiction he’d like to kick. Really it’s because it’s depressing, and I think Thompson got to the root of another reason why politics doesn’t...more
Kevin Rubin
This is Hunter Thompson's coverage of the 1992 U.S. Presidential campaign and elections, with some flashbacks to his own 1970 campaign for Sheriff of Aspen County in Colorado.

As usual, he jumps right in as a participant as well as a reporter, so nothing he writes is even remotely unbiased, an lots of probably fictionalized incidents. In this case, he brings a group of Rolling Stone editors to Little Rock to meet with Bill Clinton and from there on refers to Clinton's campaign as "we" including...more
Will
It has been too long, too dry, too boring, back to Gonzo...

Aptly sub-labeled "Confessions of a Political Junkie," Hunter delves into the political hysteria of the 1992 presidential race. He dives into the realms of personality and character beyond the generic banter of other reporters and news agencies.

His appeal is unsurpassed, whether you agree with him or not, you're consumed by his writing. Reality and fantasy mesh into his reality and shape his perceptions of this political world.

The most i...more
Enty Quadrophenia
A contentious Presidential race, a population weary of years of Republican domination that have left the country in the grip of a recession, the rise of a previously obscure Democrat who goes from the underdog to the poll leader and eventually to the presidency . . . and Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” leading the pop charts. No, this isn’t 2008, but 1992, the year that the senior George Bush was ousted by a saxophone-playing governor from Arkansas, and the year that Hunter S. Thompso...more
Dustin Reade
This wasn't bad. I mean, it is HST, so it is bound to be at least as good as his other, later books, which basically all read like someone trying to write like Hunter S. Thompson.

My problems with it were many, and here are a few:

1. This book is completely outdated, and not in the cool sort of retro-y way that old sci-fi gets after its projected "future date" has come and gone. No. Dated in a way that makes it almost impossible to care about half of what he is talking about. Clinton. Ross Perot.....more
Dustin Gaughran
It was probably a mistake to read this immediately after 'Campaign Trail. '72'. My expectations were set considerably high, considering how great 'Campaign Trail' was. Although 'Better than Sex' has it's moments (especially the end on Richard Nixon), by and large the majority of the book felt forced. Half assed, even. There are parts worth remembering, sure. But it's mostly a collection of letters he sent to various people involved in the Clinton campaign. Some of them are funny. Some aren't. To...more
Bobby
This is the only writing from Hunter that didn't get 5 stars from me. (And that incluses Screwjack.) Aside from being disjointed, it is completely unneccessary.

The publishing company, or Playboy or whoever it was that commisioned him to write it were trying to catch lightning in a bottle. His Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72, is considered by many to be the most honest telling of what it is like to be on the inside of a political campaign.

There is nothing in "Better Than Sex" (abou...more
Bruno Lasnier
I never read political books, but when seen though the highly distorting and corrosive eye of Hunter S. Thompson, politics in general, and American politics in particular, is portrayed as the wacky and nasty circus that it is.

Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail, where Thompson reports on the Democrate primaries for the 1972 presidential elections which saw Nixon win a second term in office and lead to the Watergate scandal is obviously a benchmark which is difficult to match, even for Tho...more
D.M.
Hunter Thompson was one of a kind. I can scarcely recall a time of my life when he was not a presence in it. His suicide was something I felt as though he were someone I'd known, and his absence is something that will last.
I don't know how I missed this book when it originally came out, and just picked it up at a charity shop for 3 quid. I have to say, that's about what it was worth.
This was all about him and his slight connection to the Bill Clinton presidential campaign. It clearly attempts to...more
One Flew
A political satire of Thompson's usual brilliant standard. Thompson deserves his status as a counter culture legend, both for the mad and inspiring life he led as well as his scathing writing. I've enjoyed practically everything Hunter wrote and this one included. It's a damn funny book while still having genuine emotion and sincere political commentary.
Sarah
Gosh, do I miss HST. He would have loved this politidal season.

This book, written in 1994, details (sort of) the 1992 presidential campaign, but really it serves as a larger meditation on campaign junkiedom and the looming political black hole on the horizon for the new millennium. He was so ahead of his time about so many things, but especially the ruthlessness and singular desire to win shared by Bill and Hill. If I would have read this when it came out, I probably would have dismissed a lot...more
Josh
For a books following the 1992 presidential race, this one is surprisingly righteous. Or maybe not so surprisingly so. I thought that maybe because the politics were so closely removed from the present, that it would suffer for it, but it didn't, partially because THE SAME PEOPLE ARE STILL HANGING AROUND WASHINGTON (there's a pretty f-ing brilliant pic of George II in there, sticking his tongue out at the camera), and partially because Hunter S. Thompson is hilarious - and I think always had tim...more
Bill Bleuel
While not among his best (Thompson has this annoying habit of teasing with a theme he will "get back to later" and NEVER does), this is still good enough to throw foaming-at-the-mouth authoritarian zealots into apoplectic seizures (which, I'm positive, the mere mention of whom will get me banned for life from the feeds of certain Nazi-sympathizing pederast apologists). Campaign '92 was not particularly interesting and even the good doctor can't make it so, but his obituary of Richard Nixon is a...more
George Leach
Hunter's view on the 1992 Presidental election dominates this book but rather than his usual task of hitting the campaign trial, he does most of this from his home, albeit with access to some people you and me would never get within 100 yards of, probably to keep out of Mr. Bill's Neighbourhood and avoid the death of fun. Usual vicious, hillarious and accurate politial insight. It's worth purchasing for the last chapter on the death of his arch-nemesis Richard Nixon alone which features the comp...more
Jeannie
I always wanted to read Hunter Thompson and maybe this isn't the best book to start with. Also, keep in mind that politics isn't my favorite subject either. It is VERY rare that I don't finish a book, but I had to put this one down after 120 pages in. I found the writing scattered and it was like reading a long winded rant. He is funny and pointed out some things that I long forgot about - but then again it was a political scene that I wanted to forget about. I found it hard to believe that this...more
Jessica
Fantastic! If you're a fan of HST, then this one is a must! If you're not a fan, you'll still learn. History is important; politics is important. You could read it out of some school textbook, or you could read this -- read memos and firsthand accounts of the 1992 election. If you're into politics and enjoy brutal honesty, you have to read this book. If there's one thing to be said about HST, it's that he knows how to use his own voice. His writing style is completely his own. I'll probably rere...more
Simone
This is an account of Hunter Thompson's time on Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign. I love the fact that he doesn't pull any punches ... he calls Bill Clinton the sleaziest person he's ever met and describes a bar fight between himself and James Carville (my hero) the night of the election. It's vintage Hunter S. Thompson ... I read this during an 8-hour layover in Brussels, Belgium, in 1998, which was the only thing that kept me from going insane (the Brussels airport is nothing but a white box with...more
Emer Mccarthy
This isn't even better than really bad sex
bossy
it was almost as good as sex
A. Gamble
There are no words fond enough to describe Thompson's writing. I blazed through this book, and I think anyone else would, too.

HST makes a great point about outgoing political parties leaving their problems for the next president. I wonder if he would have thought that Bush Jr. left his problems for Obama like Bush Sr. did for Clinton. I also wish he would have stayed alive long enough to see Obama elected. There will never be another political junkie like Thompson, and journalism is less vital f...more
Matthew
this book was interesting to read during the 2008 democratic primaries. it's basically about how bill clinton got elected, from the perspective of our favorite gonzo journalist. the gonzo journalism stuff gets a bit old, though. about half of the book consists of faxes and newspaper clippings that thompson sent to various people in power. the basic theme is that the politics of power is so addictive that those involved find it better than sex. i guess i'd rather have sex than read this book.
Cameron
HST's collection of writings on the '92 presidential election, up to and including his 1994 obituary of Richard Nixon. Parts are hysterical, parts are unbearable shtick, which Thompson leaned on far too heavily in his later journalism. He's an equal opportunity hater, though, and he pillories Clinton for being a soulless, opportunistic politician, in the mold of Tricky Dick Milhaus.

A fast read.
Craig
When it's good it's FEAR AND LOATHING ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL repurposed brilliantly for the 1992 election. When it's bad, it's a boring self-parody. The split between the two is about even, but thankfully the opening introduction to the election and the Nixon obit closing are two worthy bookends to the piece, which probably ensure a higher level of satisfaction than BTS: COAPJ actually merits.
Jason
Sep 20, 2007 Jason rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Political junkies
Shelves: favorites
Thompson's idiosyncratic chronicle of his time on the campaign trail covering the '92 Bush/Clinton presidential race. By far the most cohesive of the "Gonzo Papers" books, it should appeal to anyone who either is interested in the back room intrigues that occur in the midst of a political campaign and/or fans of Thompson's unique journalistic style and worldview.
James
This is late-model weak tea HST, but it has a lot of relevance / counterpoint to today, as it's focused around A Bush and A Clinton. Marvel that HST thought Bush Sr. was the closest we could get to a modern Nixon! Watch in awe as he focuses his hope around a Clinton, only to be slowly disturbed at how a Clinton's campaign is run, and eventually disillusioned!
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5237
Hunter Stockton Thompson was an American journalist and author, famous for his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He is credited as the creator of Gonzo journalism, a style of reporting where reporters involve themselves in the action to such a degree that they become the central figures of their stories. He is also known for his promotion and use of psychedelics and other mind-altering substanc...more
More about Hunter S. Thompson...
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas The Rum Diary Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (The Gonzo Papers, #1)

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