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Screwjack

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  2,509 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Hunter S. Thompson's legions of fans have waited a decade for this book.

They will not be disappointed. His notorious Screwjack is as salacious, unsettling, and brutally lyrical as it has been rumored to be since the private printing in 1991 of three hundred fine collectors' copies and twenty-six leather-bound presentation copies. Only the first of the three pieces inclu
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Hardcover, 59 pages
Published December 13th 2000 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2000)
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Josh Woods
Okay, four stars is a little high for this book but I just couldn't bring myself give it anything else purely because it was written by Hunter S. Thompson. Having said that, I wouldn't call this the best expose of Thompson's writing. There is a fairly interesting retelling of his first mescaline trip, which has moments, but there is no extended brilliance to the writing. The second story is forgettable (by which I mean I've already forgot what its about) and then there's "Screwjack", the title s ...more
Ensiform
Three short stories. The first, “Mescalito,” is a stream of consciousness account of Thompson’s first mescaline experience, alone in an LA hotel room. A fine piece of weirdness and misanthropic torment. “Goddam is there no human peaceful sound on the radio... I hear that wily old charwoman sucking on the doorknob again, goddam her sneaky ass what does she want? I have no money.”

Next, “The Death of a Poet” is a brief, dark confrontation with a deservedly doomed friend, Leach, who beats blow-up do
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Charlie Green
Really strange, but another fanstatic example of Gonzo journalism. I had just finished researching Thompson a bit before I read this which made this short story hugely interesting to me. The bit with Screwjack his cat was quite tricky to read, and his commentary on his first trip on mescaline was very insightful!
David Russomano
I didn't realize how short this would be before I read it. Though it provided another taste of Thompson's wild writing, none of its constituent parts seemed to go much of anywhere and the whole thing was done before it got started. Or maybe there was something wrong with the kindle version.
Kim
Brilliant. "Mescalito" is Mescalicious. Hunter really knocked it out of the park on these short stories. Short and to the crazy point. "Death of a Poet" certainly seems prophetic, doesn't it? Highly recommend, more digestable than some of his longer works...LOVE IT!
Nate Jordon
Here's a little bit of Thompson at his mescaline-addled stream of consciousness best. It's a quick read and that's the only downer; one can never get enough of the Good Doctor.
Bonnie
That third story was pretty damn weird but the first was incredibly clever and the second quite shocking. Overall, a quick read that fans will enjoy.
Akshay
While people are lamenting about the short length of the book, I was happy to finish it as soon as I could. Writing without any real story.
Claire
I got this book free with a university newspaper one year - a very short story. Classic Thompson prose and very funny. Well worth a read
Heather
*Back-dating reviews based on snips I find*

I have an issue with Hunter S. Thompson’s writing. I like it, but I feel like I’m not in on the secret. It’s like someone saying something to you and you understand it, but everyone else is on the joke that you didn’t quite catch. See, I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, as well as the Rum Diaries. The latter was described as witty and hilarious on the blurb or review and it surprised me, because I liked it, but not because I found it hilarious. Ever
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Heather
Whoops, I thought. Welcome to the night train.

I was hoping for the night train. For more bits of HST's non-sequiters that are a bit of stream-of-consciousness, gonzo truth.

This wasn't it. _Screwjack_, a publication of a 90s, private printing only collection of 3 of HST's shorts (2 pieces out of 3 are straight fiction, I think I've read, but not sure). "Mescalito" was messy-- fun, but messy. Better done in _Fear and Loathing_. (although it's still impressive any time I read any writing committe
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Hosho
Finished reading it for the 2nd time, and still can't say I'm ready to review it yet...a shotgun-blast of a book, easily read in one sitting, and the hysterical (and hilarious) madness contained therein will stay with you for long after. Until a proper review is given, let's just say "Read it." I guarantee you'll have a kind of visceral reaction to it -- be that good or bad.
Tom
This is definitely the weakest Thompson I've ever read. It plays right into his critics hands too. Normally I hate it when people dismiss him as being a drug-addled hedonist, but this book truly lacked any insights or depth. At only 60 pages, the book still managed to drag on, a massive disappointment.
Sarah
Having never read anything by Hunter S Thompson before, I nevertheless thought I knew what to expect. This book is partly that - the first story is an account of Thompson taking mescaline in an LA hotel room, then hopping on a plane for Colorado. The second story (I think - I read a bootleg downloaded version so I'm unsure about some of the section breaks) was weirder, but funnier, if a story about a suicide can be described as funny. It's the final story, from which the collection takes its tit ...more
David Koblos
True enough, the Good Doctor has written a number of fine books. This one is clearly not one of them, despite the promising reviews and the collector's copy limited edition. It features four stories, the first one being probably the most typically Thompson, though quite poorly so, as he gives a live account of his first experience with mescaline. The second one is familiar to those who have read Kingdom of Fear, about a crazy wife-beating friend of his and his rubber dolls. The third and fourth ...more
Lyndsey
Quick, wild, funny, true to his run on sentences stream of "consciousness" style.
Kahn
Hunter was a character who lived life and had wild thoughts - his books tell us that. But to get close to understanding the man (as much as is possible), then you need to find his shorter writings. His essays, his letters, his short stories.
For it is here that he gave free reign to his brain. Short bursts of gonzo joy, vomited onto the page without apology.
Gathered here are the first time he took mescaline (written during the experience), a man who loves his cat and a tiff in a trailer park.
Shor
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Matt
I'm thankful I didn't write in my late teens and early twenties. Thankful that I didn't smack any stream of conscience on paper. Whew, or else I might have written this kind of craziness.

The 1st story, about his first experience with Mescaline, was interesting and surely an exaggeration! Although, I kept thinking to myself, why doesn't he just muster the courage to finally turn that damn TV off! The 2nd story was sheer pulp fiction, but somewhat humorous in a sinister sort of fashion. The final
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Dennis Springer
The whole book felt like the publisher was desperate to milk the last teat, that had long gone dry. "Mescalito" in particular, is something for the readers that only know Hunter Thompson, for being stoned. It was a rip-off of his own voice, done by himself. "Death of a Poet" was okay and did make me smile a bit, but then "Screwjack" took it back.
Don't waste your time or money on this book. "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" & "The Rum Diary" are still your best bets if you want imagination,
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Jefferson Banks
No. Pointless. Nice-looking but nothing to read.
Jed
Like much of HST's writings, the read is quick and gripping and then hopelessly musing. I can best describe it as reading like a drunken newspaper; there are moments of clarity, moments of intriguing story telling, then moments of self-indulgent pessimism on the state of culture, sanity and the combination thereof. All in all, its wonderfully honest and involved. No white lies in the gonzo journalists' typewriter. It's all collected, packed and shot out with the urgency of a front page headline ...more
Alex
Probably my least favorite work by Thompson, but that isn't to say it's bad. The first story, Mescalito, is your usual story of drug mania written during the course of Hunter's first mescaline trip. The second story, Death of a Poet, is a grimly hilarious vignette of the author's daily life. Screwjack itself is a simply uncomfortable little short story that fails to really stand out.

They are entertaining and worth the read, certainly, but they ultimately feel like stories better off as filler in
...more
J.J.
Scathing short stories by a pre-burnout Hunter S. These stories are perfect evidence of my theory that HST should have focused much more of his writing energy to the pursuit of fiction. Politically charged ranting about the hopelessness that Americans face through the disgustingly corrupt and mindless government that controls our lives can only achieve so much before an effect similar to beating a dead horse becomes prevalent. Filthy characters that bare close resemblances to mongrels. Fuck you ...more
Swirlgirl
It is truly a story on drugs - and you feel like you're ON drugs as you read it. Surreal, unstoppable, I have only enjoyed an altered state of mind through alcohol but I can relate to the relentless observational force that makes you stare at things and think about them as if they are giant peas, growing into your face. Keep talking or it will win.

Thompson is of a brilliance that I only think few are truthfully comprehending. I only scratched the surface to peek in - but I hope you'll do better.
Jouk Berg
Dafuq I just read?
Tiffany
Essentially a frantic rant, Thompson's Screwjack is an entertaining short story held together loosely by drug references and paranoia. He really has a talent for the use of letters and sentence structure,leaving this book standing as a shining example of modernist style in a post-modern novel. I was impressed by the attention to detail in what seems to be a short-story resulting from yet another drug experiment. All-in-all a good short read if you have an hour to spare.
Danielle
This was my literary introduction to Hunter S. Thompson. No punches are held and no decency is bothered with. I love the stream of consciousness style, and I find myself empathizing with Hunter's conscious self-destructive attitude.
None of the stories blew my mind, but I was entertained nevertheless.
I'm not sure if he was trying to numb himself out or open himself up. I get the impression that neither did he.
Interzone
Feb 12, 2008 Interzone rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who is tasteless
when one (i believe Don Johnson) once asked HST why he never wrote about sex, HST wrote this short yet beloved rant of his fictional physical relationship with his cat. Honestly this is perhaps HST's only short piece of fiction (next to the two others that are in the book) that has ever been published. Its a short tale and goes straight to the point.


this is pure gozno styled fiction at its prime.
Jean Marie Davis
From Wikipedia:
"Mescalito", previously published in Songs of the Doomed, is a trippy account of a long wait for morning in a Los Angeles hotel while high on speed and mescaline, aided only when Oscar arrives with beer. The story then picks up on an airplane, where Thompson's trip turns dark and miserably comedic in famous Gonzo style.

How can you NOT enjoy reading something like THAT!?

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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
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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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“It was necessary, we felt, to thoroughly terrify our opponents, so that even in hollow victory, they would learn to fear every sunrise ...” 6 likes
“If the thing bites down much harder I might wig out and demand beer... stay away from the phone, watch the red arrow... this typewriter is keeping me on my rails, without it I'd be completely adrift and weird.” 4 likes
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