Andrew's Reviews > Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson

Gonzo by Jann S. Wenner
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Jan 17, 09

Read in January, 2009

Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone, and Corey Seymour, an editor at Rolling Stone who worked with Hunter Thompson in the 1990s, put together this oral biography by interviewing 100 different people about their experiences with the gonzo journalist.

It is organized by stages of his life, so it comes off well as a biography of his adult years, though William McKeen's biography is much more complete on his youth and early working years (including the Air Force) than "Gonzo". However, the people that knew him offer valuable insight about his character, noting who Thompson really admired ... and what his secret loathings were about Louisville or old friends.

There are some surprising appearances in the interviews, including Don Johnson (the star of "Miami Vice"); Marilyn Manson; Sally Quinn; and David Halberstam. Others are not surprises: Johnny Depp, who played Hunter in the movie version of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"; Jack Nicholson; and George McGovern. Interviews include Sandy Conklin Thompson, his first wife, and several long-time girlfriends (such as Laila Nabulsi) but not Anita Bejmuk, who he married in April, 2003.

For those who might be tempted to think that his alcohol and drug consumption was all a ruse, which is easy to do if you've ever seen Thompson down a fifth of Wild Turkey and still speak lucidly -- this book outlines the enormous difficulties that he had with DT's and detox during surgeries late in his life.
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