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. Thompson fell off the wagon and got back into the political arena.
Better Than Sex: Confessions of a Political Junkie is a wild ride through another turbulent time, with emotions running as hot as the news sheets that followed the first real three-party election in modern times (who can forget the diminutive H. Ross Perot?), with Reagan/Bush tradition vs. new direction promises vs. nonsense-analogy weirdness. Thompson makes absolutely no bones about his intense dislike and distrust of Bush, but also shows no affection for Clinton, either. The book is a hodgepodge of essays, articles, memos, and handwritten snippets that give the book just as much of an out-of-control feel as fans of Thompson are accustomed to.
Those not familiar with Thompson’s intense writing style might be put off by this book, so if you’ve never experienced Gonzo before, it might help to try Hell’s Angels or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas first. But if you’re feeling nostalgic for another time of rapid political change, give this one a try.