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Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Hunter S. Thompson

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,198 ratings  ·  104 reviews
From Hunter S. Thompson's first piece for Rolling Stone--the story of his infamous run for sheriff of Aspen in 1970--to his last--an examination of the Kerry/Bush showdown in 2004--FEAR AND LOATHING AT ROLLING STONE presents more than 40 examples of his best work. Thompson takes us on a roller-coaster ride filled with the likes of McGovern and Nixon, Watergate and Vietnam, ...more
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Little Brown and Company (first published 2009)
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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,198 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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Rory Patrick Feehan
Mar 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
I have been eagerly looking forward to this book, as have a lot of people, ever since it first appeared on the horizon over three years ago. Originally slated for release in November 2008, it suddenly vanished off the radar as quickly as it had appeared, with no explanation whatsoever from the publisher. Having finally received a copy of this book before Christmas, all I can say is that it is a pity it didn’t remain in the wilderness for good. In short this book is an utter disgrace.

I cannot fat
Oct 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE!

this book of HEAVILY edited/butchered HST material represents the latest disgusting attempt by the vile pig fucker Jann Wenner to suck cash out of the Good Doctor's corpse. this is the shameless desecration of Art by a greedheaded whoreson with no modicum of human decency.
Robert Delikat
Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson is a book that is basically just that. It was in the early 70’s that I first met HST. We used to hang out, smoke a little weed, do a few lines then drop some blotter and discuss the political chicanery going on in Washington or just the basic fuckedupedness of world affairs in general. Vietnam was grist for our mill back then. Ol’ Tricky Dick, being the easy target that he was, had a great deal to be said and written ...more
Gus Sanchez
In Hunter S. Thompson, Rolling Stone magazine found a voice that legitimized the periodical from its' earliest musical journal trappings. In Rolling Stone, Hunter S. Thompson found himself the perfect home from which to fire off breathtaking, foul-mouthed, drug-fueled, and superbly crafted missives against the political and social monsters slowly destroying the American Dream he still believed in. Clearly, the magazine and writer found kindred spirits within one another, forging a mutually benef ...more
William Thomas
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Like most people my age, I know about HST because of the movie adaptation of 'Fear and Loathing' where he is portrayed capably by Johnny Depp (probably the last good movie he appeared in). I must have watched that damn movie 100 times and could probably still recite all the lines without having seen it in years. I thought it was absolutely hilarious when i was younger, and as I gre older I saw it for something more than a comedy. I started seeing through all of the drugged out interludes into th ...more
Aiden Wylie
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Essential HST? That's an awful lot of Hunter. This unedited (from the magazine articles, which differ from the book form) compilation of his Rolling Stone work is indeed his prime material. From the moving Battle of Aspen, where Thompson shunned the obnoxious humour of his ESPN work for an honest analysis (which in retrospect was almost prophetic) of American politics, to the fading and irrelevant sports pieces, the heart of the Doc's work is included.

Unquestionably the highlight is Thompso
Erin Britton
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
On October 1st 1970 Rolling Stone published Hunter S. Thompson’s ‘The Battle of Aspen’, a raging account of Joe Edwards’ run for Mayor of Aspen, Colorado under the Freak Power banner. It was his participation in Edwards’ mayoral campaign that would inspire Thompson’s own run a year later for Sherriff of Pitkin County and it was this article that marked the beginning of his thirty-year involvement with Rolling Stone.

In 1971 Thompson went on to contribute several articles to Rolling Stone. The mos
Doctor Moss
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: literary-fiction
This book is a kind of Hunter Thompson "reader." It contains abridged selections from the years of his association with Rolling Stone. At its best, it presents a "highlight package" assembled by Jann Wenner, containing pieces from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Thompson's 1972 campaign coverage, Watergate, Fear and Loathing in Elko, correspondence between Wenner and Thompson, and other fragments.

As a Thompson fan, of course I always enjoy reading his work. This book, though, by no means substit
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This was mostly mighty fine writing by the man who invented the gonzo genre. On several stories, such as Las Vegas, Ali, and Carter, I wanted more and on a few, such as the Elko story, less. Given that this was edited by RS, I'll never know whether it was a touch of bad writing or bad editing. I do know that you shouldn't take this in one gulp/snort/inhale unless you want to risk ODing. I'm old enough to remember living through those stories; the '72 campaign provided plenty of compare and contr ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Many of these essays are bits and pieces of much longer articles available in HST's collections such as Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72 or The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time. This serves as a sort of Best Of/Hits Collection of Thompson's essays. I'd recommend going to the full-length essays instead. The only "new" material here are the correspondence between Thompson and others. Yet even this can often be found in the two compilations of letters that Thompson th ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
interesting historical look back at some very important times in American history particularly the Nixon era in light of what is going on now in the US. He had a demented, hilarious, paranoid view of the world and I wish he were here now to comment on these times.
Jack Bunce
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
His writing is excellent, but many of the topics are outdated for a young reader (unless you know a lot about US politics in the 60's/70's). Some essays were hilarious, some I just couldn't get into because they were so distant.
Fred Fifield
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A collection of Thompson's writings at Rolling Stone. It doesn't get much better than this.
Vincent Marshall
I fucking miss him
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Classic Dr. Thompson, the father of Gonzo Journalism.
Stephen Terrell
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For the better part of two decades, wildman journalist Hunter S. Thompson ripped a savage path through the landscape of American politics and journalism. Punctuated by alcohol (rum and Wild Turkey) drugs, guns, fast cars and out-of control parties, Thompson utilized a wickedly astute eye, vulgar uninhibited language, supercharged imagination, an unfailing bullshit detector and a savage typewriter to lay open the American landscape of Vietnam, politicians, society, personalities, the Super Bowl a ...more
David Buseman
This book made me realize how very little I care about the 1972 Presidential election. I Stopped reading it and won't be counting it on my "How many books..." list. Was hoping it would be more like "Curse of Lono" or "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas". No dice. Ah well...
Anthony Mathenia
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone collects Hunter S. Thompson's multi-decade work for the title music magazine. The majority of the book is made up of Hunter's political writing and includes his expansive "On the Campaign Trail" coverage the 1972 Democrat candidate nomination and the presidential election. During the course of the coverage an optimism for the political process, and specifically the McGovern ticket, ends with a jaded letdown as evil Nixon triumphs. Hunter's most scathing, and hi ...more
Christopher Rex
Jun 29, 2012 rated it liked it
HST is best taken in small doses. This is a 500pp. beast of a book. I don't recommend reading it cover-to-cover unless you want HST Burnout. Leave by the side of the bed or the crapper or wherever you read and pick it up from time to time.

The book is a collection of HSTs political (and other) writings spanning some 40 years, though the bulk is dedicated to the Nixon-Ford-Carter years. There are also some copies of correspondence between HST and Rolling Stone magazine, but these added very little
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
HST, along with Ken Kesey, Ed Abbey, Richard Farina, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, is yet another of my dead heroes. Athough I do not sport a Gonzo tattoo, I am a fan. Having said that, unless you,too, are a die-hard fan, Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone may not be a book you want to read cover to cover in one sitting. To avoid overdose, it may be better to pace yourself, sampling a little at a time, interspaced by maybe something lighter.

It was particularly interesting to read Thompson's a
anday androo
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I never expected to like Hunter S Thompson as much as I did. I have fuzzy, addled, memories of watching Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in HS. These memories generally involve some guy doing a lot of drugs while speaking in gunfire bursts of wit dripping with perversion and cynicism. While those memories are certainly a big part of Thompson's work, it's quite obvious that they were mere vessels for his main payload of political and cultural criticism. While his patois and chemical baggage scream ...more
Ed Terrell
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone is one enjoyable romp through US history told through the mescaline enhanced imagery and alcohol induced adrenaline spurts of writing. I read F&L with what felt like an illegal smile on my face the entire time. Hunter is one crazy writer, whose skill at intertwining fact and fiction will have you laughing out loud. Irreverent, unconcerned with the consequences of his actions, principled but peyote driven, he creates such an original stream of metaphors that ...more
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Bookended with some weaker material struggling for a style, the meat of this is a long account of the fall of Nixon. Thompson's insights on the campaign trail in 1972 would prove on target as Watergate unfolded and chased the President from office. Much of his topical considerations of a weak primary contest reflects well on this year's Republican contests. Excellent pieces on Mohammed Ali and Roxanne Pulitzer, each at the tipping point into decline, show Thompson moving more into the role of ob ...more
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Transcends its dated topics through one of the most original and endearing voices of non-Fiction. (If you can call Gonzo journalism that.)

I so savour Thompson's voice--as he did Fitzgerald's--that I didn't allow myself to indulge in this all at once, instead choosing to read a section at a time when between books.

Yes, it's been edited, but most of it retains every virtue it had in the original form. Or maybe what they kept in is the sort of stuff I turn to Hunter for anyway? Whatever, if you're
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

If there is one writer who can make politics interesting, it's Hunter Thompson. A good chunk of the pieces chosen for this anthology are from Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail, about the presidential race in 1972, and I thought it would be fairly dull subject matter. On the contrary, it was a nice history lesson and gave me a peek into the mad craziness of the 1968 Democratic Convention, the assassination of Robert Kennedy, and that devious crook Nixon. It's made even more relevant toda
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A necessary read for Hunter fanatics. This book goes many layers deep into revealing what an irreplaceable , no holds barred gonzo journalist & author he was. His '72 presidential campaign ramblings ring ridiculously true to what we are facing in 2012. For example, when comparing McGovern & Nixon, Thompson states " Jesus! where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be president?" .
It was such a pleasure to read a book that emboldened perfect strangers to approach
Todd Martin
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: culture-politics
Hunter S. Thompson’s work at its best comes across like a whirlwind of manic absurdity.

With few exceptions Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone is not Thompson at his best. It’s workman-like journalism with a light Thompson-esque flare covering events that have long since ceased to be relevant. There are also the allegations that Thompson’s editor, Jann Wenner, significantly revised the original text … but I’ll leave that for the Thompson scholars to debate (I would have forgiven them had the res
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
For those who want more of Hunter S. Thompson then "Fear and Loathing" -- a great place to start. This collection consists of correspondence letters between Thompson and the editor of Rolling Stone along with excerpts or full text from articles written for Rolling Stone. It shows how Thompson went from a struggling writer riding on one book's fame (his "Hell's Angels" reportage) to becoming one of the most infamous writers of his generation. For those interested in understanding how "personal br ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
As a writer, I especially loved reading HST's letters to his editor, Jann. ("Because what happens to anybody who gets into any kind of forced/regular writing is that he's bound to make a useless fool of himself now and then ... and it's hard to set a price on that kind of reality.")

I haven't read all of HST's stories, but I decided not to read them here because I noticed that the ones that I have read elsewhere were heavily edited for this book. Why shorten Fear and Loathing?

OK for now...
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Collection of Thompson's Rolling Stone stuff. I had read most of it between "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail" and "Raw Shark Texts". Most of it was great. Some was a bit annoying.

The early stuff was great, and I was surprised by how good the later stuff. "Fear and Loathing in Elko" was good. "Polo is my Life" was hilarious.

Some of the political stuff got tiresome. He really dropped the ball on Ali's story. The piece on Vietnam was lame too, especially after hearing about the background.
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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
“Reality itself is too twisted.” 14 likes
“It is Autumn, as you know, and things are beginning to die. It is so wonderful to be out in the crisp Fall air, with the leaves turning gold and the grass turning brown and the warmth going out of the sunlight and big hot fires in the fireplace while Buddy rakes the lawn. We see a lot of bombs on TV because we watch it a lot more, now that the days get shorter and shorter, and darkness comes so soon, and all the flowers die from freezing.” 4 likes
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