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Kingdom of Fear

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  7,699 Ratings  ·  293 Reviews
The Gonzo memoir from one of the most influential voices in American literature, Kingdom of Fear traces the course of Hunter S. Thompson’s life as a rebel—from a smart-mouthed Kentucky kid flaunting all authority to a convention-defying journalist who came to personify a wild fusion of fact, fiction, and mind-altering substances.

Brilliant, provocative, outrageous, and braz
Paperback, 354 pages
Published by Penguin Books (first published 2003)
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Petra X
Feb 21, 2018 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm pretty sure this is going to break my recent run of 2 star reads. This is in the foreword. The author has gone to visit his old friend Jack Nicholson and in the back of his jeep are "all kind of jokes and gimcracks" to entertain Nicholson's children.

"“In addition to the bleeding elk heart, there was a massive outdoor amplifier, a tape recording of a pig being eaten alive by bears, a 1,000,000-watt spotlight, and a 9-mm Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol with teak-wood handles and a box
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"It never got weird enough for me". -Hunter S. Thompson
This is Hunter at his finest. This book was one of those that you wish had just one more page at the end for all of eternity. Kingdom of Fear is written in a loose biographical form, in true Thompson style, it leapfrogs from stories of pre-adolescent vandalism, to scathing rants of George W. Bush in the same chapter, but somehow never looses its cohesiveness.
The stories of Hunter and Johnny Depp exchanging cars and checkbooks will make yo
The only “memoir” part of this “memoir” is the beginning where Thompson gives an anecdote that may be true about how he became skeptical of authority at 9 years old. The rest is comprised of more vignettes some of which may be true and others for which parts may be true.

There are all the Thompson motifs, the shooting incidents, drug crazed trips in Cadillacs, show girls and porn stars, brushes with the police, and political incorrectness.

One recurring theme, the loss of liberties, exemplified by
I have always been a huge, huge, fan of Hunter's work. Kingdom of Fear is a collection of various writings he did, kind of like a memoir, where he rants and raves and rants some more. In his typical Gonzo style, he takes the reader on a bizarre and often utterly 'weird' ride through his colourful and always interesting life. Opening with his first encounter with the FBI when he was nine years old (and no doubt sparking his life-long distrust of authority), the book whizzes through his musings of ...more
Amy Leigh
Jun 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
one of the easiest things to forget about hunter thompson is that he was s.m.a.r.t. really smart. the exaggerations and drug tales and violent fleur-de-lis are a lovely bonus, but at the heart of my love for hunter thompson is his straight-arrow sense of right and wrong, his personal sense of outrage at the evils of the world, and his ability to stay sharp in the face of the low level, grinding mediocrities that pave the road to hell.

this collection of essays is more personal than some of his ot
MJ Nicholls
Note: Written on Sep 03 2007, when I was much younger. I detach myself entirely from the review and its contents.

Here’s Yr. Autobiography. Mahalo. Res Ipsa Loquitur.

Is it just me, or is this gent just a wee bit too forceful with his opinions?

Before the sad loss of Hunter S. Thompson, human marihuana chimney and perpetual idol to each new batch of college students, the Colorado-based chronicler of injustice and, um—sports—left this rambling and shambling document, labelled erroneously by Penguin
Luke Johnson
Aug 04, 2010 rated it liked it
An entertaining read, since it's hard not to be entertained by Hunter S. Thompson's rantings, but ultimately disappointing. It get three stars instead of two based solely on Thompson's outsized reputation and my fondness for it. Ostensibly an autobiography, but really not one at all, this book is just a series of snippets and recollections, some of which are true but most of which are probably not, even in Thompson's loose version of what constitutes "truth". Pretty dissatisfying really.

I think
Feb 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"We live in dangerous times. Our armies are powerful, and we spend billions of dollars a year on new prisons, yet our lives are still ruled by fear. We are like pygmies lost in a maze. We are not at War, we are having a nervous breakdown." (p.27)

"We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world- a nation of bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are not just Whores for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts. We are human scum, a
Sep 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've had my ups and downs with this one and I think that stems from the fact that I was trying to read and understand a book slating American politics of the latter quarter of the twentieth century when my knowledge on American politics of the latter quarter of the twentieth century is on par with Joey Essex's.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
HST is brilliant..
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thompson has some serious beef with felony murder.
Mar 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“There are only two adjectives writers care about anymore... ‘brilliant’ and ‘outrageous’ ... and Hunter Thompson has a freehold on both of them.”
-Tom Wolfe

Thompson’s Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century is a hard book to review. It is the fifth book that I have read by the great Hunter S. Thompson, who has been one of my heroes for many years. Suggested to me by my best friend’s cousin while out bar-hopping, I thought I’d give thi
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kingdom of Fear - “It would be easy to say that we owe it all to the Bush family from Texas, but that would be too simplistic. They are only errand boys for the vengeful, bloodthirsty cartel of Jesus-freaks and super-rich money mongers who have ruled this country for at least the last 20 years, and arguably for the past 200. They take orders well, and they don’t ask too many questions.”

Ah Hunter, you had me from this quote in the “Memo from the Sports Desk"! And, for me, that memo might have bee
Apr 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always loved Thompson's books, and I think this might be my favorite (other than Fear and Loathing which is untouchable). This one is his most personal, and is his last actual book (Hey, Rube was a compilation of online sports articles so I don't count it) before he blew his brains out.

This one includes ranting about 9/11 and the Bush Administration (if you thought his eulogy of Nixon was savage, check out what he has to say about Bush Jr.), his musings on the 1968 Democratic Convention (a
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I kept stopping and scratching my head. "Hmmmmmm," I'd think, is this story a hallucination or could it really have happened?"

Kingdom of Fear is a collection of exploits, letters and mad ramblings by Hunter S. Thompson. I love this man, except when I don't, but I rarely don't want to be him. Thompson's journalistic exploits are well-documented, but is it possible that a mountain lion just up and jumped into the back of his car as he drove (stoned, as always) up the California coast?

Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grab your Colt .45; the government is coming. You have no rights because they will search your house for the 2 month old hashish. The main point of the story is about a woman who causes (1) Hunter Thompson undue trouble. And How Nazi law enforcement agencies spread their tentacles and destroy America. Hunter Thompson is the last outlaw. Is he fighting a losing fight, most likely he has yet begun to fight. Interesting little bit-bits in the book. Something about sucking on an 8-year-old's nipples ...more
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say, I'm very biased. And I struggle to think of an author whose style (and consistency) I respect more. 'Kingdom of Fear' is a collection of essays/memoirs (to be taken with a shaker of salt, obviously) and other short stories that manage to catch a quick glimpse of HST's growing disenchantment with what the US was turning into during the early 2000s. Witty, acid (quite literally) and incisive, this is one of his last works of prose. And what a swansong it is.
Hamish Elliott
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
hunter is the burning spear. Thompson is the explosive device buried in our deepest fears. S stands for some type of narcotic trip you can never have, and never really grasp as you are a shitless asshole.
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
YES! Hunter's bare ass with a gun on the back jacket, I can tell I'm going to like it already! Gonzo!
Ben Brackett
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Especially relevant given the current political climate.
Sue Cartwright
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I love Hunter S Thompson, and have done so ever since reading 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' when I was a teenager. He was the man who said it as it was, just like Eminem does today.

This book is a memoir, a series of events that whisk you along on a symphony of words and conversations composed of absolute truth, salubrious objectivity, keen observation, funniness and gonzo stylishness that has the ability to blow your mind in parts, and shock your senses.

As Timothy Ferris notes in the Foreward
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been a fan of Hunter S. Thompson for many years and with the exception of ScrewJack and The Rum Diary have read all of his books. This book was his final work, I believe, and it showed.

Hunter's writing has been described as 'diminished' and it is apparent in this work however it is still better than most. There were moments of brilliance in his stories, like the meeting of Judge Clarence Thomas, to other areas that seemed disjointed or just didn't really stand out.

All in all I enjoyed the
I enjoyed it, not as much as say his book on the Hell's Angels though. It was a bit sad to me and I had to remind myself that he always had the paranoia, the booze and the drugs. It wasn't really those things that bothered me. Still it was vignettes of his life, messy and a little bit incoherent rambling yet graced with his Southern Gentility. I guess what bothered me was the state of the nation currently. And the fact that HST would be whizzed into a frothing frenzy of words. Then again maybe n ...more
Greg Latanick
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Cunts have made a strong power grab in this foul year of our lord 2017, and the good doctor saw them coming 17+ years ago. I understand why he opted out in this garbage century and wish his acerbic insight was still shooting flame throwers at the Christian Wrong and their sick ilk. He didn't foresee the Obama years. I believe he would have enjoyed the all too brief respite. He was a volatile and maybe terrible person but his political insight is unparalleled. His voice was always hilarious a ...more
A mixed bag of writings. Some seemed to be ramblings, however there might not be anyone else more enjoyable to listen to ramble than Thompson. I thought a few were exceptional. My favorite being his experiences at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and his tale starring Clarence Thomas being the runner-up. 3.5 stars.
Michael Maloney
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
p. 341: "So welcome to Thunder Road, Bubba. It was one of those movies that got a grip on me when I was too young to resist. It convinced me that the only way to drive was at top speed with a car full of whiskey, and I have been driving that way ever since, for good or ill."
Tony Lovell
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great read! I love the way Hunter tells a tale!

"Jesus! That is so horrible that I hate to see myself actually writing it. What is wrong with me? Why would even think of a scene like that?"

cursed, are those with a dark sense of humour—RIP Hunter, I wish I met you!
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read. Not as tight as Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail or Las Vegas but still just the thing to read on ones 65th birthday during strange and weird times, by the father of Gonzo journalism.
Brandon Mclaughlin
Classic, just like all of Hunters works.
Ben B
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's H.S.T. Often imitated never equalled .
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover image to listing 3 15 Feb 10, 2018 06:15PM  
  • The Joke's Over: Ralph Steadman on Hunter S. Thompson
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  • Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson
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  • The Kitchen Readings: Untold Stories of Hunter S. Thompson
  • Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson
  • The Boys on the Bus
  • Last Words: The Final Journals
  • The Pythons Autobiography by The Pythons
  • Fear and Loathing: The Strange and Terrible Saga of Hunter S. Thompson
  • On Hashish
  • Spanking the Donkey: Dispatches from the Dumb Season
  • Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers
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  • The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History
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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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“Weird behavior is natural in smart children, like curiosity is to a kitten.” 387 likes
“It was one of those fine little love stories that can make you smile in your sleep at night.” 325 likes
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