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Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  400 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
A collection of outrageous and brilliant interviews with the author of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," selected and edited by his widow, Anita Thompson.
ebook, 433 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Da Capo Press (first published July 6th 2009)
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Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: famous-people, 2016
Good to read again. Interesting interviews with HST over the years.
Bro_Pair أعرف
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This should have been five stars, for reasons I'll explain, and which already have been detailed by more able writers ( Any book of interviews is going to be a mixed bag, but thank God the interviewee is a wily one here. The book spans 1967 through 2005, beginning with the press junket the Good Doctor got for "Hells Angels," and ending with perhaps the most moving, best-conceived interview of the book, conducted by Playboy's Tim Mohr shortly before Thomp ...more
Lee Battersby
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never been drawn into the cult of Hunter Thompson: I've been aware of him, in a rough "he wrote that and that" kind of way, without being intimately familiar with the building blocks of his reputation. From that point of view, this chronologically-arranged collection of interviews certainly helped me to pin down the significant events in the creation of the myth surrounding him. However, the more I read, the more I felt seeds of suspicion begin to burrow: those famous incidents-- his time w ...more
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"Res ipsa loquitur."
Greetings from the afterlife. Here I am, fulfilling a lifelong dream, interviewing one of my all-time life idols. He is one the most accomplished proponents of counterculture, one of the fines journalist, writers and outlaw thinkers to grace the world. He is the great and the dead, self-proclaimed Doctor of Divinity, Hunter S Thompson.
Hunter S Thompson: Yeah, hi.

Me: Hunter, what made an ordinary hick-boy from Kentucky such a perceptive mind who prophesied so accurately on the second half of th
Eric W.
May 28, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Serious Gonzo-heads only
Recommended to Eric by: Richie Narvaez
I'm of mixed opinion on this book. The book exclusively covers Hunter's appearance in the media -- television and the published word -- as the subject of interviews chronologically. Because like today, most media appearances were timed to releases of his own books or otherwise, you will frequently find interviews here that happen around the same time, meaning that the questions and his answers, repeat quite a bit. While that repetition means, I've got a solid understanding of Hunter's time line ...more
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me start with the negatives. This is a collection of interviews and articles on Hunter. If the interviewer themselves had talent, knowledge about Hunter, and a certain level of hipness, then the articles are/ were worth reading. If not, well... you have a lot of repetitively-maddening, obvious questions (ex. the kazillion times Hunter is asked about Garry Trudeau's parody of him) and some outright blunders (TWICE Hunter is referred to as "Patron-drinking." While he might drink SOME tequila, ...more
Karl Arney
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Obviously there's a fair amount of repetition as well as some contradiction given how many interviews are contained here and how much chronological ground they cover (Hell's Angels-era until pretty near the end). Likewise, this is more or less only going to appeal to the thoroughly converted. Those two things said, there's a lot of gold in here for those who are interested, in terms of insight into both Thompson as a person and politics and journalism, as well as plenty of moments of great hilar ...more
Nate Jordon
Sep 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thompson's shining Gonzo Intellect is displayed here with humor and insight. Thompson was a seer, a visionary, an immovable force of which our culture will have to contend with for decades to come. His interviews read like his prose - evidence that what you read in print was the Good Doctor himself without pretense, without a mask. The earth's axis has shifted since his departure and we are all at a loss with his absence.
interviews with dr gonzo himself, from all through his life and times. full of crazy antics and rambling intellect, any thompson fan would know what to expect. one negative is that the book can get a bit repetitive after awhile, as many interviews cover the same questions and stories. but interesting nevertheless...
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great collection of HST interviews. Having them in written form is often helpful as it is difficult to understand him when he speaks for me. In reading these interviews, the story of a man with no filter and no limits emerges. He is intelligent, playful, and sometimes downright mean. Love him or not, there's never going to be anyone quite like him ever again.
Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK, so I'm a Thomson fanboy and not likely to render a harsh verdict on a collection of interviews with the Man Himself. That said, a lot of these are genuinely inciteful, especially when he's able to slip out of the persona he crafted for himself but which eventually came to aggravate him so thoroughly.
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-this
An essential for anyone studying the work of Hunter S. Thompson. Although some of his stories are conflicting, that is to be expected of the man infamous for sensationalising his every move. Having so many interviews allows the researcher to really get to know what to believe and how Thompson wanted to portray himself as a writer. A nessesity for Thompson studies.
Jul 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for all serious followers/admirers/fans of the Great Doctor. A collection of interviews ranging from TV spots in the late 60s to online Q&A's from the year of his suicide, 2005. His wit and extremely insightful look at the world are laid bare here. Yet another great monument to one of the most original and incredible voices in the world of written words.
Kevin Kizer
Jan 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lot of interesting interviews with HST over the years. Granted, I'd read most of them from the past 10, but it's nice to get them in one collection. And it has an intro by Christopher Hitchens. Double bonus!

Also, probably unintentionally, it showcases the decline in the art of the interview over the years (by journalists, not HST). Some absolutely ridiculous, yes/no questions.
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic collection. There's a lot of repeated content, but this book provides an excellent insight into the workings of Thompson's mind. If you're a fan, you probably already own this, but it is a welcome addition to any collection of his writing.
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find it hard to read books of purely interviews, but there was some very interesting stuff from the man himself in there. A lot of it is the same information over and over because the interviewers asked the same questions. Interesting but I ended up skipping a bunch of the middle.
Jun 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
3 1/2 stars. A nice collection of interviews. Some of it was a bit repetitive, especially near the end, but it was still pretty entertaining and insightful. It would be a good book for anyone who needed help deciphering the meaning behind the fear and loathing.
Not interested in reading the "wisdom" of an egomaniac (his words not mine)...I put it down.
Mat Hiner
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
God bless you Hunter
Oct 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great new arrangement of interviews and commentary by the late doctor. A seemingly nonstop collection of "Man, I wish I'd said or wrote that!" moments.
Ray Charbonneau
HST is fun and spot on as usual, but it gets sort of repetitious.
Aug 03, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
pdf [Anita_Thompson,_Christopher_Hitchens]_Ancient_Gon(
Aug 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some good interviews here, especially the one with PJ O'Rourke.
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
read the post 9/11 interviews!
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prophetic. Insightful, unapologetic, fearless
Dietrich Kalteis
rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Jul 04, 2012
Dave Jones
rated it it was amazing
Feb 18, 2015
Svastika Zeta
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Aug 12, 2014
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Anita Thompson began working as Hunter’s assistant in 1999. In 2000, she moved in and three years later they were married. Today, she is the publisher of The Woody Creeker magazine and is helping to edit Hunter’s book Polo Is My Life, among other projects. She continues to work in Hunter’s stead and live on Owl Farm in the little town of Woody Creek outside of Aspen, Colorado.
More about Anita Thompson...

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“Every time I think of Tim Leary I get angry. He was a liar and a quack and a worse human being than Richard Nixon. For the last twenty-six years of his life he worked as an informant for the FBI and turned his friends into the police and betrayed the peace symbol he hid behind.” 8 likes
“Across the board... Not junkies or freaks, but people who were just as comfortable with drugs like weed, booze, or coke as we are - and we're not weird, are we? Hell no, we're just overworked professionals who need to relax now and then, have a bit of the whoop and the giggle, right?” 7 likes
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