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Review: Hunter S. Thompson's 'Fear and Loathing in America'

Anyone who has heard of Hunter S. Thompson likely knows of his affinity for drugs, guns, and "freak power." Somewhere in that blend was a man who knew how to craft one hell of a story—a journalist with a chaos-riddled, abstract mind. This book is not a reflection of his writing skill. At all. In fact, it's a stretch to call it a book. It's really a collection of his correspondence—typewritten letters and notes sent to everyone from congressmen to publishers, friends to military surplus catalogs.

But in a bizarre way, despite the fact that this work would be challenging to read in a conventional, linear fashion, it works to give surprising insight into the mindset and the lifestyle of the enigmatic reporter. His notes reveal a man walking a line between passionately trying to change the world of politics, and withdrawing completely to live as a recluse in his Colorado cabin. They reveal his carefree, unrepentant abuse of hard drugs and wild spending habits, juxtaposed beside his apparent anxiety at perpetually being broke. In that regard, it's a good read if only to see the unpolished side of Thompson's life—the raw, angry, often rambling nature of this legendary journalist.


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