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View Full Version : Hunter S. Thompson, 65, Author, Commits Suicide



SnakebyteXX
02-21-2005, 05:41 AM
By MICHELLE O'DONNELL

Published: February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson, the maverick journalist and author whose savage chronicling of the underbelly of American life and politics embodied a new kind of nonfiction writing he called "gonzo journalism," died yesterday in Colorado. Tricia Louthis, of the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office, said Mr. Thompson had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Woody Creek, Colo., yesterday afternoon. He was 65.

Mr. Thompson, a magazine and newspaper writer who also wrote almost a dozen books, was perhaps best known for his book, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," which became a Hollywood movie in 1998. But he was better known for his hard-driving lifestyle and acerbic eye for truth which he used in the style of first-person reporting that came to be known as "gonzo" in the 1960's, where the usually-anonymous reporter becomes a central character in the story, a conduit of subjectivity.

"Nobody really knows what it means, but it sounds like an epithet," he said in an interview that, for him, journalism "can be an effective political tool."

Hunter Stockton Thompson was born in Louisville, Ky, on July 18, 1939, the son of an insurance agent. He was educated in the public school system and joined the United States Air Force after high school. There, he was introduced to journalism, covering sports for an Air Force newspaper at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. He was honorably discharged in 1958 and then worked a series of jobs writing for small-town newspapers.

It was in the heat of deadline that gonzo journalism was born while he was writing a story about the Kentucky Derby for Scanlan's magazine, he recounted years later in an interview in Playboy magazine.

"I'd blown my mind, couldn't work," he told Playboy. "So finally I just started jerking pages out of my notebook and numbering them and sending them to the printer. I was sure it was the last article I was ever going to do for anybody."

Instead, he said, the story drew raves and he was inundated with letters and phone calls from people calling it "a breakthrough in journalism," an experience he likened to "falling down an elevator shaft and landing in a pool of mermaids."

He went on to become a counter cultural hero with books and articles that skewered America's hypocrisy.

"He wrote to provoke, shock, protest and annoy," Timothy Crouse wrote in his book "The Boys on the Bus," about the 1972 presidential campaign.

Mr. Thompson influenced a generation of writers who saw in his pioneering first-person, at times over-the-top writing style.

As a young man, he was heavily influenced by Jack Kerouac and wholeheartedly followed Kerouac's approach in which the writer revels in his struggles with writing.

Among his books were "Hell's Angels," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Fear and Loathing on the Campiagn Trail '72," "The Great Shark Hunt," "Generation of Swine" and "Songs for the Doomed."


link (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/21/national/21hunter.html)

Sid_Vicious
02-21-2005, 06:04 AM
A sad ending. I forecast that a story about his life and a movie will happen also. He was quite the rounder, I am disapointed that he found this way to leave this world..sid

DebraLiStarr
02-21-2005, 07:31 AM
I read about this yesterday, what a sad ending. I found his writing style very entertaining even though I disagreed with him politically. To his credit, he kept my attention despite my political views and that was what made him such a great writer. It's very sad.

hondo
02-21-2005, 07:43 AM
End of an era. Every time I read about one of these
characters from 60's & 70's dying, I get depressed.

MosconiJr
02-21-2005, 12:53 PM
With pigs, they call it soooey side.

SecaucusFats
02-21-2005, 01:40 PM
I always figured that Hunter Thompson would go out the way he did. He was such a strange,crazy, drug addled character. His love of guns, booze, and acid, was a disaster waiting to occur.

I never really cared much for his writing, but he did contribute to our collective American cultural experience.

Rest in peace Hunter.

SecaucusFats
02-21-2005, 01:51 PM
The Edge By Hunter S. Thompson

The lever goes up into fourth, and now there’s no sound except the wind. Screw it all the way over, reach through the handlebars to raise the headlight beam. The needle leans down on a hundred and wind burned eyeballs strain to see down the center line, trying to provide a margin for the reflexes.

But with the throttle screwed on there is only the barest margin, and no room at all for mistakes. It has to be done right…and that’s when the strange music starts, when you stretch your luck so far that fear becomes exhilaration and vibrates along your arms. You can barely see at a hundred; the tears flow back so fast that they vaporize before they get to your ears. The only sounds are the wind and a dull roar floating back from the mufflers. You watch the white line and try to lean with it…howling through a turn to the right, then to the left and down the long hill to Pacifica…letting off now, but only until the next dark stretch and another few seconds on the edge…The Edge….There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others--the living—are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later.

MosconiJr
02-21-2005, 01:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SecaucusFats:</font><hr> The Edge By Hunter S. Thompson

The lever goes up into fourth, and now there’s no sound except the wind. Screw it all the way over, reach through the handlebars to raise the headlight beam. The needle leans down on a hundred and wind burned eyeballs strain to see down the center line, trying to provide a margin for the reflexes.

But with the throttle screwed on there is only the barest margin, and no room at all for mistakes. It has to be done right…and that’s when the strange music starts, when you stretch your luck so far that fear becomes exhilaration and vibrates along your arms. You can barely see at a hundred; the tears flow back so fast that they vaporize before they get to your ears. The only sounds are the wind and a dull roar floating back from the mufflers. You watch the white line and try to lean with it…howling through a turn to the right, then to the left and down the long hill to Pacifica…letting off now, but only until the next dark stretch and another few seconds on the edge…The Edge….There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others--the living—are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later. <hr /></blockquote>

That's cool as hell.