Book details

Ancient Gonzo Wisdom

Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson

Edited by Anita Thompson, Introduction by Christopher Hitchens

  • ISBN13: 9780306816512
  • Pub Date: 07/07/2009 | Price: $18.00 / $22.95 CAN
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Trim: 6.00 x 9.00 Inches | 432 Pages
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About the Book

Bristling with inspired observations and wild anecdotes, this first collection offers a unique insight into the voice and mind of the inimitable Hunter S. Thompson, as recorded in the pages of Playboy, The Paris Review, Esquire, and elsewhere.

Fearless and unsparing, the interviews detail some of the most storied episodes of Thompson's life: a savage beating at the hands of the Hells Angels, talking football with Nixon on the 1972 Campaign Trail (“the only time in 20 years of listening to the treacherous bastard that I knew he wasn't lying”), and his unlikely run for sheriff of Aspen. Elsewhere, passionate tirades about journalism, culture, guns, drugs, and the law showcase Thompson's voice at its fiercest.

Arranged chronologically, and prefaced with Anita Thompson's moving account of her husband's last years, the interviews present Hunter in all his fractured brilliance and provide an exceptional portrait of his times.

About the Author

Anita Thompson was Hunter S. Thompson's wife and assistant. She is the author of The Gonzo Way, a celebration of Thompson's legacy, and lives in Woody Creek, outside of Aspen, Colorado.

Reviews

Roanoke Times, 8/23
“Thompson may have seemed to treat Q&As like a lark, but he used them to promote an image of himself, increasingly that of a crazed, politically obsessed Yosemite Sam behind a typewriter. That persona is on full display in Ancient Gonzo Wisdom, a career-spanning collection of interviews, transcripts and profiles…Ancient is a solid overview.”

Waterbury’s Republican-American, 9/6
“Worthy of being placed on the shelf alongside [Thompson’s] reportage and letters, to put a lie to the image that he was an out of control madman who got by on attitude alone. Indeed, the real lesson upon reading this book is that Thompson was as serious a journalist as we had in this country over the past four decades.”

National Public Radio
“This amusing collection pulls from 30 years of conversations and reveals the gonzo journalist to be much more of a craftsman than he is often given credit for being. It would, in fact, make a great gift to any budding journalist.”

Blogcritics.org and AssociatedContent.com, 9/8
“A marvelous read for fans…Hunter, by way of his editor and widow Anita Thompson, presents an autobiography of sorts through his responses to questions in print, in a lecture hall, on television, and online. Anita does a great job providing footnotes to make clear what is being discussed in the conversations…Provide[s] a very good portrait of the man and his work.” 

New York Press 9/9
“Features previously unpublished interviews from 1974 to 2005 studded with outrageous anecdotes and quotes and some plain-old folk wisdom from the ‘Doctor,’ as he liked to call himself.”

HybridMagazine.com, 10/9
“An important part of any library dedicated to The Doctor of Divinity, The Creator of Gonzo Journalism, the man that faced ‘The Fear’ headlong and survived…The book is a superb chronological collection of interviews…The interviews used here in this fine collection are wide ranging…With a collection as good as Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson we get a good glimpse inside the literary giant that created Gonzo Journalism.”