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The first volume in Hunter S. Thompson’s bestselling Gonzo Papers offers brilliant commentary and outrageous humor, in his signature style.Originally published in 1979, the first volume of the bestselling “Gonzo Papers” is now back in print. The Great Shark Hunt is Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s largest and, arguably, most important work, covering Nixon to napalm, Las Vegas to WThe first volume in Hunter S. Thompson’s bestselling Gonzo Papers offers brilliant commentary and outrageous humor, in his signature style.Originally published in 1979, the first volume of the bestselling “Gonzo Papers” is now back in print. The Great Shark Hunt is Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s largest and, arguably, most important work, covering Nixon to napalm, Las Vegas to Watergate, Carter to cocaine. These essays offer brilliant commentary and outrageous humor, in signature Thompson style.Ranging in date from the National Observer days to the era of Rolling Stone, The Great Shark Hunt offers myriad, highly charged entries, including the first Hunter S. Thompson piece to be dubbed “gonzo”—“The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved,” which appeared in Scanlan's Monthly in 1970. From this essay a new journalistic movement sprang which would change the shape of American letters. Thompson's razor-sharp insight and crystal clarity capture the crazy, hypocritical, degenerate, and redeeming aspects of the explosive and colorful ‘60s and ‘70s....

Title : The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time
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ISBN : 9780743250450
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 624 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time Reviews

  • Arthur Graham
    2019-04-01 15:58

    Gets bogged down with minutiae at points, but then this is where we often find some of HST's keener insights re: sports, politics, and everything else, after all the bullshit has been laboriously shoveled, scraped, and swept away. Quite a lot to wade through, but if you're anything like me, you'd probably rather hear it from a drug-addled maniac with no claim to objectivity than some shill from the New York Times.HST was a remarkable thinker and writer, not only for pioneering a whole new form of journalism, but for the sheer range of seemingly contradictory qualities that embodied his life and work. Somehow he was able to espouse the better qualities of libertarianism while at the same time resisting the infantile urge to make an island of himself; a champion of the poor and the environment, a civil rights activist; an unrepentant substance abuser and card-carrying member of the NRA. Calling bullshit on Americans and their elected representatives from every wavelength of the political spectrum, HST succeeded in bringing a certain measure of impartiality back to journalism when it was needed most, ironically through his personal investment and physical immersion in the very stories he covered.

  • Chloe
    2019-03-20 16:19

    Readers who only know of Hunter S. Thompson from his acid-washed hunt for the American Dream in one of this countries most deranged metropolitan wastes will find a different sort of Hunter here. Given the man's talent for spectacle, pomposity and grand acts of destruction, it's easy for people to forget that before he was a legend, Hunter S. Thompson was a talented and capable journalist- one of those rare souls who was perfectly able to capture the flavor of the 60s zeitgeist, both its rapturous highs and its naive faith that a better world could simply be visualized into existence. Before his image became a caricature to be bandied about by everyone from Doonesbury's Gary Trudeau to Johnny Depp's recent ham-fisted offerings (I take no umbrage with Fear & Loathing, that was Gilliam at his greatest, but rather the execrable adaptation of The Rum Diaries and the animated spoof of Rango) Thompson offered up some truly great pieces of journalism.The Great Shark Hunt collects many of these lesser known writings of Thompson's. There are some definite retreads of what has been widely available elsewhere- the entirety of Part II was culled primarily from his Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, which is an interesting snapshot of life on the campaign trail with the underdog George McGovern campaign that somehow found itself the Democratic nominee despite the Dem establishment's fiercest protests and then fell apart with supreme gusto, allowing Nixon a landslide re-election. The closest example I can think of from recent elections is how close Howard Dean came to upsetting the staid Democratic platform before an unfortunate moment of exuberance caused the nomination to be handed to John "Do I Have A Pulse?" Kerry. For the most part, however, much of this material was new to me and featured many fine gems. The book is worth reading if only for Thompson's magnificent reporting from his hometown in "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent & Depraved," which recounts the author's first meeting with his long-time illustrator Ralph Steadman and their liquor-fueled romps during the pinnacle event of white Southern gentry's year. Most interesting for me, Part III features political reports sent North during 1963 while Thompson was covering events in ever-turbulent South America. With his characteristic sneer for all those who would use their power to enrich rather than help, Thompson issues communiques from Puerto Estrella, a lawless city of Colombian smugglers, reports on the Peruvian military's overthrow of the popularly elected APRA party in order to maintain the same 40 family's grip on the nation, and recounts a showdown between the Brazilian military and a Rio nightclub which ends with bullets spraying and grenades being lobbed onto the bustling dance floor all to teach the owner a lesson in respect. All throughout Thompson never fails to shine a critical eye on the American expats and businessmen who never fail to embrace the inherent racism of former colonial masters, despairing about Peruvians inability to realize that the gringos are only trying to help and refusing to realize that riding in on a white horse to save them is just a rebranding of the same paternalism that South Americans have been dealing with since the Conquistadors decided to save by slaughter.This is by no means a must-read, and I definitely found myself lagging through many of the articles, but for anyone who enjoys Thompson's personal brand of biting rhetoric it is an amusing and informative look at the works of a man who was never afraid to say exactly what he was thinking at a given time and who never failed to be shocked and appalled by the perversion of his American Dream by moneyed interests playing upon a populace's fears. In an era that seems so eerily reminiscent of the times in which Thompson was at the top of his game, reading the words of a man who was always willing to voice his outrage is a useful reminder.

  • Benjamin Church
    2019-03-20 16:01

    I came into reading this really long Thompson collection somewhat accidentally, but it shows that he is an extraordiary journalist with a convincing desire to pursue greater truths - an impression that really outshines the whimsical, drug-obsessed icon that he has been reduced to by the culture at large. Most of this book is about his experiences covering Richard Nixon and, given that we are at the height of another excessively arrogant conservative regime on the verge of self-destruction resulting from an obvious ethic of corruption and single-mindedness, his observations ring frighteningly true.Funny, while Nixon and co. were the greatest enemy of Thompson's lifetime, he said before his death that he would take Nixon over Bush in a moment. Anyway, he's not really interested in being on the otherside (Democrat, liberal, blahblahblah) and his critiques of Nixon don't feel calculated, just honest. Oh, and he tries to spraypaint "Fuck the Pope" on an America's Cup boat in Newport while on mushrooms...

  • Bob
    2019-04-11 19:19

    "If I followed my better instincts right now, I would put this typewriter in the Volvo and drive to the home of the nearest politician -- any politician -- and hurl the goddamn machine through his front window ... flush the bugger out with an act of lunatic violence then soak him down with mace and run him naked down Main Street in Aspen with a bell around his neck and black lumps all over his body from the jolts of a high powered "Ball Buster" cattle prod.But old age has either mellowed me or broken my spirit to the point where I will probably not do that -- at least not today, because that blundering dupe in the White House has just plunged me into a deep and vicious hole. " - The Great Shark Hunt, p. 318

  • Mike
    2019-03-31 13:07

    I stayed away from Thompson for a while, due to an impression I'd developed in part from a comic book I read as a kid called Transmetropolitan (which featured an ostensibly Thompson-like protagonist) and in part from the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, that his writing was cartoonish, overly preoccupied with trying to be funny, and basically not serious. I would say there are a few pieces here that really do fit that description ("The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved", supposedly the first work of "gonzo" journalism, as well as the title essay), and they seem to be disproportionately well-known and praised, while his better writing (about George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, the killing of Ruben Salazar) is, maybe not surprisingly, lesser-known. I initially wanted to say that his two great topics are sports and politics, but I think that needs some clarification. For one thing, while he started his career as a sportswriter, it doesn't seem that he wrote about sports by choice any more often (nor any less insightfully) than, say, David Foster Wallace, which would make his one great topic politics- or to put it more narrowly, Richard Nixon. About 200 pages in the middle of this collection are dedicated to Nixon- from "Memoirs of a Wretched Weekend in Washington" ("I went to the Inauguration for several reasons, but mainly to be sure it wasn't a TV trick. It seemed impossible that it could actually happen: President Nixon...") to "The Scum Also Rises" (Watergate and its aftermath)- and it's clear that Nixon brought out the best in him. There are many other ways to look at Nixon, but on an artistic level he provided Thompson with a tragic, Shakespearean, bottomlessly grotesque figure: the sleazy...argument that 'Nixon has been punished enough' is an ignorant...cliche...But that image of him walking awkward and alone across the White House lawn at night, oblivious to everything...except that little black and silver tape recorder that he is holding up to his lips, talking softly and constantly to 'history', with the brittle intensity of a madman: when you think on that image for a while, remember that the name Nixon will seem to give off a strange odor every time it is mentioned for the next 300 years, and in every history book written from now on, 'Nixon' will be synonymous with shame, corruption and failure. You can almost feel the boredom that sets in for Thompson in 1974, at "...the prospect of some harmless, half-bright jock like Gerry Ford running a cautious, caretaker-style government..." Nor is it an accident that this collection is dedicated to "Richard Milhous Nixon, who never let me down."One of the things I found interesting about Thompson's book on the 1972 US election (Nixon won re-election in a landslide), chapters of which are excerpted here, is that it begins and ends with descriptions of two successive Super Bowls. I would say that most sportswriting- like TV criticism- is limited by its subject matter, and it's often the case that the better written it is, the more it seems like a waste of talent. It's been a while since I've laughed out loud while reading as I did at Thompson's explanation of what makes for good sportswriting:...sportswriters are a kind of rude and brainless subculture of fascist drunks...The two keys to success as a sportswriter are: (1) a blind willingness to believe anything you're told by the coaches, flacks, hustlers...and (2) a Roget's Thesaurus, in order to avoid using the same verbs and adjectives twice in the same paragraph. Even a sports editor...might notice something wrong with a lead that said: 'the precision-jackhammer attack of the Miami Dolphins stomped the balls off the Washington Redskins today by stomping and hammering with one precise jackthrust after another'...And there was the genius of Grantland Rice [Nixon's favorite writer]. He carried a pocket thesaurus, so that 'the thundering hoofbeats of the four horsemen' never echoed more than once in the same paragraph, and the 'granite-grey sky' in his lead was a 'cold dark dusk' in the last lonely line of his heart-rending, nerve-ripping stories...Like all great sportswriters, Rice understood that his world might go all to pieces if he ever dared to doubt that his eyes were wired straight to his lower brain...But football brings us back to Nixon. When Thompson and Nixon met, in the backseat of a limo in New Hampshire in early 1968, they talked about football. This was the prerequisite of Nixon's handlers; the boss is tired, they told Thompson, and he doesn't need someone yelling at him about Vietnam or civil rights. So they talked about football, and Thompson was astounded at how well Nixon knew the game. "You know", Nixon told him, "the worst thing about campaigning, for me, is that it ruins my whole football season. I'm a sports buff, you know. If I had another career, I'd be a sportscaster- or a sportswriter." Thompson never quite makes the point explicitly, but the mindsets engendered by sports and by politics, as well as by a certain variety of drug use, are all very similar. It's Thompson's mindset: the spirit of gambling and competition, the addictive buzz that comes with playing for 'all the marbles' and being on the verge of losing it all, the ephemera of numbers, odds, records, predictions, point spreads, dosages and ounces, the black-and-white morality of winning or losing, the comfort of tradition (the draft, training camp, getting to know the new players, preseason predictions...speculation about who's going to run, debates, getting to know the new candidates, the setting of favorites and underdogs, primaries, conventions), the pageantry; maybe things shouldn't be this way, Thompson's writing seems to be saying, but they are, and if you try to pretend otherwise in this dirty world you're going to get crushed. And as I watched last week the grotesque spectacle of Trump's inauguration, and listened to the commentators discuss the 'symbolism' of Obama's wearing a blue tie and Trump's wearing a red tie, and the ceremonial limo ride (inside, left to our collective imagination, the incomprehensible conversation between Obama and Trump) symbolizing the 'peaceful transition of power', really giving the audience a play-by-play, I felt like I was watching through Thompson's filter: a sporting event (the only aspect that wasn't choreographed, it seemed, was that the rain commenced with the beginning of Trump's speech [although he later claimed that it had been sunny], which the rabbi who came to the lectern afterwards to read a prayer rather pathetically and desperately tried to convince the audience- or maybe himself- was a sign of "god's blessing").Football is of course not the only indigenous American sport, and it's far from being the country's oldest, but nowadays it is the most popular here by a good margin; nor does it hurt its suggestive power that most of the games take place on Sunday, Christianity's holy day. I don't think it's evil, but it is strongly correlated in the popular consciousness with patriotism (see, for example, the controversy that erupted last year when a player for the 49ers, Colin Kapernick, had the audacity to refuse to stand for the national anthem, or the end of a GOP primary debate last January where the final 'question' for each candidate was his Super Bowl prediction), and its unspoken essence is violence, often head trauma that can lead to violent behavior, suicide, etc.; and somehow, in the era of Trump, I find it hard to watch stadiums full of people wearing the same color clothing, waving identical towels, declaring their allegiance and that they are one with the crowd. I think Thompson understood that sports are not just harmless, benign entertainment, and that is furthermore probably part of what he liked about them.Another aspect of Thompson's writing that I think gets overlooked is that he is a writer of the spiritual, as well as the material world. As a journalist, Thompson's starting point is always the material- the grounded, common experience we can all more or less agree on, such as sports, politics, drugs as a social phenomenon, the Hell's Angels, the counter-culture. And yet here are some other things that recur in Thompson's writing: the buzz you get from gambling or taking a risk, the pleasure of swimming, the pleasure of eating a large breakfast, the pleasure of rain pounding on a hotel room window, sleep deprivation, the subjective experience of drug use, the subjective experience of listening to music, riding a motorcycle so quickly around a sharp turn that you almost lose control and die, letting yourself stay underwater to the point where it feels peaceful and you almost close your eyes and let yourself die, etc. One of Thompson's favorite drugs was speed, and when he describes riding a motorcycle too quickly and reaching what he calls The Edge, he is looking for the same thing he is in just about every story he writes- a buzz, adrenaline, transcendence.That's part of what makes him such a relatable writer, at least in my view. But in contrast to a writer like, for example, Henry Miller, Thompson, in his writing at least, rarely allowed himself that transcendence. Writing for him always begins with engagement. The day JFK was shot, Thompson wrote the following in a letter to a friend:I suppose you will say the rotten murder has no meaning for a true writer of fiction, and that the real artists in the little magazines are above such temporal things. I wish I could agree, but in fact I think that what happened today is far more meaningful than the entire contents of the little magazines for the past twenty years, and the next twenty, if we get that far...Ten years ago, I would have disagreed with this. Now I agree. It reminds me of something George Orwell wrote about Henry Miller- that as talented a writer as Miller was, he used his talent only to describe his life of introspection and sexual discovery in the Paris of the late 30s, while Europe was descending into war. What can we say about a writer who focuses on aesthetics and the inner life when there's a massacre happening outside his window? Orwell called it being 'inside the whale.' Thompson, at his best, didn't allow himself that.

  • Chin Jian xiong
    2019-04-04 16:11

    Hunter S. Thompson defines everything good about journalism, despite extreme subjectivity, rampant decadence and pure mania. There's strange power in words, how Hunter seems more trustworthy than any other piece of longform work out there. The last writer who had this impact on me was David Foster Wallace, due to how his extreme maximalism and constant introspection created the illusion that he was right there talking in your face. Well, while David Foster Wallace manifests himself as that philosophical and introverted friend who'd rant about all the troubles in the world over online chat, Hunter S Thompson is the friend who'd take that rant and drive it into your eye sockets with the fierce intensity of a drunk preacher.Journalism should be two things, entertaining and informative. Hunter encapsulates both aspects in one dose of pure literary LSD and shoves it down your throat. He is THE man you go to to get that feel of the 60s and 70s wildness and insanity, maybe even pick up a history lesson or two while you're following him on that joyride through time.Nixon, Ali, Peru, Beatniks and Hippies, Aspen... All the weird and wonderful friends of a time long past are summoned by the flowing prose of Hunter S Thompson. It was a ride I'd wanna go on again, maybe next time when I pick up F&L on the Campaign Trail or Las Vegas.What a grand way to start this 2013 reading log.

  • Asaucier
    2019-04-16 15:07

    THE GREAT SHARK HUNT: Gonzo Papers, Volume 1, Strange Tales from a Strange Time by Hunter S. ThompsonOne of the best. An absolute must for every American, let alone Thompson fan - or journalist for that matter. The following are a list of the articles from it that I have read, along with commentary and favorite quotes. ARTICLESThe Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and DepravedA Southern City with Northern ProblemsFear and Loathing at the Super BowlJacket Copy for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American DreamFreak Power in the Rockies“Most of us are living here because we like the idea of being able to walk out our front doors and smile at what we see. On my own front porch I have a palm tree growing in a blue toilet bowl . . . and on occasion I like to wander outside, stark naked, and fire my .44 magnum at various gongs I’ve mounted on the nearby hillside. I like to load up on mescaline and turn my amplifier up to 110 decibels for a taste of “White Rabbit” while the sun comes up on the snow-speaks along the Continental Divide.” “This sense of “reality” is a hallmark of the Drug Culture, which values the Instant Reward – a pleasant four-hour high – over anything involving a time lag between the Effort and the End.”“For me, that week in Chicago was for worse than the worst bad acid trip I’ve even heard rumors about. It permanently altered my brain chemistry, and my first new idea – when I finally calmed down – was an absolute conviction there was no possibility for any personal truce, for me, in a nation that could hatch and be proud of a malignant monster like Chicago.”“The liberals simply can’t get it up . . .”Traveler Hearts Mountain Music Where It's SungThe "Hashbury" Is the Capital of the Hippies“A cap of good acid costs $5, and for that you can hear the Universal Symphony, with God singing solo and the Holy Ghost on drums.”“In normal circumstances, the mushrooming popularity of psychedelics would be a main factor in any article on hippies. But the vicious excesses of our drug laws make it impossible, or at least inhuman, to document the larger story. A journalist dealing with heads is caught in a strange dilemma. The only way to write honestly about the scene is to be part of it. If there is one quick truism about psychedelic drugs, it is that anyone who tries to write about them without firsthand experience is a fool and a fraud.” When the Beatniks Were Social LionsThe Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat“When you get into bear baiting on that level, paranoia is just another word for ignorance . . . They really are out to get you.”

  • Matti Karjalainen
    2019-03-23 19:11

    Hunter S. Thompsonin "Suuri hainmetsästys" (Sammakko, 2010) sisältää valikoiman gonzo-journalismin isän kirjallisia trippejä 1960- ja 1970-luvulta. Thompsonin persoonallisia tekstejä julkaistiin mm. Rolling Stonessa ja Playboyssa, ja niiden aiheet käsittelevät mm. ammattilaisurheilua, Yhdysvaltain poliittista kuohuntaa, hippiliikettä ja erilaisia päihteitä. Presidentti Richard Nixon joutuu erityisesti Dr. Gonzon hampaisiin, ja Watergate-skandaalin käsittely kattaakin "Suuren hainmetsästyksen" seitsemästäsadasta sivusta melkoisen osan.Thompsonin nykymaineen taustalla lienee pitkälti Johnny Deppin tähdittämä "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" -elokuva, jota vasten peilattuna kokoelmaan valitut tekstit tuntuvat paikoitellen hyvinkin selväpäiseltä perusjournalismilta. Happoistakin revittelyä kokoelmaan toki mahtuu, josta erityisen hyvänä esimerkkinä toimivat tietyt Nixonia käsittelevät osuudet sekä Oscar Zeta Acostan, Thompsonin ystävän ja "150-kiloisen samoalaisen asianajajan" vaiheita käsittelevät tekstit.

  • TheLongWait
    2019-04-04 13:55

    This is the true Hunter S Thompson. Building his legend writing about whatever they throw at him and making it his own. It's easy to forget that despite his public persona, Thompson was a tremendous WRITER who could draw many emotions out of his readers. A personal favorite of mine and a book I never tire of.

  • Dennis
    2019-04-15 16:09

    A little tedious. I think I've overdosed on Thompson. I thought some of his usual outrageousness was out of place and read like he was trying to hard to be crazy. A few good essays. I especially liked the one on Jean Claude Killy.

  • Michael Jr.
    2019-04-16 20:12

    This is a must-read collection of Thompson's work from his prime in the mid-60s through late 70s. It collects, as no other volume does, his writing about the Brown Power movement that his friend Oscar Acosta was part of, his trials and tribulations with Richard Nixon (outside of the campaign in '72 and including Watergate), and the various fragments, features, and figments that came together to be Gonzo journalism.Unlike Generation of Swine, Kingdom of Fear, Songs of the Doomed, and Hey Rube, this volume collects the work that Thompson did BEFORE his style was canonized and blessed by the popular press. This means that it is mostly very fresh, and that it is written with a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment that what being a writer in America is all about is creating your own legend. You can feel the fact that he is aware that this is one way to be remembered like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, London, Mencken, or Twain, but that he also remembers what happened to those writers. The uneasy pieces of introspection here, such as Thompson's internal view of Mohammed Ali's promotional machine, remind us that he knew what he was doing, and he knew what it would ultimately cost.The later, less satisfying books are so because of this cost. The Great Shark Hunt, however, is the moment of choice--the moment when we can feel him choosing whether to upend the applecart or to allow himself to go along with the hustle, knowing that it will leave him set for life. It's almost enough to excuse...Nah, nevermind. Just know that while this is perhaps the best look at the way in which the American romance with literature intersects with the legend we allow ourselves to believe when we don't want to admit that we're all a bunch of sleazy grifters who are looking for our own simple way to become rentiers. Thompson connects those dots for us, showing how the self-made man who was a drifter, the used car salesman, the firebrand politico, and the sensation-driven, oppression-reinforcing 'mainstream' journalist are all just different brands of the same desperate attempt to avoid relegated to a life of labor.He rides this hustle well, too, even if he cons us into believing that he's doing it because he's disgusted with the grift and not because he's benefitting from it.I won't ignore the racist language in here, though. It's clear from some of Thompson's earlier pieces that he wants an equal and just society, but some of the ways he casually tosses slurs around will make you uneasy. Sometimes, it's clear he's using the language of white trash to address white trash, and his sarcasm shows that he doesn't mean it. Other times...Thompson's work is about riding a thin line between absolute virtue mocking the degenerate and actual degenerate behavior. Riding that line means crossing it on occasion, whether by mistake or on purpose. That's not to minimize or defend his choices when he does, it is just to acknowledge that it happens. Read it to criticize it or pass it by because of the fact, but don't say that you weren't warned.It's ugly. It's brutish. It's a pretty thorough depiction of white America's cultural id during the back half of the twentieth century. Use it as you see fit.

  • Stop
    2019-04-18 14:58

    The STOP SMILING Downfall of American Publishing Issue dedicates 40 pages to an oral history of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, which includes interviews with collaborators and friends such as Ralph Steadman, Craig Vetter, wife Anita Thompson, PJ O'Rourke, and more. About the issue, Slate media critic Jack Shafer wrote, "Stop Smiling's oral history of Hunter S. Thompson bested Rolling Stone's similarly constructed special issue about the Doctor in every way.

  • Rich Meyer
    2019-03-20 16:21

    This book of Hunter S. Thompson essays and articles covers most of his early career, especially the time period when he was writing Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hell's Angels and the Watergate scandal. Many of these articles were incorporated into those other books, but a good portion of it hasn't been printed before outside of the original, now very-hard-to-find, periodicals.This is vintage Thompson. He covers pop icons (Jean Claude Killy, Muhammad Ali) in a way that you wish even E! News could just dream about doing once. And as far as I'm concerned, there's been no adequate writer of national politics since Thompson passed on; Gonzo journalism was the only thing that made that remotely readable for me. By nature, The Great Shark Hunt is a dated work - this is the late sixties and seventies as they actually were, not as everyone tries to remember them as to recapture their "lost youth". Any American citizen really needs to read Thompson's oeuvre to get a feeling for those tumultuous decades.

  • Brett
    2019-04-14 15:16

    While this book is a collection of other writings, it is like a best of Hunter S Thompson. I have never read anything in my life where there was so few lulls and yet so many memorable stories of the shark hunt as the title says, going through customs with a ton of drugs, going to the Kentucky Derby, writing on the culture of the 70's change from the spirit of the 60's. Hunter was truly a wild journalist whose kind may never be witnessed again but whose writing is undeniably a spirit of great American journalism.

  • Jonas
    2019-04-17 11:58

    Some stories, like the eponymous Great Shark Hunt, and the Kentucky Derby one, are absolute classics. However, many of the gems get caught in between long stretches of relatively boring political coverage. I'd recommend it, though, especially if you aren't averse to picking and choosing among the best pieces.

  • Chris Bushman
    2019-04-10 14:52

    I know Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the "Great Work" for which he will be forever remembered and deservedly so. However, Shark Hunt is a kind of Penguin Reader of the Essential HST and as such is the indispensable survey of the glory years.I read this six or eight times between the ages of 19 and 22. If you have a brain ripe for warping, crack this one some time.

  • Greg Strandberg
    2019-03-25 17:55

    This is a good book. I'm not going to pretend it's anything real special. I think it's more someone trying to milk it for all it's worth, actually. And that's just fine by me. Still, going back to Hell's Angels might be a better use of your time.

  • Kylie Poppen
    2019-04-15 12:53

    It's a long-haul to get through...a lot of gonzo for one sitting, but quite a few of the pieces make it well worth it (and hence the 4 stars). Some excellent bits about San Francisco, California, and counterculture along with painstaking political trail journalism and self-deprecation.

  • Gordon
    2019-03-26 17:00

    Probably the book (collection of essays) that made me want to write.

  • Ernest Hogan
    2019-04-10 12:00

    Re-read it as the Trump Era got fired up. I'll probably be re-reading more Thompson in the next few years . . .

  • T
    2019-03-22 17:01

    Having finally finished the 615 page behemoth that is The Great Shark Hunt, I have gotten a lot out of it. It gave fascinating insight into the world of HST, who had such an unusual lifestyle. Spread throughout the book are tales of his ridiculous and surreal adventures that make for an entertaining read. I have gained a respect for journalism and quality of writing in general as a result of feeling the passion and regard HST had for his work, despite the maelstrom chaos and debauchery that permeated his life. The bulk of the collected works are dense pieces that cover HST’s journey following the Nixon/McGovern election campaigns. I found these to be a slightly dull read, but informative none the less. All in all, The Great Shark Hunt is window into the world of a surreal legend leading a surreal life.

  • Downward
    2019-04-08 14:10

    this covers the breadth of thompson's early career, including chunks of his three major works: hell's angels, fear & loathing in las vegas, and fear & loathing on the campaign trail. thompson gets categorized too easily as a drug writer, both praised and dismissed for something that was only a small part of his repertoir. what's more interesting is the divergent and detailed path through which he catalogued the fringes of society: student radicals and brown power, sports fans and richard nixon, the hell's angels and jean claude killy. he's not just a good journalist, he's a singular voice (this means that you shoukd stop trying to imitate him). there's a hell of a lot here, some of it is better than others but it gives you the scope of thompson at the height of his powers.

  • Richard Schwindt
    2019-04-09 14:02

    This remains the best book for accessing the ouvre of Hunter S. Thompson. He remains one of the most unique voices of the late twentieth century, bringing anarchy into the news and substance abuse lit to the masses. He became in the end a parody of himself so it can be forgotten how good he really was. I suspect as time goes on more people will discover Gonzo journalism and of course try to emulate it. The classics are in this book, starting with the wonderful "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved" and his remarkable insights into politicians of his time - up close and personal - like Jimmy Carter, George McGovern and his bete noir, Richard Nixon. There is nothing like a road trip with Hunter. This deserves a place on every digital bookshelf.

  • Nick Mesha
    2019-04-02 20:06

    By far the best Hunter book I have read. With levity and wit, Hunter cuts right to the nut of societies problems, which mostly all still exist today. This book is split into four parts covering his writing from 1960-1970s. Here are some of my favorite passages. "Fear and Loathing in the Bunker". The New York Times, 1974On a need to know basis, the milkman and I understood that I was not among the needy. Nor was he, for that matter. We were both a lot happier just doing what we were told.George Orwell had a phrase for it. Neither he nor Aldous Huxley had much faith in the future of participatory democracy…and the most disturbing revelation that emerged from last year's Watergate hearings was not so much the arrogance and criminality of Nixon's henchmen, but the aggressively totalitarian character of his whole Administration. It is ugly to know just how close we came to meeting Orwell's deadline (1984)."Democracy Dies in Peru, but Few Seem to Mourn it's Passing" National Observer, August 27, 1962If there is one profound reality in Peruvian politics it is the fact that this country has absolutely no democratic tradition, and any attempt to introduce one is going to meet violent opposition. The people who need democracy don't even know what the word means; the people who know what it means don't need it and they don't mind saying so. If the Alliance for Progress requires that democracy in Peru become a fact instead of just a pleasant word, then the Alliance is in for the rough sledding too. You just can't have democracy down here. The people don't understand it.If you want to get anywhere down here, you have to make people respect you.The Peruvian people have been conditioned to understand that there are only two kinds of human beings in this world-the Ins and the Outs, and a vast gulf in between. In Peru, however, the figures don't necessarily add up to the score. The will of the people is subject to the veto of that class for which armies have been the strong right arm ever since armies were invented. To these people, democracy means chaos. It will loosen their grip on the national purse strings, shatter the foundations of society, and send the rabble pouring into the vaults. The old man said, "This is a wonderful plow, but I like my old wooden one and I think I will die with it."This is the nut of the problem, and one of the biggest differences between the United states and not only Brazil but all Latin American countries. Where civil authority is weak and corrupt, the Army is king by default. Even the words, "justice" and "authority" take on different meanings. As George Owell observed, "In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.""Fear and Loathing at the Super Bowl". Rolling Stone #128, February 15, 1973A story about Hunter spending a week in Houston for Super Bowl VIII. When, inspired by The Book of Revelations, he gives a sermon to the entire hotel at 6am.Probably it was a crazed and futile effort to somehow explain the extremely twisted nature of my relationship with God, Nixon and the National Football League: The three had long since become inseparable in my mind, a sort of unholy trinity that had caused me more trouble and personal anguish in the past few months than…and listen to an endless barrage of some of the lamest and silliest swill ever uttered by man or beast…and finally, on Sunday morning about six hours before the opening kickoff, I was racked to the point of hysteria by a hellish interior conflict. Al Davis spoke passionately about "Environmental Determinism". There is no room for mercy or the milk of human kindness in football betting-at least not when you're prepared to get up on the edge with every dollar you own. One-on-one betting is a lot more interesting than dealing with bookies, because it involves strong elements of personality and psychic leverage. Betting against the point spread is a relatively mechanical trip, but betting against another individual can be very complex, if you're serious about it-because you want to know, for starters, whether you're betting against a fool or a wizard, or maybe against somebody who's just playing the fool. I hope to christ I never again succumb to whatever kind of weakness or madness it is that causes a person to endure the incoherent hell that comes with going out to a cold and rainy stadium for three hours on a Sunday afternoon and trying to get involved with whatever seems to be happening down there on that far-below field. Strange Rumblings in Aztlan. Rolling Stone, #81, April 29, 1971"The cops never lose"The police had received an "anonymous report." he said. That "a man with a gun" was inside the Silver Dollar Café. This was the extent of their "probable cause."Their handling of the Salazar case- from the day of his death all the way to the end of the inquest-raised serious doubts about the wisdom of allowing cops to walk around loose on the street.The anglo power structureThis is the point they want to make. It is a local variation on the standard Mitchell-Agnew theme: Don't fuck around, boy-and if you want to hang around with people who do, don't be surprised when the bill comes due-whistling in through the curtains of some darkened barroom on a sunny afternoon when the cops decide to make an example of somebody.

  • Lavender
    2019-03-26 17:03

    Filled with stories about politics and sports, I really should not have liked this book. (I am not a fan of either sports or politics.) Somehow it was still interesting to me, though. Maybe it's the stream of consciousness style of writing or the absurd drug induced mania often described. Anyway, I will likely seek out the next couple if books in the series.

  • Drew
    2019-03-20 20:08

    From the Kentucky Derby to Nixon, Watergate, Las Vegas, South America, drugs of all sorts and Jimmy Carter, there's nothing quite like the insight and analysis of the 60's and 70's by Hunter S. Thompson.

  • Talal
    2019-04-12 18:57

    This is the longest I've taken to finish a book this year. Worth it. Thompson thrives on 'shock and awe'.

  • Steven Farmer
    2019-04-06 17:07

    There will never be another like Hunter S. Thompson. The is a perfect collection of all of writings.

  • Paul Basile
    2019-03-29 17:18

    The good Dr. ranting on subjects ranging from Nixon to Ali. The Watergate pieces are really interesting given today's political climate.

  • Keen
    2019-04-08 12:19

    Fear and Loathing in the bunker, at the super bowl, at the Watergate, in Washington. These are just some of the titles of the stories here, so good to see that they got their monies worth out of that idea. I haven’t read Thompson since the 90s so I was interested to see what it would be like reading him now. At his best he is a passionate, gritty, bold and amusing scribe, who can get under the skin, but he is far from a great writer and I’m not sure it stands up so well now.This is very much a mixed bag. The coverage of Richard Nixon’s campaigns are a little overdone and the all pervading mood of excess and anarchy that informs almost every story definitely grows a little weary, monotonous and predictable after over 600 pages. At worst the Nixon section grows bloated, repetitive and dated, considering it largely refers to an election campaign from over 40 years ago, many of the players are unknown and obscure today so this involves a bit of research from the reader if you want to get a better, informed flavour.He does a really interesting job of tackling the Carter 76 campaign and he also paints some very interesting portraits of Muhammad Ali, Jean Claude Killy, Oscar Acosta and Ralph Steadman amongst others. Overall this is a decent enough read to dip in and out of over time, but there are no shortage of dry, monotonous passages and stories that don’t really go anywhere and will leave you cold.

  • Maureen
    2019-03-23 12:57

    HST's volumes of Gonzo Papers (The Great Shark Hunt is the first of four volumes) can be intimidating to even the avid reader: small-sized text with small margins means each of the nearly 600 pages are packed FULL of those things that make up a book we refer to as words. Luckily, because this is a compilation of essays, it breaks up the text nicely. In either case, a compelling read for sure - I am a huge HST fan so I sort of knew I would like it before reading it, but it's interesting to look back on America's past and hear HST's version of events. While the typical history textbook might gloss over and whitewash such important events like Watergate, HST has lived through them and experienced them and expresses these events in the raw and brutal way that only he can... There are only 2 minor things with the book: the first being that I've read so many of HST's works, a lot of what was included in this compilation was excerpts from books I've already read (which wasn't a huge downfall as it was sort of a refresher, but after a while some of the reading was a bit repetitive for me). Secondly, some of the essays for me were hard to follow when he refers to specific names - if I had lived through those decades, they would probably be more familiar to me, but since I didn't it was kind of like talking about historical/political figures relevant today but 50 years from now. Other than that, a wonderful read that will make you smarter after you finish it!

  • Nick
    2019-04-02 16:20

    What the sub-title means by the "Gonzo Papers" is that this book is a Thompson sampler; It collects dozens and dozens of articles and book exceprts on subjects from covering the Kentucky Derby to race tension in LA following the slaying of a prominent Latino TV reporter to Muhammed Ali's loss to Leon Spinks to Nixon's impeachment and resulting fallout. I really liked this book - I was never bored, which is no easy feat considering the wide breadth of material covered and the sheer length (almost 600 huge pages). In the voice of a less talented author, Thompson's schtick could become tiresome very quickly, but he is so engaging that this never happens. A heist late in the book where he skips out on his massive hotel bill in Mexico and flees back to the US with a drug stache that he and his lawyer decided to consume all of on the plane into Texas is just as frightening and hilarious as anything early in the book . If you have the slightest interest in Thompson's work, I can't think of a better starting place than this. Now one caveat: I read this over a long period of time - I left it in the car and read it when we went out to eat, which means the book was devoured in 50-page chunks. Your milage may vary, but I probably don't recommend sitting down and knocking the whole thing out in one day - like most writers with a very distinctive voice, it's probably better to savor rather than gorge.

  • 1.1
    2019-04-19 14:21

    I will preface this review by stating that I thoroughly enjoyed Songs of the Doomed and loved Generation of Swine, which might not be salient to the average reader, but I have read a bunch of Hunter's stuff and this volume gave me a serious case of deja vu. Notwithstanding, it was enjoyable stuff to reread, but I was hoping for a repeat of the incredibly engrossing sense I got reading Songs for the first time... an impossible wish to fulfill, for any writer, let alone a dead one who prompted a number of rather serious and mildly priapic pop culture boners. Of course, a careful look at Hunter's works reminds one why he was such a big deal, and this collection has some fantastic work (the whole bit about Muhammad Ali is pure gold) including the titular piece which is in every sense a H.S.T. classic. The initiated reader will find some old favorites and familiar ground, but the retreading isn't a chore. The uninitiated will find a great introduction to one of the greatest American writers of his time, who incidentally had an open relationship with drugs and eschewed the kind of mundane, dreary business that made heroes of far more cautious (one wants to say gutless) writers. If you have any interest in the politics of the 60s and 70s, you will want to peruse this book at least once.As always the language is vital and the stories and anecdotes are either funny, unbelievable, or tinged with a kind of deranged energy that this reader finds invigorating. There is simply no decent imitation of H.S.T. (the mere idea of a successful imitator in this day and age seems like lunacy), and it may well be that the ghost of the American Dream departed for good when Hunter took his own life. All that said: make no mistake - there is real journalism in this book, and it is fine stuff, specifically if you want to read about Nixon.

  • Librofilia_it
    2019-04-04 17:06

    Questo è un Hunter S. Thompson meno violento, più riflessivo e più cinico ma soprattutto più incazzato e con una certa propensione al più assoluto menefreghismo nei confronti dei giudizi espressi dall'opinione pubblica sui suoi scritti. Il libro raccoglie gli articoli pubblicati negli anni '70 sulle testate "Rolling Stone", "Playboy" e "New York Times" e gli argomenti trattati sono di varia natura, si parte infatti con il torneo di pesca d'altura di Cozumel sino allo scandalo Watergate, passando per la disfatta di Muhammad Ali o per la finale di Super Bowl, il tutto nel solito stile ironico, selvaggio e anticonformista di Thompson.Questo libro è forse consigliabile a chi possiede già una certa sintonia con Hunter S. Thompson poiché buona la scrittura e la forma, un po' meno accattivanti gli argomenti trattati e tutto questo rischia un po' di annoiare il lettore e farlo precipitare nella paranoia.

  • Kris Ashton
    2019-04-15 16:08

    Few things are more enjoyable than reading an author at the height of his or her powers. Stephen King’s work in the early to mid-1980s comes immediately to mind – it seems to thrum with an energy that his newer stuff, while undoubtedly better crafted, just can’t match. The Great Shark Hunt exhibits Hunter S. Thompson at the peak of his writing prowess. It’s a collection of political essays, the bulk of them from the early to mid-1970s and focusing on Richard Nixon’s campaign for a second term (followed by the astonishing saga that was Watergate). Interspersed are other curiosities like an interview with Muhammad Ali, the titular shark hunt, and Thompson’s infamous report on the Kentucky Derby.It’s one hell of a tome and frankly the political reports become repetitive served up all at once instead of in monthly instalments (as they were originally intended to be read). But as well as being a magnum opus of Thompson’s journalistic style, it also shows a turning point in his attitude to life. It seems Watergate put an end to his infectious lust for life – to his youth you might say – and from then on he became increasingly disillusioned and paranoid. The endgame was Kingdom of Fear (2003), a jaded and miserable dissertation on the George W. Bush administration.A must for any Thompson fan.

  • José
    2019-03-28 15:18

    Asombrosa antología periodística a pesar de la traducción de Anagrama, que esta vez deja mucho que desear. Thompson produce una radiografía contracultural que en sus mejores momentos (La crónica sobre el asesinato del reportero Rubén Salazar por parte de la Policía de Los Ángeles, el perfil del esquiador francés Jean-Claude Killy) arranca la yugular de la sociedad estadounidense aburguesada de la posguerra y en sus momentos menos creativos o coherentes (la pesca-protesta de Marlon Brando, la reseña de la revista El Jefe de Policía) al menos no deja de ser interesante.¿Por qué le puse tres estrellas? Por el desastre que ha hecho Anagrama. En su versión original, La Gran Caza del Tiburón es una antología de cinco tomos recolectando más de 20 años de carrera periodística de Thompson. La edición de Anagrama lo recorta a un simple tomo tomando principalmente textos del primer tomo y un par de otros de los demás sin orden temático, cronológico o -según sospecho- cualitativo. Lo cuál me ha parecido francamente decepcionante de una editorial conocida por traer algunos de los títulos más interesantes y provocadores de la literatura universal del siglo XX a nuestra lengua.De esto también entra la traducción. Entiendo que Anagrama le de prioridad al mercado ibérico y traduzca principalmente en el español europeo, pero hubo ciertas partes que a pesar de no haber leído el trabajo original dejaban entrever un estilo más informal y directo del utilizado y lo de chicanos hablando castellano de Castilla, bueno, ya se imaginarán. Pero no sólo eso, también habían errores demasiados obvios ("dervy", "Okland") que simplemente no tienen cabida en una editorial con la reputación de Anagrama. De ser posible, hay que leer este libro en el inglés.

  • Jonathan Rose
    2019-04-01 12:08

    If you are a fan of the Fear and Loathing books by Hunter Thompson, then many of the essays in this book will excite you just as much. His writing was unique. His writing was him. So if you didn't like him, or the thought of him, or the idea of what he represented then you will not enjoy his writing, simple as that. There is no disassociation here, he IS the stories he wrote, and that was the essence of Gonzo, at least that's how I perceive it. I personally love it, as his work was honest, and, prophetic, particularly his political stories, which are eerily relevant to the mess that has become of American politics. To appreciate Hunter Thompson and his work is to smile and shake you head at just the thought of what he would have wrote about the swindling, swine bastards with curved nails and dull horns that currently sit on thrones of bones.

  • Deborah Schuff
    2019-04-07 14:05

    This first volume of the Gonzo Papers collects articles from the '60's and 70's. I relived Watergate. I learned that LA police racist killings are not a new thing ("Strange Rumblings in Aztlan"). I learned about Beatniks, the Free Speech Movement, Mario Savio, Hells' Angels. I was touched by his memorial piece to his lawyer/friend Oscar Zeta Acosta ("The Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat"). I voted for Jimmy Carter for President in my first election, but I had never known of his Law Day speech (Address by Jimmy Carter on Law Day: University of Georgia, Athens, GA") given while he was still Governor. That speech, spoken mostly off the cuff, makes me even proud of Mr. Carter and his service to this country. HST is an amazing writer, and I'm looking forward to reading the other Gonzo Papers collections.

  • Bob
    2019-03-22 12:13

    The anthology format is very helpful for you to see his development from an ordinary chemical-abusing foreign freelancer into the writer through whose eyes I saw some of the most important images of the '72 presidential campaign,Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 riots in hispanic Los Angeles, the Hell's Angels Hell's Angelsand the Freak Power campaign for Aspen Colorado local offices.

  • Tim Cantrell
    2019-03-22 14:05

    They're all good. I can't keep up all this writing about H.S.T. He's my favorite modern author by far and probably holds top 3 or 5 of all time. He Just Had a way of looking at things and injected a whole new journalism, GONZO! Please give him a chance. He has many books with often a totally different feel altogether while sticking to His GONZO roots. I think once he tried to do a book in a more normal format and as far as I know he never did it again. He has a whole new generation of GONZO journalists to carry the torch. I even dabbled in it my self in college.

  • Aaron Dome
    2019-04-15 15:10

    An excellent compilation of Thompson's work.This collection may be a bit frustrating for fans who have already read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, FAL On the Campaign Trail '72, and Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, because it includes large portions of those works. Most important (and most interesting) is the inclusion of some of Thompson's early work from first half of the 1960s, proving that Thompson could play it relatively "straight" with results just as engrossing as his later "gonzo" works for which he became famous.

  • James
    2019-04-09 19:05

    Thompson was the quintessential voice of the American counter-culture during the 1960's and 70's. Thompson along with Wolfe engineered a new brand of journalism, one that Thompson would refer to as "Gonzo". Rather than just reporting on the story Thompson aimed at reporting on the story of getting the story.Thompson is often mistaken for a drug addled, violent maniac, but he was so much more than that, as he also drank prodigiously. But, in fairness how else could a reporter capture the feel of this period without having a head full of acid and a steady flow of alcohol.The genius of his work, lies in the nervous edginess of his prose and his ability for bizarre and yet vivid similes.This book can be heavy going as it goes into fine detail on an eclectic mix of topics. One thing you will have after reading is not a head of facts but what it felt like to have lived through this unique period of time.

  • Willow Redd
    2019-03-29 13:56

    What can one say about Hunter S. Thompson that hasn't already been said? He was a madman, a genius, and an excellent writer. Collected here are several of his greatest pieces, such as "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved," which show his mastery of the written word and his search for an absolute truth in his writing which would be the birth of Gonzo. This same truth, unfortunately, also created the character of "Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, wild man of the ages" that would eventually burn out a great mind. Well, the steady influx of drugs didn't help there either...This book, this massive tome, collects pieces from throughout Thompson's career. We see some of his first attempts at a writing career with his release from the Air Force and the notice he wrote to explain his unbridled joy to be free. There are his trips to South America, where he sees how his own country treats another and has several near-death experiences. On that front, there are also excerpts from his time with the Hell's Angels, which I know they didn't take too kindly once the pieces and the book were released. Then, of course, there are his undisputed classics of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail. We see him rail against Nixon, cheer when the "snarling beast" is finally out of office, and champion a little-known peanut farmer named Jimmy Carter and the moment Carter blew Hunter and a room full of Southern lawyers away with one speech. The book closes with two pieces written on Muhammad Ali and his loss of the title to Leon Spinks.The only real negative I can mention about this book is that the selected material isn't in any real chronological order. It starts with some of Thompson's more known Gonzo pieces, then about halfway through jumps much earlier in his writing career when he's still playing with his form. Still, an amazing collection from an amazing individual. Everyone should have a little Hunter Thompson in their lives.

  • Kane
    2019-03-30 20:11

    Lots of variety here. Hunter S Thompson got put on a lot of great journalistic assignments and I really enjoyed getting a longer term perspective of how he fit into American culture from the 60s to the 70s. There are great portraits here of Muhammad Ali, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter in particular. Thompson's style was a real boon when it comes to getting the real story, and it's really something just picturing how such an outlandish character could get so close to some of our nation's greatest icons. I'd read four of Thompson's books prior to this, but I think this compilation gave me the best overall understanding of what a generational talent the man was. I never begrudged him his interludes and rambling, because he always managed to be as or more interesting than the subjects he wrote about. I deduct a star because I didn't think a compilation such as this should have included excerpts from his actual books (Hells Angels and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), but that's a small nitpick. Overall, I would highly recommend this book.

  • David
    2019-04-20 19:59

    Some of the best writing ever published by Doctor Gonzo can be found in Volume 1 of his Gonzo Papers, The Great Shark Hunt. This volume of work contains a wide variety of snippets from Thompson’s writing career, from the span of 1962 to 1978.Let me begin by saying that Thompson is one of my favorite authors, and I have read nearly all of his books, including one of the other volumes in the Gonzo Papers collection. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a great piece of work, and is probably the most recognizable for the average person. But this collection is so thorough and impressive that I would recommend anybody to give it a read, regardless of their knowledge of Thompson.The Great Shark Hunt begins with coverage of the Kentucky Derby, including a piece that Ralph Steadman collaborated on - the first meeting of Thompson and Steadman, who became a unique illustrator for later works by Thompson. Both men essentially drank too much during the derby and made fools of themselves. But the writing is incredibly fresh - even today in 2010, nearly half a century after the original event took place.The second portion of the book is a rehash of Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, which I would recommend to anyone interested in politics. Most of the material in this second portion is simply a reprint of that book, but it was interesting to read it again after having just survived the first year of Obama’s presidential term.Following that are some interesting thoughts on a variety of topics, including society in South America, the 1965 version of Haight-Ashbury, or “Hashbury,” and the nonstudent movements at America’s universities. I found the piece on Hashbury extremely enlightening for me personally, because it sheds light on what Haight-Ashbury was like before the Summer of Love. After absorbing so much information about 1967, it was interesting to see what the area was like beforehand.The last section of the book covers shark hunting, Jimmy Carter, a reprint of some sections of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and coverage of Muhammed Ali. The shark hunting story was very interesting and raw. If even half of what Thompson writes actually happened, it’s amazing that he and his cohorts escaped alive. You’ll just have to read it to understand the gravity of the situation.If you’ve liked any of Thompson’s work before, you should already know that this will be an enjoyable book for you to read. If you haven’t, I can honestly advise this as the first book you should read. It is a bit long, and not as accessible as Las Vegas or The Rum Diary, but it has more depth.

  • Vikram
    2019-03-28 18:19

    Hunter S Thompson pioneered 'gonzo' journalism, where the journalist is never a passive observer in the story, but indeed appears in the thick of it, oftentimes as a provocateur. The Great Shark Hunt is a collection of such 'gonzo' stories, from the early 1960's to the late 1970's. Included in this volume is 'The Kentucky Derby is decadent and depraved', the first story where the term made its first appearance. Chronologically, the earlier writings in the book deal predominantly with cultures we would consider outside the mainstream, including hippies, Hells Angels and disadvantaged hispanics in LA. The middle section of the book primarily concerns itself with Richard Nixon, whom Thompson seemed to have a visceral hatred of. The Nixon/McGovern campaigns, Watergate and the ensuing chaos in Washington are vividly portrayed by Thompson. The last section of the book deals with the late 70s, and is almost anti-climactic after the highs and lows of Watergate. It contains his impressions of Carter (mostly favorable) as well as an interview with Mohammed Ali post-loss to Leon Spinks. The writing is unpretentious and direct, and places you right in the middle of the action. If you are looking for objective, dispassionate writings about the 60s and 70s, then this book is probably not for you.

  • Phil
    2019-04-06 12:19

    The book is a collection of his essays from the 70's. Thompson's writing style has changed the way I look at things now. He doesn't have a filter between his brain and fingers and that's where he shines. Yeah, although he uses caricatures to describe the filth, drunkenness and debauchery that happens on the infield of the Kentucky Derby (and thereby ruins the whole air of the event), it's a new way (back in the 70's) of journalism. so deal. Thompson hated Dick Nixon and he let the president and the people know that when he wrote op/eds for Rolling Stone during those tumultuous years. So the majority of the book is about fear and loathing on the campaign trail (there's another book of his devoted to the entire campaign). I did not finish the book because I don't like politics and I get easily confused by it. But I read about half of the book, through several chapters of political upheaval. Overall, I enjoyed it. Now I'm going to try and find Ralph Steadman's book. He was Thompson's cohort and artist throughout his career and added more life to Thompson's fantastic work.

  • LeslieGolden
    2019-04-03 15:06

    A collection of Hunter's Best work that stands on its own. It includes excerpts from some of HST's longer works (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, The Hell's Angels, etc.) and reprints of some of his incredible essays. Hunter Thompson's view of the world always contained a combination of moral outrage, amazement and sardonic humor but his eloquence and integrity made each essay a treasure. It seems strange to associate integrity with this writer considering his reputation but Thompson always wrote about life exactly as he saw it, from seeking and revealing the worst of humanity in "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved" and "Strange Rumblings in Azatlan" to the hilarious account of following Jimmy Carter and his Secret Service agents through a Law Day function in Athens, Georgia and the genuinely mournful recounting of his friend, Oscar Acosta's disappearance in "The Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat." Hunter never shies away from his friend's faults but Hunter made it a policy never to shy away from anything when he wrote. He went for the extremes, grabbed for high, bright edges of reality in every experience and ignored all the margins. It was his way of articulating the truth, as he saw it. No word was off-limits, no person beyond reproach, if that was part of the story. Consequently, his writing offended almost all of the right people; the rest were offended by his existence.If the world holds less potential since Thompson's passing, it is only because his words enriched it during his life. The Great Shark Hunt (another great essay)is a mother-lode of those riches. Enjoy.

  • Trevor
    2019-03-25 18:55

    From his adventures South of the Border, to his mind-numbing dealings with politics in the 60s and 70s, Thompson offers a viewpoint not often revisited in historical textbooks, biographies or journals. Hunter S. has a brilliant tendency to completely remove the reader from her time and place, and bring her along, right next to him, bumping and grinding through these historical events. You can almost taste the cigarette smoke and hear his teeth rattling.My favorite article, by far, was about the death of a prominent Mexican journalist by the hands of the Los Angeles Police Dept and the concurrent rise of 'Chicano' civil rights. Hunter's skill is in his ability to completely immerse himself in a story, trying to comprehend the whole spectrum, while at the same time providing his absolutely biased opinions. This piece of history was almost forgotten because Hunter was one of the very few 'gringo' journalists that was able to accurately report on the Mexican-American/California Police conflict. White journalists, at that time, were shunned by the Chicano community and, frankly, were not interested in offering the viewpoints of Mexicans living as Americans. Hunter helped to change this by immersing himself in the Mexican community and reporting on the confounding evidence offerred by the Police.Thank you Hunter S. for offering a very clear, drug-tinged window into history not-too-long-forgotten.

  • Adam
    2019-03-23 18:20

    Here we have a crash-course in Thompson from the 1960s and '70s, including:--The first "Gonzo Journalism" article, a piece on the Kentucky Derby that introduces the collaboration with Ralph Steadman and seems to hold the origins of the "Fear and Loathing" moniker.--Excerpts from his famous books "Hell's Angels," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," and "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72."--The article recounting the events leading up to "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," explaining Thompson's relationship with Oscar Acosta--A "tribute" to the vanished Acosta some years later.--A post-mortem on Thompson's run for sheriff.--The Doc's exhaustive take on Watergate (including the prescient comment that all political scandals after Nixon's would have the suffix "-gate" appended to them.--An early profile of the hippie culture in San Francisco.--Even earlier articles that are remarkable for being largely unremarkable.--Thompson's perspective on Jimmy Carter, and Carter's "Law Day" speech.In short, if you're a fan of Thompson or are at all interested in the sociopolitical climate of the late 1960s and 1970s, you'll probably find the book fascinating.