I’m still not sure how I was able to catch it. All I
know is that Hunter Thompson, seated behind the table in preparation for his
book signing, had reached into his glass of who knows what, pulled out an ice cube,
and flung it at me as I waited in line to meet him. My reflexes took over and I
snatched it right out of the air, earning a nod of approval from the good
doctor. How I had managed to catch it, I’ll never know. Why had he thrown it at
me in the first place? Well, he was Hunter S. Thompson.
It takes a lot to get me into a major city, but when
I read that Hunter S. Thompson would be in San Francisco to sign his new book,
I knew I had to be there. I arrived about five hours before the published time
of the event, and was, of course, first in line. I soon realized that I was
absurdly early and left the bookstore to wander around Golden Gate Park. I
returned nearly two hours later and once again stood in front of the bookstore.
I was still first in line.
That Hunter Thompson was a major influence on my
writing is no secret. I’ve admired his masterful use of humor, and especially
his brilliance in always choosing the exact right word, since I first read one
of his books in high school. I was also bright enough to recognize early in my
writing career that I would not be another Hunter Thompson, and so I shouldn’t
try to imitate him, as so many others had. Besides, I didn’t really like
alcohol very much, never fired a gun of any kind and used illicit drugs only with
great caution. No, the world already had its Hunter Thompson, and we are all
the better for it.
In which military branch did Thompson serve?
Who was Thompson brutally beaten by in 1966?
Where was Hunter Thompson born?
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Glen Ellen, California
Which Thompson book has the subtitle, “A Savage Journey to the Heart of the
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail
Which article is considered the first example of “Gonzo” journalism?
“The Great Shark Hunt”
“The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved”
“Freak Power in the Rockies”
“Strange Rumblings in Aztlan”
Who played the Hunter Thompson character in the film, Where the Buffalo Roam?
Thompson played himself.
Finish the Thompson quote: “Buy the ticket; ______ ______ ______”
After his death, a piece of paper was found in Thompson’s typewriter with which
word on it?
What exactly was Hunter Thompson a “doctor” of?
He received an honorary degree from the University of Kentucky
Thompson’s frequent illustrator
Thompson’s literary alter ego
Victim of an accidental Thompson shooting
Thompson’s convicted drug dealer
Thompson served in the AIR FORCE, where he got his first professional writing
job, as a sports editor. He was recommended for an early discharge by his
commanding officer, who wrote, “This airman, though talented, will not be
guided by policy.”
In 1965 Thompson wrote an article about the HELL’S ANGELS, and received several
offers to write a book. He rode with the gang for about a year, but the Angels
began to suspect that Thompson was using them for his own gain. They demanded a
share of his earnings, and Thompson’s subsequent “stomping” was used an
effective marketing tool for the book.
In the Air Force Thompson was stationed near Fort Walton, and lived at times in
both Glen Ellen and San Juan. He was, however, born in LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY.
FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS began as an assignment from Sports Illustrated to write a 250 word caption for a photo. It was
later published as a book-length article in Rolling
In 1970 a magazine called Scanlan’s
Monthly would publish an article by Thompson called, “THE KENTUCKY DERBY IS
DECADENT AND DEPRAVED.” Its manic style and incorporation of the writer as a
character in the story would mark it as the first example of what would later
be called Gonzo Journalism. The term, incidentally, was first used to describe
Thompson’s writing by Bill Cardoso, editor of the Boston Globe, who in a letter
to Thompson praised his Kentucky Derby piece as, “pure gonzo.”
In 1980 the movie, Where the Buffalo Roam
was released, based on the writings of Hunter Thompson. Thompson was played by
BILL MURRAY. The two became close friends, although Thompson hated the film, as
did most critics. Johnny Depp played Thompson years later in 1998’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Buy the ticket, TAKE THE RIDE. This is also the title of a 2006 documentary
The police report of Thompson’s suicide stated that a piece of paper was fund
in his typewriter. On it was written the date, February 22, 2005, and the
single word COUNSELOR.
Thompson, who did not graduate high school, neither earned a doctorate nor did
he ever receive an honorary degree. He simply referred to himself as “doctor”
in some of his writing and it stuck. He did however, purchase a doctorate from
the Universal Life Church in the 1960’s.
Raoul Duke is a character who appears in much of Thompson’s writing, and
THOMPSON’S LITERARY ALTER EGO. He is a
hedonist who consumes remarkable amounts of whatever drugs happens to be
available. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
was first published with Raoul Duke named as the author, although the first
mention of him appeared a few years earlier in Hell’s Angels. The Doonesbury
comic strip character Uncle Duke is based on Hunter Thompson.