Kingdom of Fear : Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century

Thompson, Hunter S.

Published by Simon & Schuster
ISBN 10: 0684873230 / ISBN 13: 9780684873237
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0684873230 1st edition, 1st printing with full number line. Hardcover with Dust Jacket. ~Very Good. Light shelf wear to covers/corners; satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Brilliant, provocative, outrageous, and brazen, Hunter S. Thompson's infamous rule breaking -- in his journalism, in his life, and under the law -- changed the shape of American letters, and the face of American icons. Kingdom of Fear traces the course of Thompson's life as a rebel -- from a smart-mouthed Kentucky kid flaunting all authority to a convention-defying journalist who came to personify a wild fusion of fact, fiction, and mind-altering substances. Call it the evolution of an outlaw. Here are the formative experiences that comprise Thompson's legendary trajectory alongside the weird and the ugly. Whether detailing his exploits as a foreign correspondent in Rio, his job as night manager of the notorious O'Farrell Theatre in San Francisco, his epic run for sheriff of Aspen on the Freak Power ticket, or the sensational legal maneuvering that led to his full acquittal in the famous 99 Days trial, Thompson is at the peak of his narrative powers in Kingdom of Fear. And this boisterous, blistering ride illuminates as never before the professional and ideological risk taking of a literary genius and transgressive icon.

Review: Kingdom of Fear is billed as a memoir, but in essence, all of Hunter S. Thompson's books could fit into this category since his life and work have always been tightly bound together by a mythology largely of his own making. (After all, this is the man who, before earning a single dollar as a writer, began meticulously saving a copy of every letter he ever sent.) Still, this is certainly an unconventional memoir, but then what would you expect from the father of gonzo journalism? In these pages Thompson manages to dig deep and reveal a few "loathsome secrets" without offering the kind of personal details he has always avoided. His childhood, for instance, is basically summed up in a sentence: "I look back on my youth with great fondness, but I would not recommend it as a working model to others." He does, however, reflect upon his considerable legacy, including his well-known, and admittedly exaggerated, use of controlled substances ("The brutal reality of politics alone would probably be intolerable without drugs"), as well as offer assessments of his own work, such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ("It's as good as The Great Gatsby and better than The Sun Also Rises").

In this collection of twisted parables and outlaw adventures, Thompson writes about his early run-ins with agents of authority and the lessons learned; his stint in the Air Force and the beginning of his journalism career; his unsuccessful, though illuminating, bid for Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado in 1970 as the Freak Power candidate; the casualties and unintended consequences thus far in the War on Terror; and numerous examples of present-day injustice and hypocrisy--all with his characteristic mix of brutal frankness laced with humor. He also offers his own take on state of the Union: "The prevailing quality of life in America--by any accepted methods of measuring--was inarguably freer and more politically open under Nixon than it is today in this evil year of Our Lord 2002." Thompson continues to make even the most deadly serious subject matter endlessly entertaining. --Shawn Carkonen

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Title: Kingdom of Fear : Loathsome Secrets of a ...
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good

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