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5.0 von 5 Sternen Tracking the rise of gonzo, 1. Juli 2000
Von 
Robert Stribley (NY, NY) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Hunter S. Thompson shows up in the strangest places. He recently popped up in the news when he was excused from serving jury duty in the drunk-driving case against singer John Denver. He probably would have made a sympathetic juror, as charges recently were dropped against Thompson himself. Charged with assault for dousing a theater security manager with a fire extinguisher, Thompson explained that he only was demonstrating how he often closes his public speaking appearances -- by spraying an extinguisher over his audience. If you know anything about Thompson, you know this is standard fare.
Thompson is the creator and sole practitioner of "gonzo journalism." One dictionary defines "gonzo" as "exaggerated, highly subjective, and unconventional in style, esp. in journalism." A more accurate definition might be "any writings, shaped under the influence of controlled substances, esp. by Hunter S. Thompson."
And those writings are taken quite seriously. Modern Library, those arbiters of literary good taste, recently validated Thompson's work by issuing his seminal 1971 work Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as a world classic.
Now comes The Proud Highway, a collection of Thompson's early correspondence. Since these were dubbed "The Fear and Loathing Letters, Volume 1," we can assume his more recent correspondence will eventually make it into bookstores, also.
Thompson is the writer's writer; he honed his craft on booze and sleepless nights spent writing letters during his stint as sports editor for an Air Force paper, the Command Courier. In those early letters, the voice we've come to know and love (or hate) steadily emerges: strident, incisive, charming. His first missives are fired at friends and family. But as time passes, he writes to an increasingly larger circle -- incompetent manufacturers, pesky creditors, editors, and various literary giants, including William Faulkner, Tom Wolfe, and Norman Mailer.
Thompson lives his life with uncommon relish, and as his friend William J. Kennedy has said, "Life happens to him in ways alien to most mortals." If his defining characteristic is his maverick style, his rare philosophical musings reflect that style. An ardent fan of Ayn Rand in his 20s, Thompson isn't just individualistic; he's a conscious adherent to the philosophy of individualism. After reading Rand's The Fountainhead in 1957, he writes a friend, "Although I don't feel it's necessary to tell you how I feel about the principle of individualism, I know that I'm going to have to spend the rest of my life expressing it one way or another." Thoughtful words for the man often dismissed as "that substance-abusing gonzo journalist."
Two years later, he distills his philosophy in terms more familiar to his readers: "I damn well intend to keep on living the way I think I should," he writes. Thompson has unquestionably remained true to that informal creed. He has always refused a license to wield his unruly intelligence.
Ironically, at one point, Thompson writes that he's "always thought that letters were a very poor medium to convey any sort of serious meaning." Readers may disagree. Aspiring writers will appreciate The Proud Highway for chronicling one young writer's unorthodox ascent. Fans will appreciate the letters for what they are: vintage Thompson.
--Robert Stribley (9/13/97)
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The man who made Old Crow Famous!, 1. August 2000
I have just got through reading this collection of Letters and found it to be worthwhile reading. I received the book as a gift and was not aware of a Fear and Loathing Letters Volume. I found this to be a highway of following (if anyone possibly could) and watching Thompson grow as a writer. While at the Air Force Base working as an editor of the Sports Section, he wrote to his family and friends as well as ex-girlfriends. Probably because he was away from home for the first time.
As the years go on the more this book became more interesting. Between following all over this country we follow him to South America were some of his best articles came from. I have read Hell's Angels and The Great Shark Hunt and found this to tie in with those books. Through his consumption of Old Crow and god only knows what else, we see letters to LBJ, various magazine editors, and Mr. Semonin and start to see the Hunter we all know and love to come out. The thing that makes him "likeable" is his blunt honesty, since he calls them as he sees them. He is intelligent and knows a lot about everything. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read Thompson!
If anything this book offers a chance to see what makes this amazing mind tick!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The compelling pre-gonzo mind at its finest, 7. Januar 1999
Perhaps, as Hunter Thompson suggests in The Proud Highway, people really do take more of a liking to his letters and not his serious work. This statement is easily endorsed by the fine contents that surround it. This is the perfect book for a typical Thompson fan, a collection of eccentric one plus page letters that suit a person with a short attention span. His sylistic prose is best received in short bursts, such as essays, articles, and letters. The letter format also allows us to see the evolution and experimentation Thompson has endured in his life. This pre-gonzo collection is Thompson as himself, not the "Raoul Duke" character he has personified in the past. While Hunter seems incapable of writing anything unautobiographical, the fact remains he is far more qualified to tell this story than any hack biographer seeking to romanticize and sensationalize Thompson's myth for a profit. The Proud Highway tells Thompson's story in a much more engaging fashion than the biographies, though there is no lack of effort and emulation in any of these books. This book should be required reading for aspiring authors.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen bat country?? this is total mayhem!, 17. April 1999
Von Ein Kunde
After perusing 'fear'--and being totally enthralled; I picked up 'highway'. Being familiar with others by HST: 'shark hunt', 'swine'; you know the rest; I decided to finally find out about the man behind these outrageous tales of excess and rebellion. Indeed, I was not disappointed. I found, by reading these simple, yet extremely revealing odes to various family members, friends, rivals, presidents, etc., that there is a definate appeal to gaining the insight of HST as a person: someone you might meet on the street; penniless, desperate, but oh wow, how very interesting. I highly recommend the reading of this proud (as it were)showing of nonconformism; if only because that I too believe that life as we live it could be so much more--if only we dared to push the bounds; to entertain the thought that every day can very well be a new, exciting (if not prosperous and gainful)enterprise...
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5.0 von 5 Sternen I bet Oprah won't put her label on this one., 29. Mai 1999
Von 
William A. Marsh (Middletown, DE USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Raise this book high and salute the will of a man to lay his life out in unsanitized words for all to see. This is a book that proves that the pen is not only mightier than the sword but leaves scars that cut deeper and last much longer. Not since Jack London's "Martin Eden" have I read such a terrifying account of a writer struggling against the forces in society that sneer and wag their self-righteous fingers at honesty, and even more so the will of the messenger to reveal it. Part anarchist and full iconoclast, Thompson takes on all comers from Hell's Angels to Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and especially the low-life agents and editors that would steal thier mother's walking stick to fend off a writer coming after his (or her) due. If you enjoy Thompson's work this is a must read.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Best Read of That Summer, 16. Mai 2000
Von 
Thanks to a remote control surfing accident, I landed on THE CHARLIE ROSE SHOW the Friday night before Father's Day, the night Rose attempted to interview the sixty year-old Thompson. Strangely enough, I received this book of letters two days later as a gift. This collection proves to be a unique kind of auto-biography in which the reader witnesses the development of a much-underrated prose stylist from his high school years to the late 1960's.
More than just "gonzo" hyperbole, the contents of this volume are entertaining, charming, forthright, and at times prophetic--an early sixties prediction that Reagan would one day be president, for example. I would not have thought that I would say this, but it was the best read of that summer.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Must read for all people in their 20s, 31. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
This book will give you hope. Make you realize you are not lost in the passage known as "youth."
Thought it was a collection of letters...this book is much,much more. And on top of that, you get to see a great writer " find his voice" along the way. This collection of letters turns into the Great American Novel: All things are possible in America but getting there is seemingly impossible. This is an incredible story of perserverance of a person's dream against all odds. If I had read it at 23,my dream would have come true. Interestingly, I read it as my vacation book last summer. The day I returned to work,I was fired. A white male at age 47, this book gave me the courage to get thru the tough months ahead.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen the evolution of gonzo, 16. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
After sifting through three autobiographies of Hunter S Thompson, it's about time we get the real perspective of the man behind the myth. Through Thompson's letters, beginning in 1955 and working through 1967, we get watch him grow into one of the most controvesial Journalists of the 20th Century. Since this is only the first volume, one can only wait patiently for the second to arrive and enlighten us to what he was thinking in 1968.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen An emotional journey for one man's modern enlightenment, 18. Mai 1999
Hunter S. Thompson has done it again. Not unlike "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Proud Highway" is a car ride through lost landscapes with the radio on full blast and a bottle of booze between your legs. This wild ride through Thomson's "glory" years and capricious ways envokes the readers sense of both self and life. A must read for the open minded.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen blow by blow account of a writers journey, 6. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Jeez. I thought ol' Hunter had laid down and died but up comes this ball bustin'account of the apprenticeship, knocks and blows that led to the good doctor. he lives, grows and forms until there is only the alter of GONZO to prostrate oneself before. To Hunter, You outlived that twisted bastard Nixon, I hope you outlive them all.
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