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am 24. Juli 2000
Within the context of HST's work this definitely represents the low end. Having read most of his books it is painfully apparent that The Good Doctor wrote this one he was operating somewhere close to the nadir of his creative powers. Which is sad, because HST has chiseled his initials onto that mystic tablet of the cultural subconscious as one of the great voices of the twentieth century. You just wouldn't know it from reading Better Than Sex. When the folks at the end of the next century look back at ours to weed through the one-sided histories, buried testimonies, and hazy lies so they might weigh and measure the "truths" of our time, Thompson's version will be one that rings true.
Sweeping criticisms and grandiose statements aside, if you like Thompson after having read some of his other stuff, especially the political writing, then you will enjoy this book. It is still a fun book to read, its just not at the same level as his good stuff.
There are occasional bright points, notably the picture of HST with James Carville and the bit about HST resembling Bill Clinton's childhood nemesis, Tommy Stukka, which is mercilessly funny (starts around p. 136).
In short: if you are new to Thompson, buy something else (FLLV, Great Shark Hunt, Generation of Swine) ; but, if you familiar with the Good Doctor and his particular brand of journalism, meaning you know what you're getting into when you open up an HST book, then buy this book and read it and for so doing your world will be better, or at least a little less savage.
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am 28. Dezember 1998
Hunter S. Thompson - self proclaimed freedom fighter for individual rights; staunch defender against intrusive, abusive government; and protector of personal privacy (or so he says) - thought , word, deed, and desire.
At the same time (and somehow) he sides with the politics of the elite, and the arrogant, and the "do-gooders" of the liberal party as an political force which most closely represents his views, i.e., protector of those freedoms.
If he was true to his own rhetoric, Thompson whould be preaching, "less government, not more!" (a conservative party ideal) ... instead, I believe that his book, "Better Than Sex : Confessions of a Political Junkie," is a insidious Trojan Horse for the ideals of modern liberalism. Regarding modern liberalism, Robert H. Bork in his book, "Slouching towards Gomorrah" exposes those ideals, i.e., to promote concurrent "radical individualism" and "radical egalitarianism" within society. Thus, Thompson is, in fact, a poster child for the "modern liberalism" movement (regardless of any denials he might make)
Unquestionably, Thompson, as a political mercenary, is negative and cynical ... and he will surely leave this world an unhappy and embittered man.
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am 14. April 2000
I absolutely love the writing of HST. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is, without a doubt, one of the most important books of the 20th century. On the Campaign Trail '72 somehow managed to get me interested in politics. Hell's Angels made me want to buy a motorcycle and rip down the california coast at midnight. But...Better than Sex is a dull, vapid, anorexic account of a dull, vapid, anorexic campaign. Approximately half of the 240 page book is made up of scribbled-out faxes and strange illustrations. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I would much rather read 240 pages of non-stop HST ranting. For whatever reason, the Dr. has elected to use the phrases "Ho, ho" and "bubba" at least once on every page, or so it seems. I've read other reviews that state that HST has lost his edge, that a lifetime of rum, cocaine, mescaline and adrenochrome has begun to catch up with him, but I hesitate to write Him off as a aging has-been quite yet. But after reading "The Proud Highway", one must wonder how HST himself would have reacted to a book such as "Better than Sex" if he were still a money-hungry book reviewer.
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am 9. Mai 1997
Just like other rock n' rollers of his time, Thompson has served up a watered-down version of his original intensity. Thompson heaps his usual amount of scorn on the deserving pols of the '92 campaign, but he doesn't give us the real feel of what was out there. This is probably because most of the book seems to center on faxes he received and finding a way to use the word "bubba" on every page. Thompson used to put substance behind his politician roasts. Now he just roasts.
Pete Townsend used to lose chunks of flesh off his fingers as he played guitar. He is too old for that type of thing now and the Who aren't as good because of it.
In much the same way, Hunter S. Thompson has opted to stay at home next to his fax machine instead of putting his teeth to the asphalt and giving us the wonderful literary journalism he may or may not be capable of putting out anymore
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am 31. Oktober 1999
I picked this book up because I've gotten really sick of politics these last few years, and I was hoping that instead of the battling candidates I could get some nice fresh acidic commentary. I was not disappointed. This book had its weak spots- too many faxes, not enough writing- but the best part about it was he didn't have any preferences towards one candidate or another. Thompson hated everybody. The world needs more of him and people like him, especially in another Godforsaken election year. He called George Bush Sr. a "raving human sacrifice". I can't wait to see what he says about Junior. Keep it up Hunter- we'll forgive you a few little slipups.
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am 22. Mai 1996
OK, so sex is not what it used to be, and Dr. Thompson
is getting older, but has sex really sunk below politics
among the guilty pleasures? For shame. Dr. Thompson opens
a vein for us on the titanic '92 battle of Clinton and Bush,
which is not exactly the same Good and Evil slugfest as last
seen in his '72 classic of McGovern vs. Nixon (Fear and
Loathing on the Campaign Trail). But Dr. T. can still work
up a feeble flow of bile for both Billy-Bob Clinton and
Georgie-Porgie Bush. But be warned, Stephanopolous is
no Maurice Stans either. Dr.Thompson, please, gather your
bile and let loose, the evil is crawling up your shirt,
stamp it out in '96!
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am 5. April 2000
This is definetely up there with Hunter's best, which puts it up there with America's best. This is not as meticulously detailed as his "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72" which makes it a quicker read.
The pictures, faxes, photos are psychotic in true Hunter fashion. How he's never been sued for libel is beyond me.
Hunter S. Thompson is probably the most intelligent and most dishonest journalist in the history of America (And that's saying something).
Like most of his work, this is a total pack of lies. But god, it's good reading.
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am 15. Februar 2000
This probably won't be a very helpful or reliable review, since I'm one of Thompson's biggest fans, so I'd give everything that spawned from his twisted, brilliant mind five out of five. But anyway, I'll do my best...
No, it's not as good as Fear & Loathing On The Campaign Trail 72; yes, it has too many barely legible faxes; yes, he doesn't seem to bite as much as he used to; but it's still a very funny and scathing book.
A must for me, at least, although you might want to start with On The Campaign Trail 72 if you haven't read it already.
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am 3. Dezember 1997
I think some of the other readers have been a little unkind to poor old Hunter. So he's lost some of the venom he was famous for, but he still writes a compelling tale about a subject I normally find exceptionally dry - American politics. This book is worth reading for the eulogy to Richard Nixon alone.
Hunter's teeth may not be as threatening as they were in '72, but I still think you NEED to read this book. Hunter is, after all, a professional - and someone's gotta pay for his drug habit!
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am 24. Juli 1998
I like the way he rates the candidates. He thinks Clinton is a spineless jellyfish, but hey, he's running against Bush, so he can't be that bad. He also goes off on Clinton's whole "I didn't inhale thing," Thompson let's you know that he did inhale, and liked it. Thompson is a very talented writer who knows how to jump into the crap, and this book is a clear indication. He never wanted to get into this campaign, but for him politics is an addiction that he can't kick.
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