well, i finished this book about half an hour ago and feel somehow sad, because i could have gone on reading for some more days, it`s a fantastic collection of thompson`s work, sure in some parts reading can get tought while he keeps on rattling about things no one except him will ever understand, but next to the exzerpts out of his "full books" like fear and loathing in las vegas as well as on the campaign trail `72 and hells angels, there are some nice stories he`s written for several newspapers and magazines. i can say it for sure, that the short story the great shark hunt, is one of the funniest collection of stone crazy thoughts i ever read. enjoy this trip, peace.
I have read most of Hunter's work through the years. From the articles in Rolling Stone & Playboy, to his many books ,if you can only own one Thompson book, this is the one. Brilliant & funny the best of the best. Its sad that the drugs that made the genius have now destroyed it. But if you want to see Thompson at the top of his game this is the book for you.
Merely the latest in the long line of exceptionally talented goons who, because they are totally incompatiable with society and thus have been kicked out, are the only ones truly capable of writing about our society. Lucretius, Juvenal, Chaucer, Swift... the list is endless. The Great Shark Hunt is possibly the finest compendium of satire by a modern author, because, let's face it, proper Gonzo literature is fiction, and apparently that is the best way to tell the truth. Furthermore, it is journalism of the highest quality, that seems to relate an eyewitness account in the most hair-raising manner, and whose level of grammatical perfection is matched by few. That Thompson has gone over the top in attempting to outrage as many people as possible, is undeniable, but this collection reflects a time when such behaviour was ourrageous; maybe now we are indifferent, but The Great Shark Hunt should still be an inspiraton to us all.
"Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" is his most famous book, and rightly so. But that was just one notorious blip in a long and notorious career. "Shark Hunt" collects Thompson's best work from the 60s and 70s, which is when the man was at his best, smartest and funniest. Read here his profound and alarming stories on Ali, Jimmy Carter, death and distaster in East LA, the Kentucky Derby, wars, riots, booze, himself, himself and himself. This is the stuff that made HST one of the greatest and most unconventional (and influential) journalists of his time. To understand Hunter S. Thompson and his work, the place to turn is not "Las Vegas," but here. The only complaint is that the Ralph Steadman drawings that accompanied the stories when they first appeared in Rolling Stone are sadly missing. A new special edition is probably in order...
Thompson always seemed most at home with the guerilla tactics he used to re-define journalism. These brief attacks at all that Western society holds sacred demonstrate the iconoclastic impact that Thompson can have when he's at his best. I think this book's crowning jewel would be Thompson's travels through South America. It is a startlingly sympathetic look at social conditions and ways of life by an author who too often has come to be thought of as an absurd hedonist. My one minor complaint would be that I don't share Thompson's fascination with Nixon, and I found the excerpts from "...Campaign Trail," a bit tedious. They are, however, by no means unreadable, and this book is definitely a recommendation.
This book was FUN. It was the first Thompson book I'd ever read, and is now precariously held together with Scotch tape- but it has been well used and well loved. The Good Doctor's writing has gotten a little flimsy as of late, at least in comparison to these fantastic works on everything from the Hippies of Haight-Ashbury to the Kentucky Derby, but it is still strong and is still fun. That's the best part about Hunter Thompson- he may be a psycho but he's OUR psycho, and no matter what degradation of the human psyche he's detailing he still manages to make you laugh and shake your head at the same time.
The book is incredible, the first Thompson I was exposed to was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas the motion picture, which was incredible. Then I read the book and it blew my mind even further. Now with the First volume of the Gonzo Papers I can say that Thompson has one of the most incredible minds of our time. Hes truly a treasure of the 20th century and will continue to be in the 21st. Hes an inspiration. A true individual. I recommend HST's writing to all who enjoy the eccentric over whats known as "normal."
The work contained in this volume shows definitively what made Thompson one of the great journalists of his time. From the early reports from his various journeys onward, he proves a master of prose second to none. If you have only read his recent work and wonder what the hubbub is all about, you must read this. The work contained here makes the vacancy and shallowness of his latest scribblings all the more tragic and pathetic. But for truly great American writing, his is the place. Thompson truly was the best of his time.
There are very few books I'd give a 10 to, but this is one of them. You can either overdose and read it all in one go (and many of you will) or occasionally snack on its lunacy.
Thompson lost it years ago - mainly because he was so adored he didn't really have to make an effort anymore - but the contents of The Great Shark Hunt show him at his best, when instead of being content to comment on the world from far off in Woody Creek, he went out, grabbed it by the scruff of its neck, and shoved drugs down the beast's maw
Before the world became jaded and hopeless, before the good doctor became a world-renown celebrity, before he was regularly given free women and/or drugs, before he became a caricature in the movies and of himself, Hunter S. Thompson was The Man. And this book will show you why. The pre-Gonzo South American pieces may seem at first pedestrian compared to his most famous works but they at least show the compassion and hope the man had.