Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Savage Journey

Rereading The Curse of Lono, it struck me that all my favorite Hunter S. Thompson works are actually, at heart, travel stories.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved, The Great Shark Hunt, his National Observer newspaper pieces from South America.
Even Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail is as much about life on the campaign trail as it is about politics.
Compare those works to Better than Sex, his book about the 1992 election, which he seemingly composed by working the phones from Owl Farm. Better than Sex isn't.
HST was still capable of writing with tremendous velocity, even when going nowhere. But I think that, to produce his best work, he needed the road.

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