Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone

  • by Hunter S. Thompson
  • Narrated by Phil Gigante
  • 17 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

“Buy the ticket, take the ride,” was a favorite slogan of Hunter S. Thompson, and it pretty much defined both his work and his life. Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone showcases the roller-coaster of a career at the magazine that was his literary home.Jann S. Wenner, the outlaw journalist’s friend and editor for nearly thirty-five years, has assembled articles that begin with Thompson’s infamous run for sheriff of Aspen on the Freak Party ticket in 1970 and end with his final piece on the Bush-Kerry showdown of 2004. In between is Thompson’s remarkable coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign — a miracle of journalism under pressure — and plenty of attention paid to Richard Nixon, his bête noire; encounters with Muhammad Ali, Bill Clinton, and the Super Bowl; and a lengthy excerpt from his acknowledged masterpiece, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Woven throughout is selected correspondence between Wenner and Thompson, most of it never before published. It traces the evolution of a personal and professional relationship that helped redefine modern American journalism, and also presents Thompson through a new prism as he pursued his lifelong obsession: The life and death of the American Dream.

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Customer Reviews

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If bad words offend you, don't read.

Warning, if bad words offend you, do not read this book or this review.

Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson is a book that is basically just that. It was in the early 70’s that I first met HST. We used to hang out, smoke a little weed, do a few lines then drop some blotter and discuss the political chicanery going on in Washington or just the basic f--kedupedness of world affairs in general. Vietnam was grist for our mill back then. Ol’ Tricky Dick, being the easy target that he was, had a great deal to be said and written about him. Man, those were some wild times. Crazy..., as messed up as we thought Nixon was back then, how we wished for him back years later when a particular "W" winds up stealing the While House. Man and we thought some cheap, hotel break-in was bad. S--t!

I remember HST telling me about how he met Clarence Thomas on a road trip with these two hookers...

And that’s my rather feeble attempt at Gonzo Journalism. The inimitable writing style that made Hunter S. Thompson so unique and absolutely brilliant. Actually, inimitable back then but not so much now. Gonzo journalism is a style of journalism that is written without claims of objectivity. The reporter is part of the story by way of a first-person narrative. Some of his stories, as mine above, are so outrageously fantastic that they often defy belief but contain elements of truth only in hyperbole that cannot be denied.

The real truth is that I met Hunter S. Thompson in the pages of Rolling Stone (never had the honor in person) in the 70’s and subscribed to that periodical only to read his writings. Journalists are supposed to be objective but objective journalism, as HST has said, is a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron. Fox News stands out today as the paragon of that contradiction but even PBS’s bias these days is only thinly veiled. So give it up, don’t be a hypocrite. Let it all hangout like Limbaugh and Beck. Be who you are and twist and crank the reporting of reality anyway you like, just don’t call it objective (or even real) .

With HST, this was easy reading for me. I adored the guy. To me, he was a true American hero. He was saying things in public not so many people had the guts to say in private. FaLaRS is not only essential Hunter S. Thompson, it is essential reading period. I would like to say that I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you sit, you will laugh your ass off reading this book. But that is probably not the case. Liberals might actually tear-up a little also because they too see the good doctor’s sense of reality. Conservatives, lacking any sense of humor, will probably deny the truth of any of what he had to say and dismiss it all as the ramblings of a drug-crazed maniac.

There’s a lot of talk about drugs here; not so much about sex or rock and roll. There’s mostly politics that is as relevant today as it was between the years of Nixon and George W. Bush, the span of the book. There’s a wonderful part in the book about HST and Mohamed Ali and other parts as well about other sports figures that are priceless.

I absolutely loved this book. There was not a moment that I was not completely entertained by it. It was totally bittersweet and not because HST had the ability to turn the most tragic times in our recent history into something hilarious but because Hunter S. Thompson is no longer with us. And I miss him like crazy.

The narration of this Brilliance Audio production was by Phil Gigante, a better narrator to tell the story of Hunter S. Thompson they probably could not have found. I could not recommend a book more highly.
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- Robert "Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books."

Buy the ticket...this is a great compilation.

Being someone that has read a lot of Hunter S. Thompson's work, I was a little skeptical about this compilation. But it's very well done...as the preface states, Rolling Stone attempted to create a narrative out of his various writings done for their magazine and they succeeded in a big way.

It essentially cronicles Hunter's time at Rolling Stone magazine starting in 1970. His personal correspondence with Rolling Stone's editoral staff (mostly unpublished until now) is included, as well as his account of the "Freak Power" local political movement that attempted to prevent Aspen, Colorado from becoming the high-brow Yuppie haven that it is today; "Strange Rumblings in Azltan" about the LAPD violence aganist Chicanos; the hilarious District Attorney's conference of his famous "Las Vegas" book; a sizeable chunk of "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign trail, 72'"...still an extremely relevant work. A ton of his "Politics from the Sports Desk" Rolling Stone features show up in this audiobook as well.

The narrator, Phil Gigante, does a good impression of Thompson as well when reading from Hunter's perspective.

It's a great listen, definately worth the credits. Now, what audible really needs is some more Hunter S, works...."Hell's Angels", the entire "Campaign Trail, 72'" and "The Curse of Lono" would be awesome I would listen to all of them.

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- Shaun

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-25-2011
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio