New York Times best-selling author and acclaimed Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson is known for such groundbreaking works as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. A provocative collection of rants and reflections from Thompson’s columns at ESPN.com, Hey Rube offers outrageously brilliant insight on topics ranging from the 2000 election to his unconventional take on professional sports (“eliminate the pitcher” to improve Major League Baseball).
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Here's the thing about this book. As the cover says, the text of Hey Rube is taken from Thompson's contributions to the ESPN.com Sports Desk, beginning in 2001. You can still read many of the pages on ESPN's site. By this point, Thompson had more or less run out of gas. In Hey Rube, you can expect a lot of... a lot of... a lot of football.
But because it's HST, you can also expect a lot of politics, whenever he can find a way to sneak it in. Because the majority of these pieces are written in the immediate wake of 9/11, negotiating football into talk of politics is a gimme. Be prepared to encounter some of Hunter's finest writing in the entry from 9/12/01. It's the culmination of a lifetime of work among the American political machine and the endless series of wars that was the twentieth century. Most of the observations he makes about the war resulting from the attacks on 9/11... were dead on. That said, if you're not a Thompson die-hard, watch the first ten minutes of the recent documentary 'Gonzo,' and you'll get the best of it. Read infinitely better. Otherwise, if you can wade through endless news clips of football, football, football, you'll find a few magnificent moments.
Okay. That's the text itself. The actual reading is a completely different matter, and I still can't believe I made it through. Let's get one thing straight: even at his least inspired, Hunter's a consummate craftsman. His language is as full of nuance and personality as the words can possibly hold. So why they chose this particular reader is beyond me. And what's even more beyond my ken is why this guy is reading the majority of the HST audiobooks here! It seems to me Sowers either knew nothing about Thompson or his work, or the director of these audio recordings didn't give a rat's ass (can I say that?) how they turned out. Sowers doesn't read, he yells in a grating monotone. It's either a Monday Night Football preview, or a day in boot camp, and it just doesn't work.
Short version: if you're into Thompson's work to the extent that you need this one, just buy the text and read it. If you're looking for a great listen that'll educate you about all things HST in one of the greatest audiobook readings of all time, check out Fear & Loathing at Rolling Stone. It's absolutely magnificent, completely addicting. If the rest of Thompson's work were handled with as much love & care as Phil Gigante gave to reading (& obviously researching) the RS work, we'd be very fortunate indeed.
If you could sum up Hey Rube in three words, what would they be?
Hunter Kicks Butt !!!
Who was your favorite character and why?
Which character – as performed by Scott Sowers – was your favorite?
Hunter of Course
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Definately awaken the sheeple in me..
Any additional comments?
I wish I would have paid more attention to Hunter a long time ago when I was getting Rolling Stone, I caught Ralph's drawings but was too young and silly to realize Hunter's Depth... Don't know how I missed it... but Extremely glad I am reading him now !!!