First I removed the jacket so I wouldn't have to look at Hunter Thompson's naked ass everytime I picked up the book. The rear cover is adorned with a full body nude shot of the author carrying some kind of pop-gun. Next I turned to the back pages: the Kingdom of Fear Honor Roll. He didn't include me. Marilyn Chambers and Lyle Lovett made the list. Kesey is there. Nicholson, Steadman, George McGovern and if I remember correctly, even Johnny Depp are there. But the fey, peacock fluffing, liberal weenie left me off - and Trudeau - Gary Trudeau, perhaps Thompson's most authentic chronicler, didn't make the godlet of gonzo journalistic excess's bullshit honor roll either.
Okay, back to the front. Opening the front cover we see: "Weave a circle round him thrice...". Why do these gonzoid types have a need to invoke Coleridge as if he's the only wordster ever to have copped a buzz?
I hadn't even finished the author's note before I'd dribbled teriyaki sauce on the picture of the man in the sardine shirt. Some of the photos in this book are worth the price of admission. It's January 7th in Eau Claire, Wisconsin - 50 degrees fahrenheit, about forty above normal I'd say, and I'm sitting in a Red Lobster restaurant shoveling in an appetizer and an entree simultaneously. The appetizer contains artichokes from down around Monterey, California and lobster meat from Maine. The entree has mangos and papayas in a sweet salsa concoction beside the teriyaki fried tilapia. Is this a great country or what? Tilapia seems to be some cod-like creature and the meal is on a par with your typical Norwegian immigrant Lutheran church women's lutefisk and lefse supper, which is to say not bad if you slather on enough butter. Unfortunately there's no butter.
But it is 50 degrees outside and this is northern Wisconsin in mid-winter so we do have reason to thank the family Bush and the senex Reagan, and his anglo-slattern accomplice Meg Thatcher without whom global warming would have remained a science fiction concept. They didn't make the back of the book either.