“We are few, but we speak with the power of many. We are strong like lonely bulls, but we are legion. Our code is gentle, but our justice is Certain – seeming Slow on some days, but slashing Fast on others, eating the necks of the Guilty like a gang of Dwarf Crocodiles in some lonely stretch of the Maputo River in the Transvaal, where the Guilty are free to run, but they can never Hide.” Hunter S, Thompson, on the difficulties of maintaining an equitable lawyer – client relationship.
He is one of the most unique post-modern authors in America today and his words race like rabid dogs through the rancid backalleys of your forebrain, rendering you incapable of speech, foaming like some pundit on cable, salivating at the thought of driving THOSE DAMNED WORDS out of your head and ending this hallucinatory haze of despair and triumph….
Okay, okay. I can’t write HST. No one but the Hunter himself seems to channel the weird, chaotic content that confuses, twists and writhes into your head, leaving you, at the end of the day, recognizing his supreme talent for making sense out of what, so far, has been a relatively senseless century.
Kingdom of Fear is his latest work and a strange, but throughly enjoyable journey. Mainly focused on post 9-11 America, the vageries of the justice system and the climate of fear and reactionary response that now seems pervasive across much of the US, Thompson’s somewhat autobiographical work is a surreal blend of musings, tempered political and sociological insight, name-dropping and dementia – which now that I think about it, probably sums up most of his work.
Best known for such works as Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Generation of Swine, Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga (interestingly enough, now considered an example of studying social anthropology through “direct observation” and is used in a number of Anthropology courses), The Great Shark Hunt, and as Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Gonzo” political reporter, Thompson is a true child of the Sixties, a worldly anachronism that, perhaps, is more politically relevant now then ever before….
Thompson’s self-proclaimed beat is “The Death of the American Dream” and he has been covering that journalistic beat for more than 35 years (This is a man who once interviewed Richard M. Nixon while standing at a urinal). Kingdom of Fear is a fascinating (and dark and twisted and chaotic and…well, read it and you’ll find out) book, well-written (in it’s own hallucinatory way) but probably not for all tastes.
For more on The Hunter, check out this link page.
If you’ve ever read Gary Trudeau’s (Note: not the former Canadian Prime Minster) comic strip Doonesbury, you will probably recall Duke – the Luger-wielding, Wild Turkey swilling, drug-using, vaguely psychotic former Ambassador to China…you guessed it – he’s based on HST.
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