On the final weekend of his life, Hunter S. Thompson hosted his son, daughter-in-law, grandson, and protégé at his home, a farm in Colorado which he shared with his wife, Anita. Thompson, a phenomenally popular and talented writer in the 1970s was in his late sixties and life wasn’t so much fun anymore.
Drinking since he was a young teenager, Thompson was a career alcoholic—it was said that he hadn’t spent a sober day in over forty years. In addition to his alcohol use, over the course of his life he used speed, cocaine, hallucinogens, and other illegal drugs.
Hunter S. Thompson - His Final Hours chronicles the events of his last twenty-four hours. From this and other documentaries, it seems certain that his suicide that particular weekend had been planned. When one considers the many narcissistic aspects of his personality, it’s not surprising that he would surround himself with the people who loved him. Others are more kind and say that he wanted his family around him when his soul passed to wherever it is souls go.
The major interviewees for Hunter S. Thompson - His Final Hours were his first wife, Rolling Stone editors, his protégé/writing partner, and some friends who had known him for fifty years or more. A mental health professional also weighs in with his opinions.
Having fun was important to Thompson. His idea of fun included firearms, explosions, drugs, bourbon, noise, fire, breaking glass, and chaos. His first wife described life with him as being very difficult—it could be exciting, romantic and loving, but mostly it was hard.
The Rolling Stone editors had high praise for Thompson’s early writing, but it seems that, in his last twenty years or so, writing was just a job. The spark and creativity were no longer there. The man who had invented gonzo journalism was—after 1982—just gone.