Hunter S. Tompson and Gonzo Journalism

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Hunter S. Tompson and Gonzo Journalism

In the late sixties a young journalist and free-lance novelist named Hunter S. Thompson (HST) emerged with a new, crazed and exaggerated brand of reporting. It was sooner or later referred to as “Gonzo”. HST’s own definition of gonzo has varied over the years, but he still maintains that a good gonzo journalist “needs the talent of a master journalist, the eye of an artist/photographer and the heavy balls of an actor” and that gonzo is a “style of reporting based on William Faulkner’s idea that the best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism”(Carroll, page 192). Gonzo journalism has also been referred to as outlaw journalism, new journalism, alternative journalism, literary cubism, and other words better not repeated here. With such high profile stages for his writings in Rolling Stone Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Esquire and Vanity Fair, HST has proven that his exaggerated gonzo journalism is as relevant (or even more so) than that of conventional journalists. In this essay, the concept and development of gonzo journalism and its relevance to media and reporting will be thoroughly explored.

Dr Hunter S. Thompson is a man of great wit and charisma. He is 6’2” tall, and, due to the fact that one leg is longer than the other, he tends to bob back and forth. He is apparently always thirsty, and his favorite drinks are known to be Wild Turkey and Chivas Regal. Besides being a writer and failed politician, HST is also a collector of peacocks and guns. HST is also happily divorced with one son, Juan. Dr Thompson’s journalism career began in the daily columns of small town newspapers, but because of differences in personality, opinion and style, he did...

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...elevant as any other anchorman’s daily news report.


Carrol, Jean E. Hunter: The Strange and Savage life of Hunter S. Thompson.

New York: Plume, 1993

Thompson, Hunter S. The Great Shark Hunt.

New York: Fawcett Popular Library, 1980

Thompson, Hunter S. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream. New York: Vintage Books, July 1989

Thompson, Hunter S. Songs of the Doomed: More Notes on the Death of the American Dream. New York: Summit, 1990

Thompson, Hunter S. Better Than Sex: Confessions of a Political Junkie.

New York: Ballantine, 1994

Thompson, Hunter S. Generation Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ‘80’s.

New York: Summit, 1988

Thompson, Hunter S. The Curse of Lono.

New York: Bantam, 1983

Wolfe, Tom: The New Journalism.

New York: Harper & Row, 1973
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