Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pre-Gonzo Man

John Lombardi, in a New York piece, on the ambivalence of Hunter S. Thompson. An excerpt:

Gonzo was genius, but it was a kind of sellout, too. Rolling Stone and a number of publishers successfully packaged Hunter’s Dr. Gonzo image for a few decades. Douglas Brinkley became his literary executor. And while pulling no punches about Thompson’s ultimate place in writing—“You’re no Mark Twain but you’re a kind of Ambrose Bierce”—he began shepherding collections of his early prose and letters into what he called “The Gonzo Papers,” issued regularly, so that Thompson realized a hefty six-figure annual income from his work during the eighties and nineties, augmented by impressive fees from appearances before fascinated and stoned frat boys at colleges all over the country.

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