Hunter S. Thompson: Fear, Loathing, and the Birth of Gonzo


Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
5.9 X 1.1 X 8.9 inches | 1.2 pounds

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About the Author

Kevin T. McEneaney is a freelance writer and former adjunct professor. The cultural reporter for The Millbrook Independent, McEneaney is also the author of several books, including Russell Banks: In Search of Freedom (2010) and Tom Wolfe's America: Heroes, Pranksters, and Fools (2009), a Choice Outstanding Academic Title.


This literary study from McEneaney is a thorough if sometimes heavy-going examination of Hunter S. Thompson's place in American letters, with a focus on the 'gonzo' style he created. McEneaney spends much of the book on an extensive analysis of Thompson's autobiographical novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He explores the author's complicated friendship with attorney Oscar Zeta Acosta, the inspiration for the sidekick character Dr. Gonzo, and theorizes that another character was intended as a parody of Joan Didion. McEneaney's argument that Thompson combined sincere love for country with a fractured perspective on the American dream is compelling. . . .This book will appeal to fans looking to know more about Thompson's place within literature.--Publishers Weekly
In this book-length study of author and journalist Thompson, McEneaney emphasizes Thompson's literary influences and strategies, most notably the effect of Thompson's storied use of humor that 'twisted or warped' such 'literary templates . . . to create original commentary.' McEneaney mines Thompson's ample correspondence for biographical detail and social context applied toward a series of readings covering a range of forms including novels, nonfiction prose, essays, and short stories. This work may be of interest to scholars of New Journalism and US countercultural movements of the late twentieth century.--American Literature