Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson’s Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism

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In 1963, Hunter S. Thompson was an aspiring novelist with a young wife and a baby on the way. He had written two unpublished novels and made a living as a freelance journalist. The death of President John Kennedy changed his life and work in innumerable ways. Thompson started covering elections in 1964. Fueled by Dexedrine and alcohol, Thompson chronicled the shift in the Republican party as Barry Goldwater was nominated as GOP candidate. Thompson would also become awakened to the “dangers” of Richard Nixon. As Thompson’s work got noticed, the projects became more bold. Thompson’s fearless demeanor in following the Hell’s Angels would appear foolhardy to most, especially considering Thompson’s later savage beating by some of those same Angels. Publication of his first “gonzo” work would make Thompson famous. Thompson’s fortunes ebbed and flowed along with his productivity, which was hitched to chemical substances, oftentimes. “The death of the American dream” called out to Thompson, especially with Nixon’s election. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas made him immortal, but his coverage of the 1972 election is just as important. But at what cost brilliance?

Freak Kingdom is a historical biography conveyed through a clouded lens…namely Hunter Thompson’s mind. Thompson is portrayed honestly as imperfect, lazy, crazy but also brilliant, frank, and a patriot. The author doesn’t disguise his dislike of Nixon, but that just brings him closer to his subject. An exemplary and moving biography.

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Reviewed By:

Author Timothy Denevi
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 416 pages
Publisher PublicAffairs
Publish Date 2018-Oct-30
ISBN 9781541767942
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2019
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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