Stories I tell myself Growing up with Hunter S. Thompson

Juan F. Thompson

Book - 2016

"An intimate, close-up portrait of Hunter S. Thompson, fearless outlaw journalist. Juan Thompson tells the story of his father and of their getting to know each other during their forty-one fraught years together. He writes of the many dark times, of how far they ricocheted away from each other, and of how they found their way back before it was too late."--

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BIOGRAPHY/Thompson, Hunter S.
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New York : Alfred A. Knopf 2016.
Main Author
Juan F. Thompson (author)
First edition
Physical Description
xii, 274 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 22 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Library Journal Review

"This is a memoir, not a biography," writes the author and son of the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson (Hell's Angels; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), and he means it. The younger Thompson's fast-paced book hews closely to chronological memories of his father and his childhood and adolescent home on "Owl Farm" in Woody Creek, CO, rather than delving deeply into the elder Thompson's life or his notorious works. The author keeps his father-whom he calls "Hunter" throughout-at some distance, and sees in him a sharp duality. Hunter, "that beast in Aspen," is an "alcoholic, drug addict, and a hell-raiser," prone to eruptions of anger and rage. In the end, though, the author ultimately finds tenderness and understanding in Hunter, sometimes in the very things that made his father wild, such as his guns, the cleaning of which "became a bonding ritual between us that lasted up until the day of his death." VERDICT Thompson fans seeking intimate and precise details of his writing process or creative life will want to look elsewhere. Here they will find a touching and honest portrait of an often flawed father. [See Prepub Alert, 7/13/15.]-Doug Diesenhaus, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

The son of the legendary gonzo journalist recalls his turbulent but exciting years swimming in the wake of a most mercurial creature. Thompson fils identifies himself only as a "computer guy" in this debut, and he comments early about the unreliability of memory. He also warns us that his account includes some "outright lies," but which tales are they? The author, born in 1964, embraces chronology and begins with a sketch of his father's youth (he calls him "Hunter" throughout). He also asserts that his father was "one of the great American writers," so we understand what sort of museum we're visiting. The author does not smooth over the rough fabric of his father's life: he was smoking, drinking, and taking cocaine virtually to the end. He was temperamental, ignored his son often, and enjoyed numerous women. But he loved the outdoors, shooting (he would kill himself with one of his pistols in 2005; the author found his body), and, of course, writing. The author shows us a hardworking writer, dedicated to his craft. Thompson pre did not, as the son reminds us, take more than a few college courses and told his son that the only thing college was good for was having four years to read. (This author, fond of the remark, quotes it three times.) There are many "daddy issues" here, as well, and the author tries to convince us that the birth of Thompson's grandsonthough initially a tough thing for him to acceptbecame a tremendous influence on the family coherence that ensued. A few celebrities wander throughnotably, singer Jimmy Buffett and film star Johnny Depp, who portrayed Thompson in the film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Shows clearly the occasional horrors of living with a substance-abusing celebrity but is also suffused with filial love and regret. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.