The 1960’s saw a move away from the traditional form of journalism which focused purely on “reporting the facts” to its readers objectively and with independence. New Journalism reporters however included their own subjective opinion into their work; writing about what they saw as the truth in a particular story. This was something of a mini-revolution in its own right. But Hunter S. Thompson took things a step further: His self styled “Gonzo” journalism where he placed himself into the actual story or event itself.
Nowhere is this approach better demonstrated than in his 1966 book, Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. To gather information Thompson joined an actual Hell’s Angels gang and spent a year living and riding with them. His honest, warts and all account earned him huge praise from peers and critics – as well as a severe beating from the gang members. But this was Thompson’s approach, getting heavily involved in the story to truly understand every detail.
A larger than life character, in his later career he felt pressured to live up to public expectations resulting in various publications which simply collected or revised his earlier works. At his peak, Thompson’s writing was incisive and angry, demonstrating a huge passion for his subject. His famous, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, shows this most clearly and became a huge hit. Such is Thompson’s appeal, a signed first edition of this work can reach $2,500 at auction.
Thompson’s bravery and ability to get to the heart of a story are well established. His books have achieved a cult status and have contributed towards the more investigative approach we have towards news reporting today. As well as being incisive and well researched, his books represent a turning point in the development of journalism stemming from the counter culture revolution of the 1960s and 70s.
Thompson,Hunter S. Hell's Angels. Random House, New York (1966). A strange and terrible saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
Thompson, Hunter. GRIST. Grist Abington Book Shop, Lawrence (1967). Cover Illustrations by S.C Wilson
Thompson, Hunter S. Hell's Angels. Random House, New York (1967). The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
Thompson, Hunter S. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Random House Inc, New York (1971). A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream; Illustrated by Ralph Steadman.
Thompson, Hunter S. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland (1973). A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream
Thompson, Hunter S. Fear and Loathing. Allison and Busby, London (1973). on the Campaign Trail.
Thompson, Hunter S. Fear and Loathing. Straight Arrow Books, San Francisco (1973). On the Campaign Trail '72; mis-spelling of 'and' to 'nad' on pge 473 (marked)
Thompson, Hunter S. America. Straight Arrow Books, San Francisco, California (1974). Steadman, Ralph. (Illustrations) Thompson, Hunter S. (Introduction)
Thompson, Hunter S. Great Shark Hunt. Fawcett Popular Library, New York (1979). Gonzo Papers, Vol. 1
Thompson, Hunter S. Great Shark Hunt. Summit Books/ Rolling Stone Press, New York (1979). Strange Tales from a Strange Time; Steadman, Ralph
Thompson, Hunter S. Curse Of Lono. Bantam Books, New York (1983). Ralph Steadman (illustrator).
Thompson, Hunter S. Curse Of Lono. London (1983). Illustrated by Ralph STEADMAN.
Thompson, Hunter S. Generation of Swine. Summit Books, New York (1988). Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80s
Thompson, Hunter S. Songs of the Doomed. Summit Books, New York (1990). more notes on the death of the American dream, gonzo papers vol 3
Thompson, Hunter S. Screwjack. Maurice Neville, Santa Barbara (1991). Total 326 copies printed; 26 lettered copies.
Thompson, Hunter S. Better Than Sex. Random House, New York (1994). Confessions of a Political Junkie Trapped Like a Rat in Mr. Bill's Neighborhood
Steadman, Ralph. Vintage Dr. Gonzo. Joe Petro, Lexington (1995). 500 copies printed; (THOMPSON, Hunter S.)
Thompson, Hunter S. Mistah Leary He Dead. Perdido Press (X-Ray Book Co.), San Francisco (1996). 326 copies; Design by Johnny Brewton and Karoline Schleh
Thompson, Hunter S. OPEN LETTER. White Fields Press, Louisville, Kentucky (1996). San Francisco October 25, 1960; 26 lettered copies.
Steadman, Ralph. HUNTER, THE POSITIVE PRIMATE. Petro III Graphics, Lexington (1997). Limited Edition, Signed Silkscreen Print; 30 copies printed; (Hunter S. Thompson).
Thompson, Hunter S. Proud Highway. Villard Books, New York (1997). Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman; Edited by Douglas Brinkley; Foreword by William J. Kennedy; Initialed by Thompson on a bookplate affixed to the half-title.
Thompson, Hunter S. PROUD HIGHWAY. Westminster, Maryland (1997). The Fear and Loathing Letters
Steadman, Ralph. Gonzo. Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London (1998). The Art; Illustrated by Ralph Steadman; With a Foreword by Hunter S. Thompson.
Thompson, Hunter S. Rum Diary. Simon and Schuster, New York (1998). The Long Lost Novel
Thompson, Hunter S. Hell's Angels. Random House, New York (1999). A Strange and Terrible Saga; This edition includes a new introduction by Douglas Brinkley
Thompson, Hunter. Fear and Loathingin America. Simon and Schuster, New York (2000). The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Joirnalist; Edited by Douglas Brinkley; Foreword by David Halberstam; 2 volumes; 300 copies printed.
Thompson, Hunter S. Screwjack. Simon and Schuster, New York (2000). Includes Mesolito, Death of a Poet, and Screwjack
Thompson, Hunter S. Kingdom of Fear. Simon and Schuster, New York (2003). Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century
Thompson, Hunter S. Hey Rube. Simon and Schuster, New York (2004). Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness; Modern History from the Sports Desk
Thompson, Hunter S. Curse of Lono. Taschen, Koln (2005). Penn, Sean (introduction); Illustrated by Ralph Steadman; 1000 copies printed.
Thompson, Hunter S. Gonzo. Ammo American Modern Books, Los Angeles (2006). Introduction by Jonny Depp; Includes photographs and artwork by Thompson, Steve Christ, Annie Leibevitz and Ralph Steadan; 3000 copies printed.