Before He Was Gonzo

Over at The Atlantic, Brian Kevin has written an
of Hunter Thompson’s early career. By “early
career,” I don’t mean “those first four books he wrote before he
devolved into self-parody” (*); I mean the early dispatches he
produced before he had any books to his name at all. A few of these
are collected in Thompson’s 1979 collection
The Great Shark Hunt
, but aside from those, Kevin
says, “Little of Thompson’s pre-gonzo reporting exists outside of

Someone should write an alt-history novel set in a world where he won.

Sounds like we’re missing out:

Like a lot of young reporters, Thompson stayed on the
move. Between 1960 and 1967, he filed dispatches from California,
the Appalachian South, the Caribbean, South America, and the
northern Rockies. His output consisted of everything from
straightforward reportage and service-y travel pieces to book
reviews and the occasional essay. And while he traipsed among
several different beats, Thompson’s early articles are, viewed
collectively, a kind of study in mid-20th-century frontiers: His
datelines are the battlefronts of the Cold War, the blurry social
boundaries of the counterculture, and the fading frontiers of the
American West.

Selections from the stories follow, along with Kevin’s comments.
Read the whole thing

Hell’s Angels
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72
, and

The Great Shark Hunt
. For my money the first one’s the

from Hit & Run

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