The writer, and one of the pioneers of New Journalism, Hunter S Thompson shot himself dead last night at his home in the Colorado mountains. He was 67. Always controversial, the author of Hells Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, among others, was still able to produce an occasional burst of high octane writing when suitably riled. A collection of his many letters The Proud Highway was published in 1997.
The Guardian has report including a great quote from Christopher Lehmann-Haupt writing in the New York Times in 1973 – worried Thompson might someday “lapse into good taste”.
“That would be a shame, for while he doesn’t see America as Grandma Moses depicted it, or the way they painted it for us in civics class, he does in his own mad way betray a profound democratic concern for the polity,” he wrote. “And in its own mad way, it’s damned refreshing.”
and, appropriately, Thompson’s own view of his life and writing,
“Fiction is based on reality unless you’re a fairytale artist,” Thompson said in 2003. “You have to get your knowledge of life from somewhere. You have to know the material you’re writing about before you alter it.“
The Guardian also has a short profile, with some links to other articles…
including some, selected, quotes