I read quite a bit. I try to make it mostly about sports so as to avoid the label of a nerd, but I still do quite a bit of reading. Through this, I have come to respect certain writer's opinions on other stuff that I should read. Finally, after many writers that I respected praised him as a genius, I figured I should probably give Hunter S. Thompson a try.
Before trying out his writing, I will say that I had seen Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas and Where the Buffalo Roam, two movies based off his experiences. I thought the movies were solid, but nothing spectacular. Still, with all the praise that he received, I have to admit that he struck me as an interesting character.
Before trying out one of his books, I decided I would read a biography about him. It was basically a collection of stories from his friends and family that were put together in chronological order to give you an idea of his life. I thought it was an interesting read, but it wasn't interesting for the reasons that I expected. Hunter S. Thompson was an asshole. Now I call myself an asshole sometimes, but he was not the fun and cheeky asshole like me, his assholism was much closer to sad and tragic. He constantly took advantage of friends and mentally abused girlfriends, all while trying to portray an image of a badass that didn't really exist.
This part really bothers me, because he has this image as some sort of outlaw. I realize he hung out with the Hell's Angels which should give him some credibility, but he didn't become a Hell's Angel or anything close to it. He was a writer who hung out with them, and if they told him to stop recording a conversation, he dutifully turned off his tape recorder without causing a fuss. He asserted himself once around the Hell's Angels, and one of the Angels beat him up for getting in his business. He then never showed his face around their hangouts ever again. When he was sent to cover the Vietnam War, he spent like one day in Vietnam before deciding that he should write his story in a safer country. When shit was going down, he pussed out. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, because it takes balls to be willing to be in a war zone when you are just trying to write a story. But if you're going to cultivate this image of you being a badass, you should probably back it up.
The weird thing about the book was that even though he was a dishonest piece of shit who took advantage of everyone and would turn his back on anybody when they were no longer useful to him, everybody talks about him like he was the greatest guy on the planet. If he did something awful to somebody, that person would describe it as "That was just Hunter." This was absolutely mind boggling to me, but it does seem the guy was a blast at parties, so I guess I have to give him credit there.
After getting through all that, I was honestly even more excited to read his books. I figured anybody who was this big of a prick must have been incredibly talented to keep getting work. That's how this shit works, right? Wrong. I decided to read his book about the Hell's Angels, because I am incredibly fascinated with biker gangs. I have no clue why I have this fascination, because I have never ridden a motorcycle, and can barely ride a bicycle. Still, I've read a few books about the Hell's Angels and enjoyed them immensely. Thompson's book was the most boring book I think I have ever read in my entire life. He took a topic that is extremely interesting to me and nearly bored me to death with it.
This is where the hipster assholes think to themselves (because those pussies wouldn't dare say it to my face), "He just doesn't get it. Hunter S. Thompson revolutionized writing." First off, I do get it, his writing just isn't that interesting. I understand that it's different, but that doesn't make it good. The only way he could have revolutionized writing was making it excessively boring, and that's not exactly something to be proud of. Also, I don't think he was the first one to write boring shit, have you ever read the bible? That book revolutionized boring.
If you like Hunter S. Thompson, hey, that's your decision, you should just know that you're a moron who likes shitty writing. With that being said, RIP Hunter.
P.S. Enlarge this image, and enjoy.
P.P.S. This may only be funny to me, but this response took second place in the competition.
P.P.P.S. This is honestly just a really useful technique. I haven't tried it yet, but it's basically the most badass way to peel a hard-boiled egg.