How does one determine their favorite author when asked to do so? Does one use their literary works to base their decisions for their favorite author? Perhaps it’s not the actual work, but the author themselves, maybe they were so fascinating that one couldn’t help but love them. Maybe, the reason why one would pick a favorite author was because their works have affected their life in some way. My favorite author is Hunter S. Thompson. Hunter was a man who not only wrote many pieces of work which inspire me, but also lived his life in a such a way that one would have to reflect and appreciate. My favorite author is Hunter S. Thompson because he wrote many works which I enjoy. His life is an inspiration to me and his works have directly changed my life.
Hunter S. Thompson wrote many books and contributed regularly to Rolling Stone magazine. His breakthrough work was his book, Hell’s Angels. Hunter traveled with the Hell’s Angels during the early and mid sixties, before and after they gained their infamous image. What really draws my attention to this work was the way that he was absorbed into this lifestyle. Hunter was on the road, and would often participate in trips with his local chapter of the Hell’s Angels. I think what I enjoyed most about this work was the free spirit coming from his writings, Hunter embodied the way I want to be. Hunter was living as if he was not held back by constraints of the normal, mundane American dream of having a house surrounded by a fence. Hunter would party with the other Angels, but also took responsibility for his own actions. It was a work of give and take, you learned about the human side of the Angels, but it also took away the mysticism and hard image, it taught you there is humanism behind the demented.
Hunter S. Thompson’s most recognized book is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This book is about his, along with his lawyer, adventure to Las Vegas to write an article on the Mint 400, a motorcycle race. Along the way, he begins to chase the American dream, which is left up to the reader to decided wither it is still out there. This work is often criticized due to its use of drugs throughout the body of work. I believe the drugs were more of the fuel to instigate real emotion from the subjects and even from the reader, it was a no holds bar adventure in the heart of Las Vegas. Hunter was unapologetic about his actions, which makes it feel like you’re truly reading a rebellious novel. Fear and Loathing is a prime example of the culture that I cherish today, the life of being free and a bit out of control, but also making a difference in the world, and trying to show people that the ‘norm’ isn’t all that cracked up to be. This work inspires me to keep my mind open, to try new things, and to make sure that I’m having fun at the same time.
What always peeked my interest in Hunter S. Thompson, was his style of writing. Hunter’s writing was fast paced, in your face, all or nothing attitude. His “Gonzo” style of journalism melted a bit of fiction with facts, it had enough fiction to it, that it took the reader beyond the facts and gave a heightened sense of importance to the subject. Hunter was often a political man, he ran for sheriff of Aspen and made the whole thing a game and a mockery of politics, until he began to gain support. What I love most about his actions and writings during his campaign time, was that it was stirring up change. The change that Hunter was bringing upon the people of Aspen was this new generation, it was trying to break away from the old and progress the country, and what I loved about the works around this period was how afraid people were of this change. Unfortunately, Hunter did not win in his campaign, but it made for a very nice body of work and influenced his future writings. If there was any quote by Hunter which really embodied this peak of his career, it is:
“Buy the ticket, take the ride.”
Hunter’s lifestyle was fueled by drugs and alcohol. His life was very amazing to me. Hunter was able to produce such wonderful and exhilarating pieces of worthwhile being completely out of his mind, he opened the doors of perception and captured life at it’s meta level. What I enjoyed most about Hunter’s lifestyle was that he knew he was a junkie, but he knew he didn’t want to stop. I can agree that drugs can be very bad for a person, however, they can bring on new meaning and perception on a particular subject. Hunter lived his life on the edge, he kept going until his body could not hold up any longer, and he did not just sit down and give up, he shot himself. It is a bit morbid to think of it in such a way, but I appreciate someone who makes sure they enjoy life to its fullest, never stops, and when they know the ride is over, they leave themselves. Hunter was very self destructive, but he was able to accomplish so much. Hunter’s drug life could be pulled directly from his works. Hunter could pull emotion out of even the coldest individual and show a personality which readers had not seen before.
I think Hunter S. Thompson is my favorite author because he was so very wild. Social science is one of my favorite types of literature because it deals with real world subjects which you wanted to know more about. Hunter always went about his work with a sort of gun ho, all or nothing approach which keeps me interested throughout the entire work. Hunter was able to get into situations and faces of important people, pull the story from them, and leave them in a state of stupor, or a face full of mace. Hunter never slowed down, one would say that he was lucky from many close calls, but life comes out you fast and if you aren’t ready, you’ll get burned. Hunter also went many places for his assignments, from California to Puerto Rico. The sense of being free to travel on the expense of a magazine, having no obligations than to get the story, and leaving the place in ruin is such an exhilarating life to me.
Hunter was able to affect me through his works and his lifestyle. Hunter was a man that I could respect because he embodied everything which I would love to be. He did not sell out to corporate America, he always made sure that he was the one in charge. Hunter was able to project a sense of importance in his writings, he wasn’t just there to get a story, he was there to make a difference, it was like active protest. Hunter wrote many works that inspire me, from Hell’s Angels, to the collection of The Gonzo Papers. The inspiration I get when I read these books are to drop it all and live life how I want it, perhaps one day I will be able to do so, but for now it’s to keep writing and stay focused. I would advise anyone to explore more into the works of my favorite author, Hunter S. Thompson.