I got around to reading Hunter S. Thompson’s volumes of letters after working my way through Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 and Hell’s Angels.
My favourite volume is certainly The Proud Highway, as I feel it is edited better, and is more interesting to me as a young writer and editor. Thompson’s rise to fame is fascinating to follow.
Some of my favourite letters were the ones I was surprised to see included when I first read Fear and Loathing in America. I was amused by the series of angry tirades he shot off to businesses, complaining about what he perceived as a lack of quality or honesty in their services.
Perhaps the best ones relate to the TV scheduling that he thought was too low-brow. At Woody Creek Thompson was only able to receive one channel for many years, and that channel was run on a tight budget. He kept complaining that the news wasn’t shown during his (erratic) waking hours, and that certain TV shows were too stupid, and only shown because they were cheap.
I stumbled upon this recording today of Hunter S. Thompson complaining about the installation of a DVD player. It obviously lacks the eloquence of his angry letters, but not the force of vitriol.