Hunter S Thompson has always prowled the no-man’s-land between truth and fiction, a zone where fear is a good way to greet the day and paranoia ‘is just another word for ignorance’. When he first started working it was the Time of Nixon and this grey area seemed like the place to be, although in later years Thompson’s act seemed in danger of getting a bit tired. No longer. In the Age of Ashcroft, the gonzo author’s fear and loathing have never seemed more apt. The bad guys aren’t just winning; they’ve already won. But he’s still raging against the machine, even as the rest of us cower in our homes, hoping nobody’s reading our e-mails or sprinkling anthrax in our junk mail.