Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S Thompson by William McKeen - review by Stephen Amidon

Stephen Amidon

Wild Bard of Woody Creek

Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S Thompson

By

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The recent deaths of Norman Mailer and Hunter S Thompson mark the end of the serious-writer-as-celebrity figure in America, a tradition that began with Mark Twain and reached its apogee with Ernest Hemingway. From now on, unless an author manages to piss off Oprah Winfrey, there is little chance that he will break through the membrane that envelops the literary scene to enter the mass consciousness.

William McKeen's superb new biography of Thompson, the first since the gonzo journalist's 2005 suicide, goes a long way towards illuminating just how he managed to become famous – so famous that his customary attire of Hawaiian shirt, cigarette holder and aviator sunglasses came to serve as a perennial Halloween

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