Raise a Glass of Chivas Regal to Hellraising Journalist Hunter S. Thompson
His ashes were blasted from a cannon into the Colorado night back in 2005, but Hunter S. Thompson’s irrepressible spirit lives on. A true one-off with a well-documented love of psychedelics and firearms, the political provocateur and inventor of Gonzo journalism—who would have
been 73 years old today—honed his writing talent, he once claimed, by hammering out The Great Gatsby and A Farewell to Arms repeatedly on a typewriter. His most famous novel, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (1971), was an early experiment in Gonzo style, mixing fact and fiction (and recreational drugs) to approach what he saw as a greater truth, based on William Faulkner’s idea that “the best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism.” Thompson was sent by Rolling Stone magazine on the 1972 Presidential campaign trail—an election Richard Nixon won, to the author's horror—and subsequently became a celebrated, counter-cultural political commentator. A collection of his needle-sharp political journalism has been released recently by PanMacmillan, in addition to a collection of short fiction, and the long-awaited film adaptation of Thompson’s first novel, The Rum Diary, is currently in production. Directed by Withnail & I helmer Bruce Robinson, the film will star Thompson’s longtime friend Johnny Depp (who brilliantly re-enacted the author himself in the movie Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas) as maniacal journalist Paul Kemp. Based on Thompson’s tropical adventures and scuffles with the law as a novice hack cutting his teeth at the offices of El Sportivo in Puerto Rico, the new film promises to be soaked in ink, sunshine and rum.