Book Aesthetic

Hunter S. Thompson’s 1973 book Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 isn’t a typical adventure book, and Hunter S. Thompson1 isn’t your typical adventurer.  But, make no mistake, the 1972 campaign trail was an adventure, and Hunter S. Thompson was the perfect explorer for this voyage.

While this book was a step into a direction that I am not much acquainted with, it was well worth it.  The political process, the hopes, the backstabbing, the money, the machine, the maneuvers and maneuverers, the populous, the protestors, the ups and downs, the uppers and downers along the 1972 campaign trail reveal just how little the political process has changed in the USA during the last fifty years.  

If you change the dates, the names, and correct for advances in technology, you would swear this was an account of the 2020 campaign trail.  For most of the book I would catch myself wondering how Hunter S. Thompson would have fared on the 2020 campaign trail.  His ability to poetically eviscerate those he didn’t care for read like a masterclass in talking shit, and I couldn’t help but to imagine what he would have thought about the current class of politicians!

For anyone unfamiliar with Hunter S. Thompson’s work, he uses a style of writing which he termed Gonzo Journalism.  

Simply put, Gonzo Journalism is a style of writing where the writer becomes part of the story.  In essence, Gonzo Journalism reports the story through a first-person point of view.

I can’t imagine that working on a presidential campaign trail for over a year would be very motivating but reading about a year on the campaign trail through the personal narrative of Hunter S. Thompson is mildly insane and entirely rousing.  There were times when I was beside myself with laughter, and others when I would cringe with secondhand embarrassment.

This book was great!  

I don’t think it’s possible to capture the rollercoaster of wtf’s presented by Thompson through images, so please don’t judge the book by the aesthetic.


Book Aesthetic for Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail. #bookaesthetic #booktok #huntersthompson #fearandloathing

♬ Back Stabbers – The O’Jays

This was really fun to put together, putting faces to the cast of characters along the campaign trail was gratifying for some strange reason?  And if you don’t read anything else from this book, PLEASE treat yourself to the section called ‘Enter the savage boohoo; madness and violence on the “Sunshine Special”’. The entire sequence of events is absolutely insane, I loved everything about it!

Coming up for August we are shifting back to a climbing adventure of sorts. August’s read will be Ben Moon’s book Denali – A Man, A Dog, and the Friendship of A Lifetime. If you want to read along, HERE is a link to the book!

  1. My first experience reading something from Hunter S. Thompson was on the now defunct website called ESPN Page 2.  He wrote a column about a Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks basketball game.  In the piece he wrote about Maverick player Raja Bell.  “Bell is a knee-crawling, back-stabbing punk with the soul of a Rat and the heart of a filthy virus. The NBA should have him committed to a state Mental Hospital, and locked down with restraints until he gets his entire body dyed bright yellow, which will stay on his skin forever.”  Thompson also took shots at Napoleon and the French for some unknown reason.  I was instantly hooked, and the more I learned about Hunter S. Thompson the more and less confused I was to know that he wrote about the Sacramento Kings for a site that almost no one ever visited.

11 Replies to “Book Aesthetic”

    1. That is for sure…his dislike of Hubert Humphrey may have been one of my favorite parts. I don’t know anything about “Hube” but he sounds like he’s the worst (outside of Nixon).

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail is probably the MOST honest look at American Politics ever written. Thanks for the review. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve heard of Hunter Thompson, gonzo journalism and this particular book, but now I’m inclined to read it,, if nothing else to see how political campaigning has changed, or not, over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

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