‘The Gonzo Way’ – not just drugs and guns
ASPEN For readers with a yen to learn more about the life of gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson, new opportunities are just around the corner.Hot on the heels of the July 21 Hunter S. Thompson Symposium at the Aspen Institute, the late writer’s widow, Anita Thompson, has announced the impending publication of a slim volume titled “The Gonzo Way.” (Those interested in seeing what went on at the symposium can check out an edited videotape of the event at http://www.HunterThompsonFilms.com starting next week.)Anita Thompson’s book, published by Fulcrum Publishing of Golden ($14.95 hardcover) is due out Wednesday. Book signings, at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver at 7:30 p.m. on publication day and at the Denver Press Club at 6 p.m. Thursday, will herald its release. There is no plan for an Aspen book-signing.The 81-page book’s singular mission is to introduce the world to the Hunter Thompson, whom Anita Thompson lived and worked with, married and now mourns, as opposed to the drug-crazed chronicler of bizarre events that the world has come to know through his writings and his deliberately crafted public persona.”It’s geared toward the younger reader,” she said from Owl Farm in Woody Creek in a telephone interview. “I got literally hundreds and hundreds of letters from them after Hunter died [of suicide, in 2005]. They looked at Hunter’s lifestyle as a primary factor in his work, and I just wanted to correct that.”There is no attempt here to imitate Dr. Gonzo’s rapid-fire prose, his scalding wit or his explosive profanity, just a string of chapters enumerating seven “lessons” that Anita Thompson says she learned in her years with him.The book describes his playful practical jokes and some of his work habits; Anita interviews some of the famous people who admired and liked him; and she outlines the genesis of his final act of defiance against a legal system he felt was under the control of fascists and thugs – his campaign to free Lisl Auman of Denver from a murder conviction by a Colorado jury.Anita began working with her future husband in 1999 and married him in 2003, helping him produce the book that served as his memoir, “Kingdom of Fear.”In her preface, Anita writes that being married to him was like “living with a teenage girl trapped in the body of an elderly dope fiend. … Hunter had the energy, the vitality and the curiosity of a young girl [and the] depth of wisdom … that came with his age and experience.”The book will be available at Explore Booksellers bookstore in Aspen.John Colson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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