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*HST – Intros & Blurbs

“I didn’t get into politics to be elected to anything, I got in as a dark backroom sinister influence. I thought of it as the politics of enlightened self-interest. If I’m going to to live in a place, I don’t want some kind of geek running it. And if I have to go head-to-head with the bastards, I will.”

Hunter S. Thompson in To Aspen and Back by Peggy Clifford (Intoduction by HST)

HST as Contributor

Hunter has contributed a number of introductions to various books by his friends and associates over the years. After the success of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas he was in huge demand to write blurbs for a wide range of books, a task that he grew to dislike after a number of publishers refused to use them. In Fear and Loathing in America there are a number of letters in which Hunter discusses this issue. Here is a selection of excerpts from these letters:

To Kristi Witker: October 17, 1973

Hunter was asked to contribute a blurb to Witker’s book – HOW TO LOSE EVERYTHING IN POLITICS Except Massachusetts. Here are the blurbs that he offered for use:

  • “If Kristi Witker is right, Frank Mankiewicz should be castrated.”
  • “This book is the best argument I’ve ever read for getting women out of politics and into sex and drugs where they belong.”
  • “A disgraceful indictment of the sexist swine who ran American politics. Nothing short of selective castration on a massive scale will right the wrongs Mz. Witker outlines here….”

Hunter finished the letter by offering the following opinion – “I want to remain on record, however, as a firm advocate of the theory that no quote (or blurb) ever sold more than 13 copies of any book in hardcover, and no more than six in paperback.”

To Jim Silberman, Random House: October 17, 1973

“For a while I was getting maybe three or four books a year to read, evaluate & put in a selling capsule of 20 words or less … but in the past six months I’ve been getting on the average of one book a week, and sometimes I get 3 or 4 a week. Just tonight I sent off a handful of unuseable quotes (no publisher has ever used anything I’ve sent, despite the fact that I usually labor and groan over the fuckers) for a book on the McGovern campaign by a girl named Kristi Witker….”

“As I told you in an earlier letter, you can sign my name to almost anything short of disgraceful madness. (A recent review of both Fear and Loathing books, for instance, said the Vegas epic was “possibly the best book since The Bible.”)”

Introductions by Hunter S. Thompson

Below is a list of books with introductions by Hunter. Following that is a list of books with blurbs by Hunter. If you know of any book missing from this list please contact me at the following address – totallygonzo@gmail.com

Title: To Aspen and Back

Author: Peggy Clifford

8 Page Introduction by HST

Title: The Boys On The Bus

Author: Timothy Crouse

3 Page Foreword by HST

Title: The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo

Author: Oscar Zeta Acosta

3 Page Introduction by HST (Excerpt from The Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat)

Title: The Revolt of the Cockroach People

Author: Oscar Zeta Acosta

3 Page Introduction by HST (Excerpt from The Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat)

Title: America

Author: Ralph Steadman

5 Page Introduction by HST (An interview with Hunter about Ralph and his book)

Title: Gonzo – The Art

Author: Ralph Steadman

Introduction by HST

Title: The Gospel According to ESPN

Author: Jay Lovinger (Editor)

8 Page Introduction by HST

Title: The Mango Opera

Author: Tom Corcoran

HST Blurb: “Tom Corcoran knows the foul reaches of Key West and so do I. This is an evil book about an evil place. Don’t read this book if you have a tendency to wonder where your daughter is on long rainy nights.”


Title: Dispatches

Author: Michael Herr

HST Blurb: “We have all spent ten years trying to explain what happened to our heads and our lives in the decade we finally survived – but Michael Herr’s Dispatches puts all the rest of us in the shade.”

Title: The Desert Rose

Author: Larry McMurty

HST Blurb: “It’s a good novel, with a fine sense of character and fate and dying on your feet in the fast lane.”

Title: Snowblind

Author: Robert Sabbag

HST Blurb: “A flat-out ballbuster.”

Title: Smokescreen

Author: Robert Sabbag

HST Blurb: “This guy Sabbag is a whip-song writer.”


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