The Hell’s Angels Letters: Hunter S. Thompson, Margaret Harrell and the Making of an American Classic

By Margaret Harrell

I was honoured to recently contribute an essay to this fascinating new book by Margaret Harrell, alongside William McKeen, author of the excellent Thompson biography Outlaw Journalist, and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Streitfeld, author of Hunter S. Thompson: The Last Interview. I will be posting more about my experience working with Margaret on this and about the book itself but for now here is a description from the publisher, Norfolk Press, followed by a blurb I contributed to the back cover and most importantly, the link to where you can buy a copy.

Take note, this is a large A4 full colour book and is heavy, hence the price.

From the publisher – “The Hell’s Angels Letters: Hunter S. Thompson, Margaret Harrell and the Making of an American Classic is an important revelation in the legacy of Thompson, with letters that survived precarious shipping and travel over decades, cloaked away from the public. “If Hell’s Angels hadn’t happened I never would have been able to write Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or anything else . . . I felt like I got through a door just as it was closing,” Hunter told Paris Review. When he secured a hardcover contract with Jim Silberman (Random House), the known part of the story breaks off. To whip up the final edits, Margaret A. Harrell, a young copy editor/assistant editor to Jim, was—in a break from the norm—given full rein to work with him by expensive long-distance phone and letter. This galvanizing action led to a fascinating tale. She uses the letters to resuscitate the cloaked, suspenseful withheld drama. The book peaks in their romantic get-together at his ranch twenty-one years after they last met, a moving tie maintained over the years. What happens, then? Read on and see.”

The Hell’s Angels Letters: Hunter S. Thompson, Margaret Harrell and the Making of an American Classic reveals an oft-overlooked side of Hunter S. Thompson – that of the serious writer and journalist dedicated to his craft and determined to reveal the truth to his audience, no matter the cost. The correspondence covers a pivotal moment in Thompson’s career, on the cusp of making his literary impact as part of the New Journalism movement while simultaneously moving towards realizing his Gonzo persona and style. The letters here reveal the painstaking task of bringing Hunter’s vision to fruition, and Margaret Harrell played an integral role in this journey. – Dr. Rory Patrick Feehan

Buy a copy from the publisher here.

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