Re: RARA-AVIS: Hunter S. Thompson

From: Bob Toomey (
Date: 10 Apr 2000

John & Carrie wrote:
> Does anyone consider Hunter S. Thompson as within the hard boiled tradition?
> Someone recently maintained to me that he was, I disputed it, but I'm not
> entirely sure. For one thing, his work is not fiction (although that's open
> to question, isn't it?). Second, his potpourri of drug-induced horros
> doesn't seem very hard-boiled to me.

Well, I suggested that Thompson's hilarious "Fear and Loathing in Las Vagas" should be included in any list of modern hardboiled books. If hardboiled is, as I keep contending, an attitude, Thompson's stuff has attitude to spare. As to whether "Las Vagas" is fiction, Thompson himself claims it is because he'd be crazy to admit that he actually committed all the felonies recounted in that book.

And what about Thompson's "Hell's Angels"? A classic piece of reportage, not filled with drug induced horrors, but definitely hardboiled.

Do we exclude books from our lists just because they're non-fiction?


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