Staff Pick

If you are going to write a biography of the journalist Hunter S. Thompson, the one thing you should never be is capital O Objective. To be Objective--a word Thompson loathed-- would be to have missed the point of your subject and Timothy Denevi has certainly not missed the point. By adopting (or imitating) Thompson’s gonzo style in Freak Kingdom (PublicAffairs, $28), Denevi creates a necessarily fast-paced narrative of the most significant decade of Thompson’s life (1964-1974). He also succeeds in drawing a revisionist portrait of Thompson that never quite dispels the drug-addled caricature one finds in Doonesbury’s Uncle Duke, nor should it. Denevi resuscitates an important and unfortunately overlooked aspect of Thompson’s political thought: his true commitment to lowercase r republican virtues and ultimately to the Dream of America, rather than the American Dream. This Thompson, who Denevi strives to portray as an opponent to the Ever Present Specter of Fascism: American Style, appears more as a nuanced and thoughtful figure whose idiosyncrasies are not simply those of a drug-addled freak, but of a different sort of patriot. Denevi’s Thompson is a patriot loyal to America’s highest aspirations, democracy, multiculturalism, and equality, while antagonistic to its Lowest Common Discriminators, namely, Richard Milhous Nixon.

Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson's Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism Cover Image
ISBN: 9781541767942
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: PublicAffairs - October 30th, 2018

Staff Pick

Cherry is advertised as a novel. It’s not a novel.  The inside cover tells you it’s a work of fiction. It’s not. If it was, it would be called “well researched” “highly imaginative” and “ripped from the headlines”. It’s just an incredible memoir. From the long and bizarre acknowledgment section you may infer that this book is heavily edited. I doubt that too. This raw and occasionally, morbidly, and even sickeningly humorous book tells the story of an Iraq vet come opioid addict come bank robber come prisoner. Through each of these roles Walker gives a uncomfortably casual look into caustic masculinity.  

Cherry: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525520139
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - August 14th, 2018