By November 1, 2007 4 Comments Read More →

Are there embarrassing details about Hunter S. Thompson that aren't part of the public record?

Anita Thompson doesn’t like Jann Wenner’s book about her late husband, Hunter S. Thompson. (Booklist‘s Donna Seaman did like the book, quite a bit.) From The New York Daily News (“Widow’s fear & loathing over Hunter S. Thompson bio,” Rush & Molloy):

“There are beautiful parts in [Wenner’s] book, but it sensationalizes Hunter unecessarily. It’s meant to portray him as losing his mind at the end, but he was not. He was just as kind and decent and brilliant as when he was younger.

Wenner rebuts:

“She’s attacking the book because she’s not in it,” Wenner told us. “We just took her out. We took her narrative thread out and had other people tell the story. Anita and I get along fine, but she has an exaggerated sense of who she was in terms of Hunter. She had another kind of role.”



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

4 Comments on "Are there embarrassing details about Hunter S. Thompson that aren't part of the public record?"

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  1. Frank says:

    Donna’s review seems to indicate that the Anita thread wasn’t taken out until after the ARCs were sent out–“With particularly illuminating contributions from… Thompson’s long-suffering wife…”

    Hope she hung onto the galley for posterity. (P.S. Donna: Send it to me for Christmas if it’s in fact a juicier version than the one published)…

  2. Donna Seaman says:

    The “long-suffering wife” is the former Sandy Thompson, who was married to Thompson from 1963 to 1980. She is the mother of their son, Juan, and Sandy contributes mightily to this oral biography (as does Juan), a book that I do not feel sensationalizes Thompson anymore than Thompson was sensational. Anita married Hunter, who was twice her age, in 2003 after living with him for several years. Thompson committed suicice in early 2005. And yes, Frank, I do have the galley. . . . .

  3. Frank says:

    Ok, thanks for clearing that up. I went through the orgy of reading all three Thompson bios that came out around 10+ years ago–and thought E. Jean Carroll’s Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson was the most entertaining of the bunch. Sounds like I’ll have to check this one out after getting to the oral history of Zevon tempting me on the bookshelf…

  4. Donna Seaman says:

    Hi Frank,

    Yes, you’re a gonzo fanatic, so it’s a must. I”m a big fan of oral biographies. I just reviewed one about Bella Abzug that was postively rollicking, not to mention timely.

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