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Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness: Modern History from the ESPN.com Sports Desk

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SPORTS, POLITICS, AND SEX COLLIDE IN HUNTER S. THOMPSON'S WILDLY POPULAR ESPN.COM COLUMNS. Insightful, incendiary, outrageously brilliant, such was the man who galvanized American journalism with his radical ideas and gonzo tactics. For over half a century, Hunter S. Thompson devastated his readers with his acerbic wit and uncanny grasp of politics and history. His reign as SPORTS, POLITICS, AND SEX COLLIDE IN HUNTER S. THOMPSON'S WILDLY POPULAR ESPN.COM COLUMNS. Insightful, incendiary, outrageously brilliant, such was the man who galvanized American journalism with his radical ideas and gonzo tactics. For over half a century, Hunter S. Thompson devastated his readers with his acerbic wit and uncanny grasp of politics and history. His reign as "The Unabomber of contemporary letters" (Time) is more legendary than ever with Hey Rube. Fear, greed, and action abound in this hilarious, thought-provoking compilation as Thompson doles out searing indictments and uproarious rants while providing commentary on politics, sex, and sports—at times all in the same column. With an enlightening foreword by ESPN executive editor John Walsh, critics' favorites, and never-before-published columns, Hey Rube follows Thompson through the beginning of the new century, revealing his queasiness over the 2000 election ("rigged and fixed from the start"); his take on professional sports (to improve Major League Baseball "eliminate the pitcher"); and his myriad controversial opinions and brutally honest observations on issues plaguing America―including the Bush administration and the inequities within the American judicial system. Hey Rube gives us a lasting look at the gonzo journalist in his most organic form―unbridled, astute, and irreverent.


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SPORTS, POLITICS, AND SEX COLLIDE IN HUNTER S. THOMPSON'S WILDLY POPULAR ESPN.COM COLUMNS. Insightful, incendiary, outrageously brilliant, such was the man who galvanized American journalism with his radical ideas and gonzo tactics. For over half a century, Hunter S. Thompson devastated his readers with his acerbic wit and uncanny grasp of politics and history. His reign as SPORTS, POLITICS, AND SEX COLLIDE IN HUNTER S. THOMPSON'S WILDLY POPULAR ESPN.COM COLUMNS. Insightful, incendiary, outrageously brilliant, such was the man who galvanized American journalism with his radical ideas and gonzo tactics. For over half a century, Hunter S. Thompson devastated his readers with his acerbic wit and uncanny grasp of politics and history. His reign as "The Unabomber of contemporary letters" (Time) is more legendary than ever with Hey Rube. Fear, greed, and action abound in this hilarious, thought-provoking compilation as Thompson doles out searing indictments and uproarious rants while providing commentary on politics, sex, and sports—at times all in the same column. With an enlightening foreword by ESPN executive editor John Walsh, critics' favorites, and never-before-published columns, Hey Rube follows Thompson through the beginning of the new century, revealing his queasiness over the 2000 election ("rigged and fixed from the start"); his take on professional sports (to improve Major League Baseball "eliminate the pitcher"); and his myriad controversial opinions and brutally honest observations on issues plaguing America―including the Bush administration and the inequities within the American judicial system. Hey Rube gives us a lasting look at the gonzo journalist in his most organic form―unbridled, astute, and irreverent.

30 review for Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness: Modern History from the ESPN.com Sports Desk

  1. 4 out of 5

    J.C.

    For me personally the real sad thing about reading Dr. Thompson these days is knowing that I am running out of fresh material. If you have ever read any Thompson you know that the way his life ended was exactly the way he wanted his life to end. It was his decision and I guess I can respect him for it. However it still saddens me because I often wonder what he would have thought of this hellish year of our Lord 2009 (just kidding folks, its been a pretty good year so far, that's just what he wou For me personally the real sad thing about reading Dr. Thompson these days is knowing that I am running out of fresh material. If you have ever read any Thompson you know that the way his life ended was exactly the way he wanted his life to end. It was his decision and I guess I can respect him for it. However it still saddens me because I often wonder what he would have thought of this hellish year of our Lord 2009 (just kidding folks, its been a pretty good year so far, that's just what he would have called it). the year of change... would he have been as excited as the great majority of the country? or would he have been more apprehensive of believing that change was actually possible? I would have liked to find out. That being said, Hey Rube is not what I was expecting it to be. It is a collection of Columns from ESPN's Page 2 website (Columns are now called blogs for some stupid reason, but that is for another day) starting at the beginning of 2001 and going up through the start of the 2004? 2005? football season. Whats great about the columns is that he blends a bit of current events (the stolen election of 2000, 911, The War) into his sports columns, the sports columns basically being expert advice from a professional sports gambler. There's not much to the columns, mostly they are long rants by Hunter talking about how his picks failed to beat the spread, or how some guy or some team or some owner is ruining the league (he's mostly talking basketball, football and horse racing here, but there are a few rants against baseball as well) or he compares these sporting times to the golden years he remembers so fondly. It appears Hunter became a bit of a recluse in his older years seeing as how most of his columns take place at his ranch in Woody Creek surrounded by a few celebrities, a few gambling "pros" and a strange neighbor named Omar who claims to be a prince of some sort (I never really figured out if he was a real person or just some figment in Hunters deranged drug addled mind). There is not much adventure, not much traveling going on, just a guy at his computer cheering or cursing his teams depending on whether they have won or lost on any given day. Woops, I mean to say if they have caused Hunter to win or lose MONEY! because that's really the whole point of the book/column folks, because sports are great, but betting on sports makes sports even better! on a side note: I loved this little excerpt so much I decided to type it here for you. the end of it will appear on my quotes page in a little while as well. When I read it I laughed, and coughed, and spit up a little on the page because I was so appreciatively shocked.... "War has always been a hard act to follow, and this rotten little massacre in Iraq is no exception. It is like that permanent shit-rain that Ronald Regan talked about in his letters to Frank Sinatra. They both believed very deeply in the book of Revelation. Regan even went so far as to say to his buddy, 'We are screwed, Frankie. We are the ones who will have to face the end of the World' They had a good time for sure, those rogues. They were lifelong sports fans, but Wars kept getting in their way. I used to laugh when good old Dutch said ominous things like that-but that is because he was drawing up the blueprints himself, right in front of our eyes, and we loved him for it. I had a soft spot in my heart for Ronald Regan, if only because he was a sportswriter in his youth, and also because his wife gave the best head in Hollywood." Who else is gonna write stuff like that now? No one. that's who.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Simply put, I am not a big sports fan. I've always thought spectator sports was just a way for men to piss their lives sway rooting for a bunch of mercenaries. At the same time, I really like Hunter S. Thompson, and I will read with pleasure anything he writes. There is a lot about politics in Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness: Modern History from the ESPN.com Sports Desk, and I've always agreed with HST (that's Thompson -- not Truman!) about Dubya Bus Simply put, I am not a big sports fan. I've always thought spectator sports was just a way for men to piss their lives sway rooting for a bunch of mercenaries. At the same time, I really like Hunter S. Thompson, and I will read with pleasure anything he writes. There is a lot about politics in Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness: Modern History from the ESPN.com Sports Desk, and I've always agreed with HST (that's Thompson -- not Truman!) about Dubya Bush and the chinless wonders who helped shore up his soi-disant administration. This was one of Thompson's last books before he shot himself in 2005. In this book, he writes of having extensive back surgery. Knowing what I know about what a crazy-making experience that is, I can understand why he pulled that trigger. What a pity, though.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jaymie

    Politics and sports are the same damn thing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Oren

    I finally understand what killed Hunter S. Thompson. He was killed by the state of his two favorite football teams, the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders. It seems so clear now, after reading this book. Oh sure, he faced life threatening disease and surgery near the end of his life, but his book painfully illustrates just what ailed the good Doctor. And it's no surprise. I've lived in San Francisco since 1999 and let me tell you. The local football teams have been God awful. Or would t I finally understand what killed Hunter S. Thompson. He was killed by the state of his two favorite football teams, the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders. It seems so clear now, after reading this book. Oh sure, he faced life threatening disease and surgery near the end of his life, but his book painfully illustrates just what ailed the good Doctor. And it's no surprise. I've lived in San Francisco since 1999 and let me tell you. The local football teams have been God awful. Or would that be Devil awful? I don't know, but the state of Bay Area football threatens to just go mutant and eat itself. Perhaps that's a logical development of a sport where muscle-bound giants run at Olympic sprinter speeds in collisions with each other. Perhaps it's another unique dynamic of the Bay Area philosophy, as if there were such a thing. When your head coach clocks an associate, you know you're in a situation that is winding down. Doctor Thompson didn't even live to know that, if my memory serves. As if the science fiction, make-believe image of Al Davis gazing down out of his aged skull wasn't enough to cause such a reeling normally associated with a sweaty dream of pursuit by clouds of evil. No, we add first round draft picks spent on kickers, trading Hall of Fame players, first round draft pick quarterbacks who immediately get fat on the sum associated with their pick and barely throw a pass in a live game, quarterbacks who trade downs like kickers and punters, receivers who press conference better than they pass route, and outdated locations and facilities constantly under threat of moving away altogether. So any football fan realizes just these things would bring near-death. I haven't even mentioned the win/loss records. Incredibly futile and it's a wonder anyone in the Bay Area has kept energy in their fandom. Should have become a Bronco fan, Hunter. Oh wait, now this is all happening there too! Selah. And to those who have written reviews here criticizing HST for becoming a parody of himself or of regurgitating Thompsonisms near the end of his life, I hope you're able to apply a more critical approach to your own doings. Your criticism has taken the same hack, socially normalized line of which you're accusing the author. Look in the mirror. The world benefits from a voice like HST's consistently applied to the news of the day. Thankfully, he influenced thousands of writers who will at least attempt to shed the light of connection through all the bullshit information masquerading as truth.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie Mickens

    Highly entertaining, even though I could give a ratty ass about sports. At times a bit name-droppy and phoned in compared to his best work, but whatever, in the mid-oughts I was happy to read Thompson gleefully insulting W, Vice & Co with more brilliance than I could ever hope to deploy. No, I didn't understand most of his sports and gambling lore, but somehow it was a delight to let it wash over me, like a vulgar version of Shakespeare's iambic pentameter that you don't quite comprehend but it Highly entertaining, even though I could give a ratty ass about sports. At times a bit name-droppy and phoned in compared to his best work, but whatever, in the mid-oughts I was happy to read Thompson gleefully insulting W, Vice & Co with more brilliance than I could ever hope to deploy. No, I didn't understand most of his sports and gambling lore, but somehow it was a delight to let it wash over me, like a vulgar version of Shakespeare's iambic pentameter that you don't quite comprehend but it sounds good anyway. "The worm will turn." This phrase, an abbreviation of a more ancient version*, is one of Thompson's absolute favorites here and he musters it in ranting glory throughout the book. I'd never heard it before and I loved it, introducing it to my own repertoire over and over, during and after the reading of this book, like a pubescent dweeb latching onto a Saturday Night Live catchphrase. Well, eventually, things did finally turn. We American worms elected Obama and Bush left to clear brush forever. Of course HST would never let any politician off the hook, not even the first black president, but I do wish he could've been here to see it. * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Even_a_... Even a worm will turn is an expression used to convey the message that even the meekest or most docile of creatures will retaliate or get revenge if pushed too far. The phrase was first recorded in a 1546 collection of proverbs by John Heywood, in the form "Treade a worme on the tayle, and it must turne agayne."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Reiter

    Not much to say but "Doctor Duke" is gone and most of what he predicted about the political future has come to pass. We are living in a police state where whistle blowers and the poor are hunted like animals and the reactionaries have captured both political parties. Remember all the good things that Obama promised that he would work towards but haven't seen much light even in the bowels of the White House. "Omertà is the code of the South, especially after weird crimes are committed by rich peo Not much to say but "Doctor Duke" is gone and most of what he predicted about the political future has come to pass. We are living in a police state where whistle blowers and the poor are hunted like animals and the reactionaries have captured both political parties. Remember all the good things that Obama promised that he would work towards but haven't seen much light even in the bowels of the White House. "Omertà is the code of the South, especially after weird crimes are committed by rich people." The essay Welcome To The Big Darkness should be read by all of the succeeding generations prior our demise so they can heap the blame on all of us who thought we were doing so well.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    sports is not my thing, but to hear Hunter Thompson describe that world - I was in. I'll never look at the American horse racing crowd the same again. sports is not my thing, but to hear Hunter Thompson describe that world - I was in. I'll never look at the American horse racing crowd the same again.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Aurora Dimitre

    The one thing about this that I wasn't into, it was that I don't care about sports that aren't hockey. But I knew that going in, that this was going to be primarily about sports. But! Thompson's weird-ass way of writing really made it up to me. It made me want to write more creative nonfiction, to use a school-day type of description for it. Primarily in terms of my blog (auroradimitre, it's a blogspot blog), which I mostly kind of throw random stuff up there between videos posted to YouTube. An The one thing about this that I wasn't into, it was that I don't care about sports that aren't hockey. But I knew that going in, that this was going to be primarily about sports. But! Thompson's weird-ass way of writing really made it up to me. It made me want to write more creative nonfiction, to use a school-day type of description for it. Primarily in terms of my blog (auroradimitre, it's a blogspot blog), which I mostly kind of throw random stuff up there between videos posted to YouTube. And I thought it was pretty interesting, what he had to say. I mean, other than the football/basketball/baseball stuff. But even that was probably more interesting than it would have been otherwise.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Philip Girvan

    Started rereading this a month or so ago, and finished it on Tuesday. It’s a compilation of HST’s ESPN[dot]com’s Page 2 columns from 2000-03. While there’s plenty of sports commentary, I keep coming back to the book for the Good Doctor’s invectives against the 2000 US Presidential election shenanigans and his recognition that the 9/11 attacks were the beginning of a long march into the forever war. Hey Rube is a funny, prescient, and historically significant documentation of the first few years of Started rereading this a month or so ago, and finished it on Tuesday. It’s a compilation of HST’s ESPN[dot]com’s Page 2 columns from 2000-03. While there’s plenty of sports commentary, I keep coming back to the book for the Good Doctor’s invectives against the 2000 US Presidential election shenanigans and his recognition that the 9/11 attacks were the beginning of a long march into the forever war. Hey Rube is a funny, prescient, and historically significant documentation of the first few years of the new millennium.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Leew49

    Best known for his seminal work FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, Hunter S Thompson was arguably the founder of Gonzo journalism, a form of reporting and commentary in which the reporter himself (or her-) is a central character in the developing narrative. Humorous, outrageous, and insightful, Thompson was always one of the most entertaining writers of his generation, even if some of his facts were spurious. I always got the impression that Thompson was a man's man: lover of sports, hard drinking, Best known for his seminal work FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, Hunter S Thompson was arguably the founder of Gonzo journalism, a form of reporting and commentary in which the reporter himself (or her-) is a central character in the developing narrative. Humorous, outrageous, and insightful, Thompson was always one of the most entertaining writers of his generation, even if some of his facts were spurious. I always got the impression that Thompson was a man's man: lover of sports, hard drinking, iconoclasm, fast cars, faster motorcycles, and all manner of firearms. In HEY RUBE, he takes his flamboyant, nonconformist approach to the world of sports writing. That's right: the perennial antiestablishment writer somehow landed a gig with ESPN magazine to write a regular sports column. Of course he put his own Gonzo twist on sports: viewing them primarily from the perspective of what seems to have been a serious gambling addiction. But then we need to remember that Thompson did everything big including--I suspect--exaggeration, and despite his claims to indulge copiously in every mind-altering substance known to humankind, he did produce a large body of unique and highly creative work. Of course the former ROLLING STONE reporter could never limit his sports column to sports alone, and as often as not his commentary on the NFL playoffs or March Madness spirals wildly into a hilarious and meandering diatribe on national politics. Most of HEY RUBE seems to have been written during the presidency of Bush 43, and Thompson's views and speculations are insightful and compelling. Not much of a sports fan myself, I did tire somewhat of the constant discussion of likely winners, deplorable losers, point spreads and massive financial losses. But Thompson always manages to entertain and amuse even when the subject matter tends toward the trivial.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    One of the oddest things about this book was right as I began to read it, Mr. Thompson put an end to his magnificent life. There is another odd thing that is actually in this book, for those who don't enjoy sports (like me) this book can be a trouble to read for long times. To read some of it I had to channel the little 13 year old matt inside me who did loved sports and could name you every player on the red socks from his favorite year of the franchise. Hunter has never really been into sports One of the oddest things about this book was right as I began to read it, Mr. Thompson put an end to his magnificent life. There is another odd thing that is actually in this book, for those who don't enjoy sports (like me) this book can be a trouble to read for long times. To read some of it I had to channel the little 13 year old matt inside me who did loved sports and could name you every player on the red socks from his favorite year of the franchise. Hunter has never really been into sports as much as he enjoyed the sports but kept up with it merely because he loves gambling. This book is a collection of all the articles he wrote for espn.com, he really shows of his gift for writing though. He uses the boringness of baseball to show connections with how the American political system is a waste in it's current style, his analogies are not far fetched by any means. My favorite part of the book is this line, "Purist will always bitch and whine. That is their function."

  12. 5 out of 5

    A.J.

    Anyone who doubted that Thompson was running on empty at the end of his career has only to read Hey Rube, a collection of forgettable ESPN columns in which he regurgitated what had by then become Stock Gonzo Phrases and Standard Thompsonisms, wrapped around whatever happened to be on his mind that day. Thompson in late career was rarely inspired, but could get away with publishing any old dreck. And he did. Thompson had originally conceived "Hey Rube" as the title of a book in which he would assa Anyone who doubted that Thompson was running on empty at the end of his career has only to read Hey Rube, a collection of forgettable ESPN columns in which he regurgitated what had by then become Stock Gonzo Phrases and Standard Thompsonisms, wrapped around whatever happened to be on his mind that day. Thompson in late career was rarely inspired, but could get away with publishing any old dreck. And he did. Thompson had originally conceived "Hey Rube" as the title of a book in which he would assail the slick hucksters of American business and politics, who continually dupe and cheat the great American public. That is not this book; presumably, Thompson couldn't come up with a title and used one from the backlog. This book is a tragic footnote to Thompson's career, which is itself a tale of great potential squandered. Read his good books; skip this one. It is arguably his worst.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tom Griggs

    It goes without saying that HST is a phenomenal talent; there are some paragraphs where this collection of his Page 2 articles truly shine. That said, it's a little tough to relate to point spreads and gambling picks for games that happened over a decade ago (although it did bring back some fond - and not so fond - sports memories). It goes without saying that HST is a phenomenal talent; there are some paragraphs where this collection of his Page 2 articles truly shine. That said, it's a little tough to relate to point spreads and gambling picks for games that happened over a decade ago (although it did bring back some fond - and not so fond - sports memories).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Janhavi

    Not rating this book - One needs to have a fairly decent knowledge of American sport, and politics to really understand this book. I read this book with my phone by my side. It is full of NFL, NBA references that I had to google after every few lines. lol!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kent Winward

    The sports stuff was dated. The political stuff, although dated felt very timely.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Hunter S. Thompson, politics, and sports - pretty good mix there. Of course, what is most striking about this collection of essays is how prescient it is, even reading it in July 2018. Here is his quote the day after September 11th, 2001 - "The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for peace in our time, in the U.S. or any other country. Make no mistake about it: we are at War now- with somebody- and we will stay at war with that strange and mysterious enemy for the Hunter S. Thompson, politics, and sports - pretty good mix there. Of course, what is most striking about this collection of essays is how prescient it is, even reading it in July 2018. Here is his quote the day after September 11th, 2001 - "The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for peace in our time, in the U.S. or any other country. Make no mistake about it: we are at War now- with somebody- and we will stay at war with that strange and mysterious enemy for the rest of our lives. It will be a religious war, a sort of christian jihad,fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerrilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy. This is going to be an expensive war, and victory is not guaranteed-for anyone . . . ." I also had to highlight and double underline this line - "Politics is the art of controlling your environment. That is one of the key things I learned in these years, and I learned it the hard way. Anybody who thinks that ‘it doesn’t matter who’s President’ has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid War on the other side of the World — or been beaten and gassed by Police for trespassing on public property — or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons — or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted." (Damn right, that's maybe why I resist the canonization of Kapernick, if you didn't vote in 2016, it's hard for me to take your political engagement as seriously.) Some of his pieces more sports focused were a little less prescient. They also required me to periodically check the standings to remember specific NFL seasons in which teams like the Dolphins, Raiders, and my Redskins assumed more importance than they do now in 2018.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vel Veeter

    If you feel like being taken back to the months leading up the 2000 presidential race through the middle of the 2004 presidential race in sports, politics, fear, and cultural tension and atmosphere for about 6 hours of listening, then boy do I have the book for you. Hunter S Thompson, in a very un-ESPN like move --- especially post 9/11 and post Disney buyout --- was asked to write a sports and politics blog for a while on a special extra section of ESPN.com. This is the result. More than anythi If you feel like being taken back to the months leading up the 2000 presidential race through the middle of the 2004 presidential race in sports, politics, fear, and cultural tension and atmosphere for about 6 hours of listening, then boy do I have the book for you. Hunter S Thompson, in a very un-ESPN like move --- especially post 9/11 and post Disney buyout --- was asked to write a sports and politics blog for a while on a special extra section of ESPN.com. This is the result. More than anything, this book is a time capsule of that incredibly scary time, as Hunter S Thompson, pseudo-liberal, pseudo-anarchist, pseudo-libertarian looks at and mirrors the chaotic tension, fear, anxiety, loathing--obviously, and other feelings of the early 2000s. He makes incredibly strident accusations and assertions, he also makes lots of predictions. He gets as many of them right as he does wrong, but the ones that are right, are very right. He makes wild swings too, from calling Generation Z (well, Millennials now) the most privileged generation to ever be born, up until 9/11 when he recognizes that Millennials are maybe the most cursed. He fires his shotgun wildly into the night kill terrorists (personifying the abject fear and confusion of the months after 9/11) and ends up killing only two peacocks instead of Osama Bin Laden. What stands out here is his absolute hatred for corruption and incompetence in government. He hates the Bushes for their dumb evil, and rightly reminds us how dumb and how evil they were (we need a lot of reminders on this as we fantasize a little too much about how awful this current administration is), but he also hates Gore for being weak. There's a lot of righteous anger here, and a lot of deeply cynical, deeply sarcastic misfirings too.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Willow Redd

    I've never been big on sports, just not my scene, so what am I doing reading a collection of sports-related blog posts from ESPN? Because they were written by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson has been a huge influence on me for a long time, so when I stumbled upon this book in a little local bookstore one summer after dinner with my family, I had to snatch it up. I didn't realize at the time that this particular collection was from his sportswriting, but with Thompson you just know it's going to I've never been big on sports, just not my scene, so what am I doing reading a collection of sports-related blog posts from ESPN? Because they were written by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson has been a huge influence on me for a long time, so when I stumbled upon this book in a little local bookstore one summer after dinner with my family, I had to snatch it up. I didn't realize at the time that this particular collection was from his sportswriting, but with Thompson you just know it's going to be about more than that. And this book is. In fact, it's more about his addiction to sports and gambling, as well as the current events that influence everything including sports. These particular missives come from the time of 9/11, just before and the first years after, and seeing Thompson's reactions to the world at that time, knowing where he stands on issues from previous pieces, is an absolute must. He saw things coming that are only now starting to become apparent. One thing I love about the Gonzo style is the flow the writing has, switching between personal anecdote, brutal confession, and honest criticism. Even sports can take on a wholly unique visage through the eyes of Hunter Thompson. There is also a beautiful tribute to his friend George Plimpton, who passed away in 2003.

  19. 5 out of 5

    F.

    “Summer has never been the same since the 2000 Presidential Election, when we still seemed to be a prosperous nation at peace with the world, more or less. Two summers later we were a dead-broke nation at war with all but three or four countries in the world, and three of those don't count. Spain and Italy were flummoxed and and England has allowed itself to be taken over by and stigmatized by some corrupt little shyster who enjoys his slimy role as a pimp and a prostitute all at once--selling a “Summer has never been the same since the 2000 Presidential Election, when we still seemed to be a prosperous nation at peace with the world, more or less. Two summers later we were a dead-broke nation at war with all but three or four countries in the world, and three of those don't count. Spain and Italy were flummoxed and and England has allowed itself to be taken over by and stigmatized by some corrupt little shyster who enjoys his slimy role as a pimp and a prostitute all at once--selling a once-proud nation of independent-thinking people down the river and into a deadly swamp of slavery to the pimps who love Jesus and George Bush and the war-crazed U.S. Pentagon.” HT was anti Iraq War before it was cool, and that's cool. I did not know that really and I'll confess to being not as avid a student of his writings and rants as I am a fan. Bush is a criminal. #eattherich “February is always a bad month for TV sports. Football is gone, basketball is plodding along in the annual midseason doldrums, and baseball is not even mentioned. It is a good time for building fires, reading books, watching movies, and cranking up random sex orgies with the neighbors.”

  20. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Clinton was a crook, Nixon the devil, Bush Sr the worst thing to happen to America, and Bush Jr a stupid child that will doom the world. This is pretty much what this book is about. Hunter will be Hunter, an aging depressive and highly intoxicated cynic who will try to drag you with him in his spiral of self destruction. Reading a column here and there in the newspaper at the time was probably a great laugh, but the full book is just masochism. The middle part about the 9/11 attack are touching, Clinton was a crook, Nixon the devil, Bush Sr the worst thing to happen to America, and Bush Jr a stupid child that will doom the world. This is pretty much what this book is about. Hunter will be Hunter, an aging depressive and highly intoxicated cynic who will try to drag you with him in his spiral of self destruction. Reading a column here and there in the newspaper at the time was probably a great laugh, but the full book is just masochism. The middle part about the 9/11 attack are touching, where the events manage to take him out of his dark remarks, and simply be human. The sport gambling addiction is funny, but the parallel with politics feels forced. Overall, in the 2020 pandemic and Trump presidency, you better stay away from this book, which only surfaced the worst of a period of history we rather forget.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lee Churchill

    I'm a frequent Thompson apologist, but there really isn't anything here of interest. Under a more scrutinizing and creative editor, I feel like a collection of sports-themed Hunter stories would be a wild romp across a variety of sports and interests. Instead, there's little context or theme that I could casually spot, so it wasn't long before this became a bore and a chore to settle. One of my favorite parts in the mythos comes at the end of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, where Hunter I'm a frequent Thompson apologist, but there really isn't anything here of interest. Under a more scrutinizing and creative editor, I feel like a collection of sports-themed Hunter stories would be a wild romp across a variety of sports and interests. Instead, there's little context or theme that I could casually spot, so it wasn't long before this became a bore and a chore to settle. One of my favorite parts in the mythos comes at the end of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, where Hunter has a sit-down conversation with Dick Nixon, where they connect over their "almanac level" football knowledge that bridges the gaps between extreme ideologies. Where was that in this? Nowhere.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Walker

    I'm not a sports person (Blasphemy!) and much of that goes over my head. The parallels drawn between major league sports, gambling, and politics, though, I can understand. Not in the highschool civics course "politics is a spectator sport and people are siding with their team" sense. That was kind of bullshit. But the parallel here is "I'm compelled to bet everything I own on the outcome of this game" and "Those guys want my friends to die and also to take control of my wife's uterus, so I hope t I'm not a sports person (Blasphemy!) and much of that goes over my head. The parallels drawn between major league sports, gambling, and politics, though, I can understand. Not in the highschool civics course "politics is a spectator sport and people are siding with their team" sense. That was kind of bullshit. But the parallel here is "I'm compelled to bet everything I own on the outcome of this game" and "Those guys want my friends to die and also to take control of my wife's uterus, so I hope the blue team can beat them."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    The writer of Rum Diaries, Hunter S. Thompson weaves sports and politics together like nobodies business. I am not an avid football fan but I must say reading Thompson's stories about the NFL definitely makes me want to give it a second or third chance...maybe I just need to be in with the right crowd and Thompson definitely hung with a unique group of people. This book may be outdated in regards to those games but he nails politics on the head and some things have just not changed, if you want The writer of Rum Diaries, Hunter S. Thompson weaves sports and politics together like nobodies business. I am not an avid football fan but I must say reading Thompson's stories about the NFL definitely makes me want to give it a second or third chance...maybe I just need to be in with the right crowd and Thompson definitely hung with a unique group of people. This book may be outdated in regards to those games but he nails politics on the head and some things have just not changed, if you want sports history mixed with sex, drugs, and politics this book will not disappoint.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kurt Dahlke

    Not the Doctor's best work by a long shot, but his hack-work is better than many people's best, and it's always refreshing to ingest his perspectives anew. This collection of his ESPN columns will have you looking up old sports scores while wishing he were here to make sense of Donald, Tom Brady, and the Golden State Warriors. Not the Doctor's best work by a long shot, but his hack-work is better than many people's best, and it's always refreshing to ingest his perspectives anew. This collection of his ESPN columns will have you looking up old sports scores while wishing he were here to make sense of Donald, Tom Brady, and the Golden State Warriors.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jane O Saurus

    This Book is a Time Capsule These columns are 20 years old now, and reading them is a careening tire-screeching ride down Memory Lane. It's startling how little America's political scenery has changed over the past two decades. It makes me wish Hunter S. Thompson was still alive, because his take on current events would be unrivaled by any pundit or podcast out there. This Book is a Time Capsule These columns are 20 years old now, and reading them is a careening tire-screeching ride down Memory Lane. It's startling how little America's political scenery has changed over the past two decades. It makes me wish Hunter S. Thompson was still alive, because his take on current events would be unrivaled by any pundit or podcast out there.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    I didn’t get really into this, mostly because I’ve never followed football and haven’t followed basketball since the 1990s. But more than that, these all seemed a little scattered, when I was looking and hoping for the searing, sharp writing I know he was capable of.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Clint Banjo

    I dont think you’d read this without being already a fan...some US sports knowledge makes it more enjoyable, it’s still classic Hunter Thompson, although other books are a pretty place to start if you’re new...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    It's a fun read, albeit quite cynical at times. Mostly it's HST rambling about sports, gambling, and politics, all done up in his uniquely humorous style. The most thought-provoking parts are his takes on politics and the impact that George W Bush and the 9/11 attacks had on society. It's a fun read, albeit quite cynical at times. Mostly it's HST rambling about sports, gambling, and politics, all done up in his uniquely humorous style. The most thought-provoking parts are his takes on politics and the impact that George W Bush and the 9/11 attacks had on society.

  29. 5 out of 5

    RJ

    An interesting read. but a lot of time spent on gambling, especially on NFL football. We could have used more insightful thoughts on the damn Iraq War that the Child-President (HST's term) got us into, given its eventual costs and the bullshit we were all fed by the Cheney-Rumsfield power duo to get us into that quagmire. An interesting read. but a lot of time spent on gambling, especially on NFL football. We could have used more insightful thoughts on the damn Iraq War that the Child-President (HST's term) got us into, given its eventual costs and the bullshit we were all fed by the Cheney-Rumsfield power duo to get us into that quagmire.

  30. 5 out of 5

    John

    HST is missed these days.

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