The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time

Hunter S. Thompson

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The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time

The Great Shark Hunt Strange Tales from a Strange Time The first volume in Hunter S Thompson s bestselling Gonzo Papers offers brilliant commentary and outrageous humor in his signature style Originally published in the first volume of the bestsell

  • Title: The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time
  • Author: Hunter S. Thompson
  • ISBN: 9780743250450
  • Page: 246
  • Format: Paperback
  • The first volume in Hunter S Thompson s bestselling Gonzo Papers offers brilliant commentary and outrageous humor, in his signature style.Originally published in 1979, the first volume of the bestselling Gonzo Papers is now back in print The Great Shark Hunt is Dr Hunter S Thompson s largest and, arguably, most important work, covering Nixon to napalm, Las Vegas to WThe first volume in Hunter S Thompson s bestselling Gonzo Papers offers brilliant commentary and outrageous humor, in his signature style.Originally published in 1979, the first volume of the bestselling Gonzo Papers is now back in print The Great Shark Hunt is Dr Hunter S Thompson s largest and, arguably, most important work, covering Nixon to napalm, Las Vegas to Watergate, Carter to cocaine These essays offer brilliant commentary and outrageous humor, in signature Thompson style.Ranging in date from the National Observer days to the era of Rolling Stone, The Great Shark Hunt offers myriad, highly charged entries, including the first Hunter S Thompson piece to be dubbed gonzo The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved, which appeared in Scanlan s Monthly in 1970 From this essay a new journalistic movement sprang which would change the shape of American letters Thompson s razor sharp insight and crystal clarity capture the crazy, hypocritical, degenerate, and redeeming aspects of the explosive and colorful 60s and 70s.

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    One thought on “The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time

    1. Arthur Graham on said:

      Gets bogged down with minutiae at points, but then this is where we often find some of HST's keener insights re: sports, politics, and everything else, after all the bullshit has been laboriously shoveled, scraped, and swept away. Quite a lot to wade through, but if you're anything like me, you'd probably rather hear it from a drug-addled maniac with no claim to objectivity than some shill from the New York Times.HST was a remarkable thinker and writer, not only for pioneering a whole new form o [...]

    2. Chloe on said:

      Readers who only know of Hunter S. Thompson from his acid-washed hunt for the American Dream in one of this countries most deranged metropolitan wastes will find a different sort of Hunter here. Given the man's talent for spectacle, pomposity and grand acts of destruction, it's easy for people to forget that before he was a legend, Hunter S. Thompson was a talented and capable journalist- one of those rare souls who was perfectly able to capture the flavor of the 60s zeitgeist, both its rapturou [...]

    3. Benjamin Church on said:

      I came into reading this really long Thompson collection somewhat accidentally, but it shows that he is an extraordiary journalist with a convincing desire to pursue greater truths - an impression that really outshines the whimsical, drug-obsessed icon that he has been reduced to by the culture at large. Most of this book is about his experiences covering Richard Nixon and, given that we are at the height of another excessively arrogant conservative regime on the verge of self-destruction result [...]

    4. Bob on said:

      "If I followed my better instincts right now, I would put this typewriter in the Volvo and drive to the home of the nearest politician -- any politician -- and hurl the goddamn machine through his front window flush the bugger out with an act of lunatic violence then soak him down with mace and run him naked down Main Street in Aspen with a bell around his neck and black lumps all over his body from the jolts of a high powered "Ball Buster" cattle prod.But old age has either mellowed me or brok [...]

    5. Mike on said:

      I stayed away from Thompson for a while, due to an impression I'd developed in part from a comic book I read as a kid called Transmetropolitan (which featured an ostensibly Thompson-like protagonist) and in part from the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, that his writing was cartoonish, overly preoccupied with trying to be funny, and basically not serious. I would say there are a few pieces here that really do fit that description ("The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved", supposedly th [...]

    6. Chin Jian xiong on said:

      Hunter S. Thompson defines everything good about journalism, despite extreme subjectivity, rampant decadence and pure mania. There's strange power in words, how Hunter seems more trustworthy than any other piece of longform work out there. The last writer who had this impact on me was David Foster Wallace, due to how his extreme maximalism and constant introspection created the illusion that he was right there talking in your face. Well, while David Foster Wallace manifests himself as that philo [...]

    7. Asaucier on said:

      THE GREAT SHARK HUNT: Gonzo Papers, Volume 1, Strange Tales from a Strange Time by Hunter S. ThompsonOne of the best. An absolute must for every American, let alone Thompson fan - or journalist for that matter. The following are a list of the articles from it that I have read, along with commentary and favorite quotes. ARTICLESThe Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and DepravedA Southern City with Northern ProblemsFear and Loathing at the Super BowlJacket Copy for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savag [...]

    8. Matti Karjalainen on said:

      Hunter S. Thompsonin "Suuri hainmetsästys" (Sammakko, 2010) sisältää valikoiman gonzo-journalismin isän kirjallisia trippejä 1960- ja 1970-luvulta. Thompsonin persoonallisia tekstejä julkaistiin mm. Rolling Stonessa ja Playboyssa, ja niiden aiheet käsittelevät mm. ammattilaisurheilua, Yhdysvaltain poliittista kuohuntaa, hippiliikettä ja erilaisia päihteitä. Presidentti Richard Nixon joutuu erityisesti Dr. Gonzon hampaisiin, ja Watergate-skandaalin käsittely kattaakin "Suuren hainmet [...]

    9. TheLongWait on said:

      This is the true Hunter S Thompson. Building his legend writing about whatever they throw at him and making it his own. It's easy to forget that despite his public persona, Thompson was a tremendous WRITER who could draw many emotions out of his readers. A personal favorite of mine and a book I never tire of.

    10. Dennis on said:

      A little tedious. I think I've overdosed on Thompson. I thought some of his usual outrageousness was out of place and read like he was trying to hard to be crazy. A few good essays. I especially liked the one on Jean Claude Killy.

    11. Michael Jr. on said:

      This is a must-read collection of Thompson's work from his prime in the mid-60s through late 70s. It collects, as no other volume does, his writing about the Brown Power movement that his friend Oscar Acosta was part of, his trials and tribulations with Richard Nixon (outside of the campaign in '72 and including Watergate), and the various fragments, features, and figments that came together to be Gonzo journalism.Unlike Generation of Swine, Kingdom of Fear, Songs of the Doomed, and Hey Rube, th [...]

    12. Stop on said:

      The STOP SMILING Downfall of American Publishing Issue dedicates 40 pages to an oral history of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, which includes interviews with collaborators and friends such as Ralph Steadman, Craig Vetter, wife Anita Thompson, PJ O'Rourke, and more. About the issue, Slate media critic Jack Shafer wrote, "Stop Smiling's oral history of Hunter S. Thompson bested Rolling Stone's similarly constructed special issue about the Doctor in every way.

    13. Rich Meyer on said:

      This book of Hunter S. Thompson essays and articles covers most of his early career, especially the time period when he was writing Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hell's Angels and the Watergate scandal. Many of these articles were incorporated into those other books, but a good portion of it hasn't been printed before outside of the original, now very-hard-to-find, periodicals.This is vintage Thompson. He covers pop icons (Jean Claude Killy, Muhammad Ali) in a way that you wish even E! News co [...]

    14. Brett on said:

      While this book is a collection of other writings, it is like a best of Hunter S Thompson. I have never read anything in my life where there was so few lulls and yet so many memorable stories of the shark hunt as the title says, going through customs with a ton of drugs, going to the Kentucky Derby, writing on the culture of the 70's change from the spirit of the 60's. Hunter was truly a wild journalist whose kind may never be witnessed again but whose writing is undeniably a spirit of great Ame [...]

    15. Jonas on said:

      Some stories, like the eponymous Great Shark Hunt, and the Kentucky Derby one, are absolute classics. However, many of the gems get caught in between long stretches of relatively boring political coverage. I'd recommend it, though, especially if you aren't averse to picking and choosing among the best pieces.

    16. Chris Bushman on said:

      I know Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the "Great Work" for which he will be forever remembered and deservedly so. However, Shark Hunt is a kind of Penguin Reader of the Essential HST and as such is the indispensable survey of the glory years.I read this six or eight times between the ages of 19 and 22. If you have a brain ripe for warping, crack this one some time.

    17. Greg Strandberg on said:

      This is a good book. I'm not going to pretend it's anything real special. I think it's more someone trying to milk it for all it's worth, actually. And that's just fine by me. Still, going back to Hell's Angels might be a better use of your time.

    18. Kylie Poppen on said:

      It's a long-haul to get througha lot of gonzo for one sitting, but quite a few of the pieces make it well worth it (and hence the 4 stars). Some excellent bits about San Francisco, California, and counterculture along with painstaking political trail journalism and self-deprecation.

    19. Gordon on said:

      Probably the book (collection of essays) that made me want to write.

    20. Ernest Hogan on said:

      Re-read it as the Trump Era got fired up. I'll probably be re-reading more Thompson in the next few years . . .

    21. T on said:

      Having finally finished the 615 page behemoth that is The Great Shark Hunt, I have gotten a lot out of it. It gave fascinating insight into the world of HST, who had such an unusual lifestyle. Spread throughout the book are tales of his ridiculous and surreal adventures that make for an entertaining read. I have gained a respect for journalism and quality of writing in general as a result of feeling the passion and regard HST had for his work, despite the maelstrom chaos and debauchery that perm [...]

    22. Downward on said:

      this covers the breadth of thompson's early career, including chunks of his three major works: hell's angels, fear & loathing in las vegas, and fear & loathing on the campaign trail. thompson gets categorized too easily as a drug writer, both praised and dismissed for something that was only a small part of his repertoir. what's more interesting is the divergent and detailed path through which he catalogued the fringes of society: student radicals and brown power, sports fans and richard [...]

    23. Richard Schwindt on said:

      This remains the best book for accessing the ouvre of Hunter S. Thompson. He remains one of the most unique voices of the late twentieth century, bringing anarchy into the news and substance abuse lit to the masses. He became in the end a parody of himself so it can be forgotten how good he really was. I suspect as time goes on more people will discover Gonzo journalism and of course try to emulate it. The classics are in this book, starting with the wonderful "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and [...]

    24. Nick Mesha on said:

      By far the best Hunter book I have read. With levity and wit, Hunter cuts right to the nut of societies problems, which mostly all still exist today. This book is split into four parts covering his writing from 1960-1970s. Here are some of my favorite passages. "Fear and Loathing in the Bunker". The New York Times, 1974On a need to know basis, the milkman and I understood that I was not among the needy. Nor was he, for that matter. We were both a lot happier just doing what we were told.George O [...]

    25. Lavender on said:

      Filled with stories about politics and sports, I really should not have liked this book. (I am not a fan of either sports or politics.) Somehow it was still interesting to me, though. Maybe it's the stream of consciousness style of writing or the absurd drug induced mania often described. Anyway, I will likely seek out the next couple if books in the series.

    26. Drew on said:

      From the Kentucky Derby to Nixon, Watergate, Las Vegas, South America, drugs of all sorts and Jimmy Carter, there's nothing quite like the insight and analysis of the 60's and 70's by Hunter S. Thompson.

    27. Talal on said:

      This is the longest I've taken to finish a book this year. Worth it. Thompson thrives on 'shock and awe'.

    28. Steven Farmer on said:

      There will never be another like Hunter S. Thompson. The is a perfect collection of all of writings.

    29. Paul Basile on said:

      The good Dr. ranting on subjects ranging from Nixon to Ali. The Watergate pieces are really interesting given today's political climate.

    30. Keen on said:

      Fear and Loathing in the bunker, at the super bowl, at the Watergate, in Washington. These are just some of the titles of the stories here, so good to see that they got their monies worth out of that idea. I haven’t read Thompson since the 90s so I was interested to see what it would be like reading him now. At his best he is a passionate, gritty, bold and amusing scribe, who can get under the skin, but he is far from a great writer and I’m not sure it stands up so well now.This is very much [...]

    31. Maureen on said:

      HST's volumes of Gonzo Papers (The Great Shark Hunt is the first of four volumes) can be intimidating to even the avid reader: small-sized text with small margins means each of the nearly 600 pages are packed FULL of those things that make up a book we refer to as words. Luckily, because this is a compilation of essays, it breaks up the text nicely. In either case, a compelling read for sure - I am a huge HST fan so I sort of knew I would like it before reading it, but it's interesting to look b [...]

    32. Nick on said:

      What the sub-title means by the "Gonzo Papers" is that this book is a Thompson sampler; It collects dozens and dozens of articles and book exceprts on subjects from covering the Kentucky Derby to race tension in LA following the slaying of a prominent Latino TV reporter to Muhammed Ali's loss to Leon Spinks to Nixon's impeachment and resulting fallout. I really liked this book - I was never bored, which is no easy feat considering the wide breadth of material covered and the sheer length (almost [...]

    33. 1.1 on said:

      I will preface this review by stating that I thoroughly enjoyed Songs of the Doomed and loved Generation of Swine, which might not be salient to the average reader, but I have read a bunch of Hunter's stuff and this volume gave me a serious case of deja vu. Notwithstanding, it was enjoyable stuff to reread, but I was hoping for a repeat of the incredibly engrossing sense I got reading Songs for the first time an impossible wish to fulfill, for any writer, let alone a dead one who prompted a numb [...]

    34. Librofilia_it on said:

      Questo è un Hunter S. Thompson meno violento, più riflessivo e più cinico ma soprattutto più incazzato e con una certa propensione al più assoluto menefreghismo nei confronti dei giudizi espressi dall'opinione pubblica sui suoi scritti. Il libro raccoglie gli articoli pubblicati negli anni '70 sulle testate "Rolling Stone", "Playboy" e "New York Times" e gli argomenti trattati sono di varia natura, si parte infatti con il torneo di pesca d'altura di Cozumel sino allo scandalo Watergate, pas [...]

    35. Kris Ashton on said:

      Few things are more enjoyable than reading an author at the height of his or her powers. Stephen King’s work in the early to mid-1980s comes immediately to mind – it seems to thrum with an energy that his newer stuff, while undoubtedly better crafted, just can’t match. The Great Shark Hunt exhibits Hunter S. Thompson at the peak of his writing prowess. It’s a collection of political essays, the bulk of them from the early to mid-1970s and focusing on Richard Nixon’s campaign for a seco [...]

    36. José on said:

      Asombrosa antología periodística a pesar de la traducción de Anagrama, que esta vez deja mucho que desear. Thompson produce una radiografía contracultural que en sus mejores momentos (La crónica sobre el asesinato del reportero Rubén Salazar por parte de la Policía de Los Ángeles, el perfil del esquiador francés Jean-Claude Killy) arranca la yugular de la sociedad estadounidense aburguesada de la posguerra y en sus momentos menos creativos o coherentes (la pesca-protesta de Marlon Brand [...]

    37. Jonathan Rose on said:

      If you are a fan of the Fear and Loathing books by Hunter Thompson, then many of the essays in this book will excite you just as much. His writing was unique. His writing was him. So if you didn't like him, or the thought of him, or the idea of what he represented then you will not enjoy his writing, simple as that. There is no disassociation here, he IS the stories he wrote, and that was the essence of Gonzo, at least that's how I perceive it. I personally love it, as his work was honest, and, [...]

    38. Deborah Schuff on said:

      This first volume of the Gonzo Papers collects articles from the '60's and 70's. I relived Watergate. I learned that LA police racist killings are not a new thing ("Strange Rumblings in Aztlan"). I learned about Beatniks, the Free Speech Movement, Mario Savio, Hells' Angels. I was touched by his memorial piece to his lawyer/friend Oscar Zeta Acosta ("The Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat"). I voted for Jimmy Carter for President in my first election, but I had never known of his Law Day speech (A [...]

    39. Bob on said:

      The anthology format is very helpful for you to see his development from an ordinary chemical-abusing foreign freelancer into the writer through whose eyes I saw some of the most important images of the '72 presidential campaign,Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 riots in hispanic Los Angeles, the Hell's Angels Hell's Angelsand the Freak Power campaign for Aspen Colorado local offices.

    40. Tim Cantrell on said:

      They're all good. I can't keep up all this writing about H.S.T. He's my favorite modern author by far and probably holds top 3 or 5 of all time. He Just Had a way of looking at things and injected a whole new journalism, GONZO! Please give him a chance. He has many books with often a totally different feel altogether while sticking to His GONZO roots. I think once he tried to do a book in a more normal format and as far as I know he never did it again. He has a whole new generation of GONZO jour [...]

    41. Aaron Dome on said:

      An excellent compilation of Thompson's work.This collection may be a bit frustrating for fans who have already read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, FAL On the Campaign Trail '72, and Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, because it includes large portions of those works. Most important (and most interesting) is the inclusion of some of Thompson's early work from first half of the 1960s, proving that Thompson could play it relatively "straight" with results just as engrossing as his later " [...]

    42. James on said:

      Thompson was the quintessential voice of the American counter-culture during the 1960's and 70's. Thompson along with Wolfe engineered a new brand of journalism, one that Thompson would refer to as "Gonzo". Rather than just reporting on the story Thompson aimed at reporting on the story of getting the story.Thompson is often mistaken for a drug addled, violent maniac, but he was so much more than that, as he also drank prodigiously. But, in fairness how else could a reporter capture the feel of [...]

    43. Willow Redd on said:

      What can one say about Hunter S. Thompson that hasn't already been said? He was a madman, a genius, and an excellent writer. Collected here are several of his greatest pieces, such as "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved," which show his mastery of the written word and his search for an absolute truth in his writing which would be the birth of Gonzo. This same truth, unfortunately, also created the character of "Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, wild man of the ages" that would eventually burn out [...]

    44. Kane on said:

      Lots of variety here. Hunter S Thompson got put on a lot of great journalistic assignments and I really enjoyed getting a longer term perspective of how he fit into American culture from the 60s to the 70s. There are great portraits here of Muhammad Ali, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter in particular. Thompson's style was a real boon when it comes to getting the real story, and it's really something just picturing how such an outlandish character could get so close to some of our nation's greates [...]

    45. David on said:

      Some of the best writing ever published by Doctor Gonzo can be found in Volume 1 of his Gonzo Papers, The Great Shark Hunt. This volume of work contains a wide variety of snippets from Thompson’s writing career, from the span of 1962 to 1978.Let me begin by saying that Thompson is one of my favorite authors, and I have read nearly all of his books, including one of the other volumes in the Gonzo Papers collection. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a great piece of work, and is probably the mos [...]

    46. Vikram on said:

      Hunter S Thompson pioneered 'gonzo' journalism, where the journalist is never a passive observer in the story, but indeed appears in the thick of it, oftentimes as a provocateur. The Great Shark Hunt is a collection of such 'gonzo' stories, from the early 1960's to the late 1970's. Included in this volume is 'The Kentucky Derby is decadent and depraved', the first story where the term made its first appearance. Chronologically, the earlier writings in the book deal predominantly with cultures we [...]

    47. Phil on said:

      The book is a collection of his essays from the 70's. Thompson's writing style has changed the way I look at things now. He doesn't have a filter between his brain and fingers and that's where he shines. Yeah, although he uses caricatures to describe the filth, drunkenness and debauchery that happens on the infield of the Kentucky Derby (and thereby ruins the whole air of the event), it's a new way (back in the 70's) of journalism. so deal. Thompson hated Dick Nixon and he let the president and [...]

    48. LeslieGolden on said:

      A collection of Hunter's Best work that stands on its own. It includes excerpts from some of HST's longer works (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, The Hell's Angels, etc.) and reprints of some of his incredible essays. Hunter Thompson's view of the world always contained a combination of moral outrage, amazement and sardonic humor but his eloquence and integrity made each essay a treasure. It seems strange to associate integrity with this writer considering his reputation but Thompson alw [...]

    49. Trevor on said:

      From his adventures South of the Border, to his mind-numbing dealings with politics in the 60s and 70s, Thompson offers a viewpoint not often revisited in historical textbooks, biographies or journals. Hunter S. has a brilliant tendency to completely remove the reader from her time and place, and bring her along, right next to him, bumping and grinding through these historical events. You can almost taste the cigarette smoke and hear his teeth rattling.My favorite article, by far, was about the [...]

    50. Adam on said:

      Here we have a crash-course in Thompson from the 1960s and '70s, including:--The first "Gonzo Journalism" article, a piece on the Kentucky Derby that introduces the collaboration with Ralph Steadman and seems to hold the origins of the "Fear and Loathing" moniker.--Excerpts from his famous books "Hell's Angels," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," and "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72."--The article recounting the events leading up to "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," explaining Thompso [...]

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