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Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century [Hardcover]

Hunter S. Thompson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

29 May 2003
In his memoir, Hunter S. Thompson looks back on a long and productive life. It is a story of crazed road trips fuelled by bourbon and black acid, of insane judges and giant porcupines, of girls, guns, explosives and, of course, bikes. He also takes on his dissolute youth in Louisville; his adventures in pornography; campaigning for local office in Aspen; and what it's like to accidentally be accused of trying to kill Jack Nicholson. Alongside this "depraved and terrifying adventure", Hunter S. Thompson explores the darkness at the heart of America today.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; 1st edition (29 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713997141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713997149
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 343,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hunter S. Thompson is incomparably the most celebrated exponent of the New Journalism. His books include Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 and Generation of Swine.

Product Description


"Publishers Weekly" Rollickingly funny throughout, Thompson's latest proves that the father of gonzo journalism is alive and well. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Hunter S. Thompson was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. His books include Fear and Loathing in America, Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Proud Highway, Better Than Sex and The Rum Diary. Dr Thompson lives in a fortified compound near Aspen, Colorado.

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First Sentence
My parents were decent people, and I was raised, like my friends, to believe that Police were our friends and protectors-the Badge was a symbol of extremely high authority, perhaps the highest of all. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Hunter S. Thompson isn't a despicable man. He's not wicked, depraved oreven immoral. Quite how anyone could glean that he was after readingKingdom of Fear is utterly beyond me. In fact, you'd have to bebreathtakingly ignorant and misguided not to finish this book withoutholding Thompson in very high regard indeed.
You might not agree withhis unreserved castigation of The Bush family. You'll probably frown atThompson's casual references to illegal drugs. You've every right todisapprove of his fondness for firearms. He is, by his own admission, anOutlaw, but you will surely still finish this book extolling hisimpeccable virtues as a vicious, ferocious protector of Justice, Honestyand Human Rights - three qualities being rapidly eroded in modernsociety.
The key to the appeal of this book, and of Thompson as anauthor and journalist, is the quality of his writing; sharp and caustic,often rambling but always articulate and soulfully expressive. Sure - itcomes at you fast and you might not pick it all up. But don't worry - juststrap yourself in and prepare to be sucked in to a weird, hallucinogenicworld where nothing, nothing is the least bit normal.
Sweet ValleyHigh, I know you're going to enjoy it, friend. Trust me.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect prose 1 Mar 2005
I was in the biography department of a bookshop thinking that I didn't really need to read another life of Jane Austen when a display of Hunter S. Thompson's paperbacks caught my eye. It's a tenuous link but a friend of mine was an extra in the film adaptation of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", so I picked up a copy of KoF and was blown away.

Right at the beginning where Thompson describes a childhood meeting with the CIA and again at the end when he's involved in a car crash, the author writes what I can only describes as perfect prose,

"All these things have happened and probably they will happen again. I have learned a few tricks along the way, a few random skills and simple avoidance techniques - but mainly it has been luck, I think, and a keen attention to karma, along with my natural girlish charm."

I have no interest in drugs, fast cars or pimps yet, as with all great writers, it hardly matters what they take as subject matter since they have you in the palm of their hand. Thompson not only tells you about his mad life, he takes you there. This is a classic of non-fiction writing, gonzo journalism at its peak.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and completely mental!!! 21 Jan 2012
Enjoying this book alot. He has a way with words and i have laughed out loud quite a few times whilst reading this book. The story chops and changes, sometimes confusingly but its fun trying to keep up. Definitely had a colourful and insane life. Top bloke in my opinion.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fine trumpet player 18 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
HST gives me the impression that he's treating the subjects and situations in this book rather first, until one remembers that his subject matter is the....USA and if he appears to be blowing his own trumpet, he needs to! To be heard above the madness
inflicted upon a nation by it's abject and corrupt leaders and system. It's this that HST makes you realise, that....eternal [personal]
vigilance is the price of [personal] freedom, these days in the bad new USA.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Find 25 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good price, ace book.
Another one to add to my collection!
Hopefully should be able to get all the others from you
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect 1 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is HST at his angry, angry, angry best. The book can feel a little disjointed in places but what else can you expect from Mr Gonzo himself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I just love this book 5 Feb 2009
Yes, "Kingdom of Fear" jumps about - Hunter's brain flies off at tangents that are incomprehensible to all but his rationale.
Once you accept that this is an autobiographical scrapbook, it doesn't make it a bad read at all - in fact, it's one of the things about the book that has kept it on my list of favourites for the last 4 years: I can pull the book off the shelf, flip to a random page and just start imbibing a gem.
HST's review of the Ducati 900 - Song of the Sausage Creature - makes me cry with laughter every time I read it and to my mind is worth the entrance fee alone.
Rest In Peace Dr.Thompson
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5.0 out of 5 stars Listen to the doctor 22 Mar 2007
Since watching the Depp movie, every time I read a HST book, I imagine the words flowing as Depp spoke them... Thompson uses prose like no other. Only high drama will do.

For a change, however, it's not annoying. For two, it's often laugh-out-loud hilarious. Rather than imagine a life lead by others, HST has lived the dream (or the nightmare, depending on your angle), and has written it down for the rest of us to dream vicariously through him.

Obviously, all great empires come to an end, but I doubt whether previous empires had their falls charted with such humour and disdain, as they so often deserve. Now if only Dubya knew how to read.
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