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on 24 June 1999
Maybe you've seen the film Fear and loathing in Las Vegas and want to know more about the man behind it. Well, this is a great way to do it. The Great Shark Hunt consists of extracts of Dr Thompsons work. Yes, you'll find parts from Las Vegas here, but you'll find so much more. Reading this book, I had tremendously fun. Sometimes I laughed right out. How often do you do that reading? My favourite parts are The Kentucky Derby and The Great Shark Hunt, where Thompson takes sport journalism to a level it never want to find itself. So, all you really need to know is; if you haven't read this book - go ahead and enjoy yourself.
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on 7 March 2007
Well, I wouldn't suggest that you buy this book if you are unaquainted with Thompson's work, you should buy Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, then, if you like that, buy The Great Shark Hunt. I say that because I have offered The Great Shark Hunt to people who haven't read any Thompson and they were put off by its sheer length and the content of some of the articles.

The reason I like this book is because it is pretty open-ended, because the book is a collection of articles you can read the ones that interest you and skip the ones that don't grab you. There is no reason why you should read it straight from cover-to-cover.

There is some pure gold in here, including excerpts from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the infamous The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved (considered to be Thompson's first gonzo article) and many other gems.

I'd say, buy this, but only if you are sure you like Thompson because it isn't the best means of getting started on him. To sum it up in one line; If you love Hunter S. Thompson's work, you'll love this...
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on 25 January 2008
Thompson's overview of the USA from(approx)1965 to 1977,with some earlier material written while travelling around South America.It's great,but you'll need to know a bit about US politics and contemporary US history-as it's journalism,it assumes the reader has some knowledge of what was happening at that time in the USA.
The downfall of Nixon,the begining of the west coast counter culture(hippies,Hell's Angels,the Diggers,psychedelia),the rise of Carter,his adventures with a crazed chicano lawyer(later to be the base of "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas")-all here in it's gory details.
The funniest sequences are when Thompson discovers that he isn't on Nixon's Enemies List,and his description of President Johnson allegedly ordering the spreading of rumours about another candidate to the effect that Johnson's opponent was in the habit of enjoying sex with farmyard animals.
If you're offended by colloquial English,drugs,radical politics,human sexuality,rock music or honesty,go elsewhere.Otherwise you'll have a whale of a time.
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on 1 June 2000
One of the biggest mistakes some people make about Hunter Thompson is that they don't look further than Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. This collection of essays and articles shows Thompson to be a true leader in counter culture literature as well as a formidable wordsmith in more general terms, as it were. In many ways this book seems like a trial run for The Proud Highway, but the amount of actual repetition is insignificant and HST bounds through several decades with the energy of a six year old pumped full of ritalin. The title story is one of Thompson's best works, with a hilarious description of two dope heads trapped in a world of big game fishing geeks. And "Collect Telegram from a Mad Dog" shows that Thompson could make his point using poetry too, and he leaves his own mark without being pompous or bloated. All in all this book is an invaluable asset if you want to study strangeness, giving an invaluable insight into a remarkable writer who took weirdness to the people in equal doses of charm and hostility. Hey! This book made a Swede laugh out loud - buy it you scumbags.
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on 4 November 2015
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 a mixed bag. The coverage of Richard Nixon’s campaigns are a little overdone and the all pervading mood of excess and anarchy that informs almost every story definitely grows a little weary, monotonous and predictable after over 600 pages. At worst the Nixon section grows bloated, repetitive and dated, considering it largely refers to an election campaign from over 40 years ago, many of the players are unknown and obscure today so this involves a bit of research from the reader if you want to get a better, informed flavour.

He does a really interesting job of tackling the Carter 76 campaign and he also paints some very interesting portraits of Muhammad Ali, Jean Claude Killy, Oscar Acosta and Ralph Steadman amongst others. Overall this is a decent enough read to dip in and out of over time, but there are no shortage of dry, monotonous passages and stories that don’t really go anywhere and will leave you cold.
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on 12 January 2006
"When the going gets weird, the weird go pro."-Hunter S. Thompson
In a time of political peril and rancor in our countries capitol this book speaks volumes.
Hunter S. Thompson provides many snapshots into the American political system with this book. It is not a complete narrative. Rather this book is filled with high lights of Thompson's journalistic works. It is a collection of articles written for the "Rolling Stone," and various other publications.
Due undoubtedly to my youth, I have found the current state of America to be very disturbing. Reading this book has given me a chance to take a deep breath because the problems our country is facing are not new. They are just the same old problems we have always had.
If you are a person that likes to "Bush Bash," this book will give you plenty of new ammunition. Thompson's rants about Nixon are very similar to the things I have heard said about President Bush. Unfortunately, for all of us, the parallels are mostly negative. If President Clinton was a new John F. Kennedy, then "The Great Shark Hunt" has led me to believe President Bush is a new Richard M. Nixon.
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on 7 September 2009
Great collection of HST's writing well balanced between political commentary,celebrity interviews and the more entertaining semi-fictional Vegas style stories.Definitely the best of the compilation type books of his available to date.
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on 27 September 2015
As holding some of the best H.s Thompson early writings, this book is now a part of my bookshelves, and I advice it strongly ; especially in trying to find it on Amazon, were it can be purchased at a reasonable expense !! I'm only starting afresh it's reading, but his childhood as the milkman's little helper & his military file as a pain in the ass newsman in the air force are standing stone documents for the ones who might wonder how he started out at all...
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on 20 February 2008
This book is quite frankly the best Hunter S. Thompson book I have ever read.
The book is comprised of many different stories (most of which are taken from his other books.) and is basically a 'best of' his work which are rolled into this one book.
It includes such excerpts from Hells Angels, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, The Rum Diary, Kingdom Of Fear and many others.

If your a big HST fan like myself then get this book you won't be disappointed- it would be an ideal first read of his work because you get a taste of everything.
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on 14 June 2013
If you are a fan of Hunter S. Thompson you will enjoy this. Only downside is I can't help but mentally read the monologues in Johnny Depp's voice, from Fear and Loathing..
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