ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
A YOUNG UP AND COMING writer from Brisbane’s west has discovered the works of indie journalist and Kentucky-born raconteur Hunter S. Thompson, an old writer you’ve probably never heard of.
Yesterday afternoon, 19-year-old Blake Darvey finished reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – after discovering online that there’s a book version of Terry Gilliam’s 1998 appropriation of the text.
“The book is so much better than the movie, they leave so much out,” said Darvey. “I love the way Hunter writes. So original. Gonzo journalism – you know, the type of journalism where the journalist embeds himself in the story. Yeah. I know. It’s hard to understand but when you do, it’s all you’ll want to read.”
In fact, he loved the book so much that he’s gone and posted a famous quote from it on Facebook.
“We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers… and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.” reads the quote.
“It’s so full on. There’s a lot more to it than drugs though” says Blake.
The Mt Coot-tha local also revealed that he picked up another Thompson classic the other day and plans to plough through it when he gets a chance. Although detailing a very small and retrospectively significant period of US politics, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 is a fly-on-the-wall account of the period between 1971-72 – including The Watergate Scandal.
“Not many people my age are interested in US political history, but I’m pretending to be because it’ll make me the ‘well-read guy’ in my circle of mates,” he said. “I just love his writing. You don’t know when it shifts from non-fictional journalism to straight-up fiction.”
While his friends have heard of Hunter S. Thompson, albeit tried to read one of his books, they say they’ll let Blake of the hook this time.
“Everybody has heard of the Good Doctor,” said a mate. “Like Led Zeppelin or Bob Dylan, most people discover them in year 9 or 10, then grow out of it by university. But Blakey’s just a late bloomer.”