I will start off by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I’ve been interesting in Thompson for a number of years and finally getting a peek into what his life was actually like was a spectacular way for me to spend some time.
Out of all of the essays “The Mayor’s Daughter and an Awkward Moment” was the best written. Many of the stories seem to be building to a good punchline but the end turns out to be quite anti-climactic. The way that they tell the whole story and not one moment further is what I think pushes the essay to a level beyond the others.
In general the essays that were told in the first person were those that were the most entertaining. This makes sense because nine times out of ten when you tell a story you’ve heard but didn’t experience it’s not going to be as good as someone who was actually there. Despite the lower level of overall story-telling I did like that they had those chapters because it added much more depth to the happenings in the book.
Another thing that I liked was that they spent time on the Lisl Auman story. Basically she is a girl who was wrongly imprisoned (in my opinion). I liked that they touched on this because activism was a part of who Hunter was and it showed him pursuing this for the rest of his life. The fact that they go beyond Hunter’s life and conclude the story appealed to my concept of totality. It made a story that I heard about first from Hunter’s “Hey Rube” writings complete.
I was really impressed with how Hunter’s friends chose to memorialize him in this book. They did what seemed best and would help all of the Hunter groupies come to terms with his death best. Because of his huge following (and the raucousness of that following) there was no way they could be part of the actual memorial. But through this those people are able to understand better what that experience was like and why it was that it had to be a private ceremony.