I've already posted the late George Plimpton's view of Hunter S. Thompson. Stephen Schwartz, noting parallels with William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, offers a much less sympathetic assessment:

First, their products were mainly noise. Their books were reissued but now sit inertly on bookstore shelves, incapable of inspiring younger readers, or even nostalgic baby boomers, to purchase them. Thompson claimed credit for the invention of "gonzo journalism," epitomized by his great success, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, published in 1972. He will inevitably be hailed by newswriters as the creator of a genre. But if his work is taught to the young, it is as an exemplar of the madness of the '60s, not as literature or journalism. Aside from his own later works, including such trivia, bearing his signature, as The Great Shark Hunt, Generation of Swine, and Songs of the Doomed, of what did "gonzo" journalism consist? Thompson left no authorial legacy.

...Doubtlessly, the most pathetic aspect of the '60s phenomenon was the absolute conviction of Thompson and those who encouraged him that "living in the moment" really did count more than anything else in the world, that history never existed and that the future was their property...He was flattered to be described as chronicler of "the death of the American dream." In reality, he described a nightmare from which America awoke years ago.

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/02/speaking-ill-ive-already-posted-late.html|||2/23/2005 02:10:00 pm|||||||||