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The Greatest Works of Hunter S. Thompson

Updated November 5, 2019 751 votes 347 voters 6.8k views32 items

List RulesVote up your favorite HST works; downvote any disappointments

Hunter S. Thompson was incredibly prolific in a number of ways. He invented a completely new type of journalism, worked with and befriended some of the worlds best and brightest, all while on enough drugs to take down a small militia. There are many articles and books by Hunter S. Thompson, many of which have been made into films, and this list attempts to rank the many celebrated works of the founder of Gonzo Journalism himself.

Let's take a look at the best articles, books, and even the Hollywood movie adaptations based on Thompson's great body of work. Influencing American literature and journalism like few others have, Hunter S. Thompson inspired a generation with hard work, drugs, a type writer, and a fax machine. He was the pinnacle of the American dream. 

Upvote the Hunter S. Thompson Gonzo works you think are the greatest from this remarkable author. Whether you love Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (the book OR the movie) The Rum Diary (maybe just the book in that case), or one of his excellent collections of articles from his days at Rolling Stone, there's no denying Thompson's mark on American fiction and social commentary. And if you like these works of his, you'll definitely find Hunter S. Thompson's fax to Keith Richards interesting.

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  • Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72
    Photo: CHRIS DRUMM / Flickr
    Hunter S. Thompson's bestselling novel and critical look at Nixon and McGovern’s 1972 presidential election shows the race, as seen through Thompson's very specific eye. It truly captures the feel of American journalism and recounts it with his trademark wit and intensity.
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  • The Rum Diary
    Photo: flickr / CC0

    The Rum Diary is an early novel by Hunter S. Thompson, written in the early 1960s but not published until 1998. The original manuscript was discovered amongst Thompson's papers by Johnny Depp.

    The story involves a journalist named Paul Kemp who, in the 1950s, moves from New York to San Juan, Puerto Rico to work for a major newspaper, The Daily News. It is officially Thompson's second novel, preceded only by the still-unpublished Prince Jellyfish.
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  • 7

    Kingdom of Fear

    Kingdom of Fear
    Photo: flickr / CC0

    The Gonzo memoir from one of the most influential voices in American literature, Kingdom of Fear traces the course of Hunter S. Thompson’s life all the way from a Kentucky kid dismissing any and all authority to a genre-defining journalist.

    This novel features a great many insights into the mind of Hunter S. Thompson throughout many harrowing events in his life:

    - His exploits as a foreign correspondent in Rio. 
    - His job as night manager of the notorious O’Farrell Theatre in San Francisco.
    - His epic run for sheriff of Aspen on the Freak Power ticket.
    - The sensational legal maneuvering that led to his full acquittal in the famous 99 Days Trial.
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  • 8

    Hey Rube

    Hey Rube
    Photo: flickr / CC0

    This hilarious and thought-provoking compilation of Hunter's ESPN.com articles offers a slew of searing indictments and uproarious rants, while providing his commentary on politics, sex, and sports, at times all in the same column.

    Hey Rube follows Thompson through the beginning of the new century, revealing his unease during the 2000 election ("rigged and fixed from the start"); his take on professional sports (to improve Major League Baseball "eliminate the pitcher"); and many other observations and critiques of modern America especially pertaining to the Bush administration and the American judicial system. 
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