Book Review: Hunter S. Thompson—The Last Interview

This book is part of “The Last Interview and Other Conversations.” The book series that collates interviews with iconic and influential public figures. (It’s worth checking out the impressive list of other titles.)

gordon meyer with hunter book

The interviews have a transcript-like feel to them (although they probably aren’t) which makes for a quick and interesting read. They’re arranged chronologically, which adds another layer of insight as H.S.T. grows in influence and psychosis. (I mean that respectfully, how could someone not be mentally affected by his lifestyle and rise to fame‽)

I should disclose that H.S.T. a favorite author, and I’ve read almost every book he’s published. (Two weeks ago I’d have said that I’ve read all of his books, but I learned in one of these interviews that I somehow missed Hey Rube.)

The interviewers range from editors and publishers of regard, to a student journalist who is clearly underprepared. (Sadly, it’s also the last interview before his death.) Also included are two wonderful interviews with the great Chicagoan Studs Terkel, both of which were lost to history until the Terkel Archive was restored. (A project I am now doubly happy to have contributed to.)

It’s impossible to read decades-old H.S.T. without the lens of the Trump klan disaster, and it makes me feel both happy (for him) and sad (for us) that he’s not around today. Undoubtedly, a 2021 perspective influenced some of the choices I made when highlighting passages, including:

  • “The people being left out and put behind won’t be obvious for years. And Christ only know what’ll happen when it’s 1985. There will be a million Hell’s Angels. They won’t be wearing colors, but they’ll be people who are looking for vengeance because they’ve been left behind.”
  • “I think having a favorite baseball team is like having a favorite oil company.”
  • “(The Hell’s Angels) came out of WWII, and not just the Angels themselves but this whole alienated and violent subculture of people wandering around looking for either an opportunity or, if not an opportunity, then vengeance for not getting an opportunity. Because they get to be thirty, and suddenly, they wake up one morning and they realize there are no more chances, it’s all gone.”
  • “By the time you get to be an expert you’re just an artifact.”
  • “I think the next big-time national politician who comes along and runs on a realistic platform to really shake the system will cause a lot of trouble. He might not win, but he will have a veto power over whoever does win.”

I bought my copy at Daunt Books on Fulham Road, which is sadly now closed, but you can also get it from the Amazon, of course. Thanks for one last ride, Hunter.


I do not accept advertising, but the Amazon want you to know that some links may contain affiliate codes that dangle the promise of earning me a few pennies towards running this site (at no additional expense to you). Humbly, Gordon Meyer

Announcing: Murderous Neighbors - Bizarre Fact File #5

My latest publication...

Murderous Neighbors collage

Ten shocking true stories of neighborhood murders in a compact, handmade booklet. Explore the dark side of Wicker Park and Bucktown (Chicago) history with this latest addition to the Bizarre Fact File series.

$2 postpaid. Order online at Bizarre Fact Files or from the amazing Quimby's Books in Chicago!

I do not accept advertising, but the Amazon want you to know that some links may contain affiliate codes that dangle the promise of earning me a few pennies towards running this site (at no additional expense to you). Humbly, Gordon Meyer

Book Review: Charles Fort

If you’re unfamiliar with Charles Fort, then this book by Jim Steinmeyer might not be for you. However, if like me, Fort is one of the “patron saints” in your pantheon, this is a must-read.

gordon with Fort book

I was introduced to Fort through the writings of Robert Anton Wilson. Furthermore, the primary reason I subscribe to Readly is to have regular access to the UK magazine Fortean Times. Fort’s work, and the worldview that has evolved in the 100 or so years after his death, is not for every taste. This posthumous description by his publisher sums it up nicely:

Most would read Fort’s books with repugnance and fear. Others would cast them aside with a smile and call them childish fairy talk. A few would shudder with delight, recognizing the poetry, the truth, insight and the marvelous intelligence of Fort’s conception.

I’m a shudder-er.

The book, subtitled “The Man Who Invented the Supernatural,” does a wonderful job of putting Fort’s work in a cultural and social context. This was perhaps my biggest lesson from the work — I honestly had little sense of when, where, and how Fort lived.

Steinmeyer includes some excellent quotes from Fort, both from his published works and private correspondence. These, and other observations that stood out, include:

  • Fort had invented a new kind of ghost story, in which it is the cold, hard data that haunts.
  • “I cannot say that truth is stranger than fiction because I have never had acquaintance with either.”
  • “I can’t think why anybody should go to Indiana. Thought everybody cam away from Indiana.”
  • “I believe nothing of my own that I have written. I cannot accept that the products of minds are subject-matter for beliefs.”
  • In Darwinism, there is no place for the influence of the future upon the present.
  • Fort was a regular correspondent with John Reid of Lovelock, Nevada. Reid was involved with the discovery of red-haired giants, the remains of which were witnessed by a member of my family. Six degrees of separation, sort of.
  • One thing that both science and religion agree on is the suppression of witchcrafts.
  • Fort coined the word “teleportation.”
  • Fort is the infant terrible of science, bringing the family skeletons to the desert table when distinguished guest are present.
  • If you’re on-trend with zettelkasten, you’ll be envious of the tens of thousands of notes and filing system that Fort utilized.
  • I was tickled to learn that Fort would hide pennies and other “treasures” for people to find in the future. A practice that I heartily endorse.
  • Steinmeyer’s end notes are as interesting and illuminating as the main text, and I was tickled to find my friend William Pack acknowledged for help with research.

Although it was published a few years ago, the book is still in print and available in hardback, paperback, or bytes at Amazon.

I do not accept advertising, but the Amazon want you to know that some links may contain affiliate codes that dangle the promise of earning me a few pennies towards running this site (at no additional expense to you). Humbly, Gordon Meyer

IKEA's wonderful audio catalog

Bravo to IKEA for this audiobook version of their iconic catalog. It is perfectly executed, and such a clever idea. It's things like this that make me wish I was still updating Usable Help, as this deserves to be widely seen by the tech writer community.

I do not accept advertising, but the Amazon want you to know that some links may contain affiliate codes that dangle the promise of earning me a few pennies towards running this site (at no additional expense to you). Humbly, Gordon Meyer

Dear future resident

Last summer, during landscaping work, we created and then buried a “time capsule” in our backyard. It includes some tchotchkes and surprises, but also some pandemic-related “new normal” artifacts. (Such as Trump’s ridiculous national postcard.) Hopefully, when it’s dug up many years from now they will think “Oh, yeah, I’ve heard that viruses used to be a problem. Hey, isn’t this the ex-president who was imprisoned?”

time capule, so labeled

I do not accept advertising, but the Amazon want you to know that some links may contain affiliate codes that dangle the promise of earning me a few pennies towards running this site (at no additional expense to you). Humbly, Gordon Meyer