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June 16 , 2009

Songs of the Doomed

More Notes on the Death of the American Dream


'I was thinking; my mind was running at top speed, scanning and sorting my options. They ranged all the way from Dumb and Dangerous to Crazy, Evil, and utterly wrong from the start . . . stand back. We are on the brink. Yes. I have an idea.'

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Capturing the essence of Hunter S. Thompson’s “Gonzo” style, short story Mescalito details his dark and miserably comic first mescaline drug trip. First published in Songs of the Doomed, Mescalito suggests the nascent ideas and energy of Thompson’s seminal work on the ‘60s experience, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.…

When Hunter S. Thompson has an idea, you just have to listen – and he shares many of his unique ideas in this collection of journalism, social commentary, short fiction and autobiography. Divided into sections by decade, Songs of the Doomed begins with a furious condemnation of the US justice system and ends with the author’s own version of the events that led to his extraordinary court case. Stopping off at the infamous summit conference in Elko, Illinois; Saigon in 1975 (the war zone Thompson was fired while en route to); and Palm Beach in the eighties for the Pulitzer divorce, here – in true Gonzo fashion – is the long strange trip from Kennedy to Nixon to Quayle.

‘Mr Thompson’s best work of the past three decades’ New York Times Book Review

‘There are many hideously funny stories in this collection. Thompson writing on mescalin, staying on for the fall of Saigon, explaining what it must be like to be a multimillionaire in Palm Beach . . .’ Independent on Sunday

‘Dead funny . . . That our guru has made it this far merits drinks and dynamite all round at the Woody Creek Road and Gun Club (and spiritually affiliated North London branches). That he is still alive, and at large, defies medical and legal beliefs’ Andy Kershaw, Literary Review

‘Proves that you can’t keep the old bastard quiet . . . a superb offering’ City Limits

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