Cazart! It's Hunter Thompson again. . . or still, in artifacts from his 15-year-magazine oeuvre—including 100 pages of his Rolling Stone Watergate screed—and in patches of both sprees of Fear and Loathing (in Las Vegas and On the Campaign Trail '72). Down from his peak, Thompson's still playing anti-hero in his own journalistic shenanigans: freaking out on booze/acid/hash/speed/the works; macing adversaries, bamboozling everyone else; betting madly on whatever he's covering—Kentucky Derby to Democratic Primary, most recently the first Ali-Spinks bout; then "lashing together" a story with the same old words (shitrain, geek), tricks (Raoul Duke, Sports Editor), excuses (but now we're off the point, unquote). . . and dubbing the diffuse result Gonzo. As though that explained it. Get the idea? It wears thin, times have changed, and above all it's not so much funny as noisy. Thompson belongs in the same cultural reliquary as the Easy Rider, Tom Wolfe, and his new journalism. What's interesting is the older stuff—short pieces mostly, more controlled (or less uncontrolled)—pre-Gonzo National Observer dispatches from South America and our own West (one each on hobos and Hemingway expose an otherwise masked sensibility). Thompson talked football once with candidate Nixon, who wasn't just pretending to be a regular guy: he knew his stuff. Maybe that's why he comes out of here "dishonest to a fault," while as late as 1976 Hubert Humphrey is the "rotten, truthless old freak." Reruns—and wearisome.

Pub Date: July 1, 1979

ISBN: 0743250451

Page Count: 626

Publisher: Summit/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1979

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.



Rootin’-tootin’ history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West’s wildest city in the late 19th century.

The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events—making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren’t as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson “took the ‘peace’ in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull.” Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most—Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday—died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren’t really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren’t particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. “It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens,” he writes at one high point, “to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather.” Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out.

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21458-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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