Assorted bric-a-brac from the cluttered cupboard of kamikaze journalist Thompson (The Curse of Longo, 1983, etc.). The writings—reprinted and original, fiction and reportage—span five decades, but the spirit is firmly 60's—zany, anachronistic, moral, frequently reeking with pot or alcohol fumes. The strongest, most controlled piece here—Thompson at his sharpest—is a 1983 Rolling Stone reprint about the Pulitzer divorce trial, an event surreal enough to meld happily to Thompson's fiery prose (which finds Palm Beach a place of "beserk sleaziness. . .where price tags mean nothing and the rich are always in heat, where pampered animals are openly worshipped in church and naked millionaires gnaw brassieres off the chest Of their own daughters in public"). Less successful are the new bits and pieces, which appear formulaically frenzied, with much attention paid to Thompson's recent, highly publicized legal problems. So: an erratically incandescent collection, full of curiosities but not nearly as marvelous as Thompson seems to think. Read full book review >
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