'Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson,' an oral biography

Gonzo is a fantastic collection of personal stories about time and experiences with Hunter S. Thompson, curated and arranged from over 100 incredibly interesting people by Jann S. Wenner and Corey Seymour. I find it delightful to open and read a few stories whenever the book catches my eye.

George McGovern, Tim Ferris, Jack Nicholson, Norman Mailer, Jimmy Carter and dozens more share hilarious anecdotes that show how Hunter S. Thompson the person was exactly like the larger-than-life character, only more so. Many of Ralph Steadman's stories in this book are pure gold. I really love the excerpt below:

The second story we did was in September. Hunter called me and said, "Ralph, I don't know if you are interested, but I've been asked by Scanlon's to go to the America's Cup in Rhode Island. I'd like you to be there. Maybe you could do something to help pilot a three-masted sloop or something?" I felt I had to go. In a strange way I felt chosen, whatever that means --- maybe by accident. It was journalism of outrage. There was no market for journalism of outrage at that time.

We got there, and Hunter found this captain who took us out to this huge boat, and he had an idea that he'd do a story by trying to get on-board both these racing boats, the Gretel and the Intrepid. He said, "We really could kick some ass! These people are horrible, with their filthy two-million-dollar yachts with gin lounges on the front of them, and everybody sitting there drinking their mint juleps and their gin and tonics and whatever else they have --- it's filthy, Ralph. It's an expression of decadence I'd like you to see."

For some peculiar reason I got seasick. I was in a terrible state standing up on the deck and trying to remain, well, not sick. He didn't demand that I take the psilocybin. He said, "Maybe it will make you feel better. Try one." That was all. And I tried one, and thats when the screaming red-eyed dogs started...

Gonzo, an Oral Biography by Jann S. Wenner and Corey Seymour