Literary Birthday – 18 July – Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson was born 18 July 1937, and died 20 February  2005.


  1. As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says, ‘you are nothing’, I will be a writer.
  2. For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.
  3. A word to the wise is infuriating.
  4. A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.
  5. If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people – including me – would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.
  6. America… just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
  7. Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!’
  8. Fiction is based on reality unless you’re a fairy-tale artist, you have to get your knowledge of life from somewhere. You have to know the material you’re writing about before you alter it.
  9. I’ve found you can deal with the system a lot easier if you use their rules by understanding their rules, by using their rules against them. I talk to a lot of lawyers.
  10. The PATRIOT Act was a dagger in the heart, really, of even the concept of a democratic government that is free, equal and just.
  11. I have no taste for either poverty or honest labour, so writing is the only recourse left for me.
  12. Call on God, but row away from the rocks.

Hunter S. Thompson was an American journalist and author. He is best known for Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream.

Photograph: English: Photograph credited to “Cashman Photo Enterprises, Inc.” Published by Random House., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons,_Las_Vegas_1971.jpg

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 18th July 2013