Unique is a great way to describe Hunter S. Thompson’s writing. My first encounter with Thompson, also known as The Good Doctor, was when I read “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” back in college. It still remains one of my favorite books. Thompson’s approach of “Gonzo” journalism guarantees an unexpected ride.
So when I spotted “Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness” I had to check it out. “Hey Rube” is a collection of columns that Thompson wrote for ESPN in the early 2000s. His blunt and witty style of writing is what makes him one of my favorite authors.
In the book, he controversially chronicles his obsession for American football, thoughts on war, Kentucky Derby stories, injustices within the American courts, victories and humiliations in gambling, presidential elections, tears and triumphs during March Madness, betting and watching sports with celebrities, life in rural Colorado, his hatred for baseball, the emotions following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and many, many other things.
The book is thought-provoking, intelligent, hilarious, depressing, insulting and maddening. I found myself laughing out loud and shaking my head in disagreement, sometimes within the same chapter. It was shocking, and a little scary, to see how easily Thompson pointed out the similarities between politics and sports, especially the NFL. But he also reminded me just how influential sports can be and how important sports were to help a shocked and saddened country return to some version of normal.
Other books by Hunter S. Thompson: