Character Study

Few writers reach the notoriety of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. He was a character and a legend, the founder of gonzo journalism and a living, breathing contradiction — a peace-lover who was also obsessed with firearms, for starters. To take on a biography of Thompson’s life is a task of epic proportions, and who better to tackle it than author and professor William McKeen?

McKeen’s no stranger to popular culture, particularly the popular culture of Thompson’s most productive years, the ’60s and ’70s; he’s written books on the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Hunter colleague Tom Wolfe, as well as a rock-and-roll anthology and a father-son tale of traveling Highway 61. His latest, Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson is McKeen’s even-handed look at Thompson’s life, built upon interviews with Thompson’s friends, family and associates — some of whom have never before spoken about their relationship with the writer. McKeen follows the story, from Thompson’s acts of rebellion as a youngster to his very last act: shooting himself while on the phone with his second wife, Anita.

McKeen signs Outlaw Journalist tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover, 2526 East Colfax Avenue; call 303-322-7727 or visit
Mon., July 21, 2008


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