Stories I Tell Myself: Growing Up with Hunter S. Thompson
Stories I Tell Myself is the story of a son growing up in the monstrous shadow of his infamous father. Juan Thompson was born in 1964, the son of Sandy and Hunter S Thompson. His father’s infamy had yet to be established by his birth, but was well on his way. The former airman had become a journalist and freelance writer establishing himself with the release of Hell’s Angels in 1966. Thompson would become the forerunner of gonzo journalism, establishing his credentials with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, On The Campaign Trail and others throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The book parallels the craziness enveloping Hunter’s life along with his family’s. There was two Hunter Thompsons: 1) The brilliant writer, acerbic wit, crazy antics to the masses, 2) An occasionally absentee father who displayed affection rarely and had a volcanic temper. His father could be indifferent when it came to his son’s life, but eventually the two would become closer than ever as Thompson’s work started to fade and his health worsen.
Juan Thompson’s book is a moving story that doesn’t treat his subject as the God that others have proclaimed him. Thompson paints his father exactly as he viewed him, imperfections and all. The book has heart and strength that every autobiography/biography should want.
Juan F. Thompson