Keep This Quiet! My Relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert
Rattling cages was the standard pastime for author Hunter S. Thompson. At least that was the image I used to have of him. But this is not a story about him. It is a story about a woman finding herself. Hunter, Milton, and Jan Mensaert all play a role, but none of them ever take the focus away from Margaret. The plot follows Margaret as she steps into the real world of publishing as a copy editor at Random House in the 1960s. While the job was great, it always felt like her real passion was a step away. Even her friends commented that she should write, not just a book, but her book. While the job at Random House did offer her the opportunity to meet a lot of writers and famous people, it is Hunter that became her secret office romance. The two start a correspondence within letters and long distance phone calls that morphs from a concealed passion into a long-term friendship. Keep This Quiet! is a book about a woman’s life and her loves, determination, and discovery.
Harrell is a great writer, and it’s amazing to see her thought process and inner-workings, as she tells a story. A great deal of the book is personal letters from Hunter to Margaret, with Margaret’s inside emotions written in the theoretical margins. Harrell is an excellent storyteller, in a story that is never about the narrative, but about the real people. Every person in the book is bold and well defined; and I especially liked the notes where Harrell backs up her story with proof. One of my favorite parts was when Hunter goes on the show To Tell The Truth, in which Margaret is backstage waiting and wondering who this is man. This is a book that will tell you everything you need to know about this time period and the writers that made it great. If I could tell Margaret anything, I would want to thank her for giving us a snippet into her private life.
|Saeculum Univeristy Press
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