Hunter S. Thompson was quite the eclectic dude, but did you know that his favorite part of the day is breakfast? It’s easy to see why he loved the meal so much, especially due to his chaotic lifestyle where he was basically wasted 24/7 – he used breakfast as an anchor point, his connection to reality.
I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least one psychic anchor every twenty four hours, and mine is breakfast. In Hong Kong, Dallas, or at home—and regardless of whether or not I have been to bed—breakfast is a personal ritual that can only be properly observed alone, and in a spirit of genuine excess. The food factor should always be massive: Four bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crêpes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned beef-hash with diced chilies, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of Key lime pie, two margaritas, and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert… Right, and there should also be two or three newspapers, all mail and messages, a telephone, a notebook for planning the next twenty four hours, and at least one source of good music… All of which should be dealt with outside, in the warmth of the hot sun, and preferably stone naked.
Image via Vice
Kristian Ejlebæk Nielsen, a writer for MUNCHIES Denmark, a division of Vice, decided to recreate Thompson’s breakfast feast, and its absolutely worth the read. Unfortunately, as much as I would love to recreate the meal for myself, I can’t. Because I’m at work and I don’t think my bosses would approve me chugging four Bloody Marys at 2pm.
Featured Image via Honolulu Star-Bulletin Hawaii News.
I love documentaries, but every documentary I’ve watched lately has to do with nature, or food, or travel, or musicians. Seriously – George Harrison Living in the Material World, Chef’s Table, Mind of a Chef, Planet Earth, Blue Planet, etc. etc. blah blah blah. Where are all the documentaries about authors?
I put together a list of five documentaries about famous authors that are definitely worth seeing, but in spite of the struggle to put this list together, I’m still jonesing for more.
1. Margaret Atwood: Once in August
Image via Academy of American Poets
1984, a year before the release of The Handmaid’s Tale, filmmaker Michael Rubbo drops us into Margaret Atwood’s family vacation spot in the middle of the woods. Between frequent narration about his subject and between-interview discussions on how to best bring her out in front of the camera, Rubbo’s film often feels like a wildlife documentary. Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale or The Blind Assassin should definitely check this one out. It’s a great way to get a glimpse of the author before she really hit it big.
2. The Charles Bukowski Tapes
Image via Discogs
This 1987 documentary is a compilation of over fifty interviews with Bukowski and is an exhausting but exhilarating four hours long. Filmmaker Barbet Schroeder sets up a shot and lets the author talk about anything and everything, and it doesn’t take long for things to get uncomfortable, which shouldn’t surprise you if you know anything about Charles Bukowski, especially since his column Notes of a Dirty Old Man is what brought him to both fame and infamy – just ask the FBI. Schroeder doesn’t try and mask anything, he wants the audience to see it.
3. Breakfast with Hunter
Image via The Hollywood Reporter
Quintessential Hunter S. Thompson – the 2003 documentary opens with the gonzo journalist pulling up to the curb with a cigarette and a blow-up doll, both of which he then throws into the street. If you’re looking for a film about the author’s childhood or personal life, this one isn’t for you. Instead, he discusses Nixon, film adaptations of his work, and DUI laws while you get a peek at his bizarre day-to-day, including ambushing Rolling Stone co-founder and publisher Jann Wenner with a stolen fire extinguisher. It’s a trip, much like Hunter S. Thompson, and it’s a trip you’ll want to take.
4. William S. Burroughs: A Man Within (2010)
Image via NPR
Luckily, this isn’t just another documentary about the Beatnik movement, which it easily could have been. Instead, it tries to understand the angry man behind Naked Lunch, including the drugs and the guns, though it’s most interested in exploring Burroughs’ capacity to love, and somehow, it actually gets an answer at the end.
Image via Wikipedia
Apparently Salinger was huge when it was first released in 2013, but I’d never heard about it, probably because it didn’t live up to its pre-release hype. It was supposed to reveal sensational new information on the reclusive author’s life, along with a few unpublished novels, but four years later there were a few leaks, but no actual new publications. But hey, if you’ve ever wondered what Danny DeVito thinks of the author, check out this documentary.
Whether you love him or hate him, there’s no denying the effect Hefner’s work has had on both the literary and publishing worlds. In memoriam of Hugh Hefner’s life and career, we’ve put together a list of some of the most notable authors and interviews published in Playboy to prove that yes, some people really do read it for the articles.
I had so much fun making the featured image that I couldn’t not also make a full cover. Enjoy. / Image Via The New Yorker, Photoshopped by yours truly.
If you’ve got a subscription to Playboy, be sure to check out the Playboy Archive for digital copies of magazines ranging from 1954 to 2007.
1. An Interview with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image via Wikipedia
In 1964, just after he had won the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sat down with Alex Haley for a series of interviews, which were then edited together for the magazine’s January 1965 issue. The interview is the longest interview King gave to a publication. Ever. King speaks of his observations of the Civil Rights Movement (at that point) and the first time he remembered experiencing racism. He was forced to stand on a bus, not too dissimilar to Rosa Parks’ story, which later inspired him to stage a bus boycott.
Vonnegut first appeared in Playboy in a 1973 interview. Most notably, though, the magazine was the first to publish an excerpt from Armageddon in Retrospect, Vonnegut’s first posthumous collection. The collection features several new short stories, a letter Vonnegut wrote to his family during his time as a prisoner of war in World War II, drawings, and a speech written shortly before his death.
During the first years of Playboy’s life their budget only allowed for reprinted stories, and in 1954 they published a serialized version of Fahrenheit 451. ‘The First Night of Lent’, Bradbury’s first original story for the publication in 1956, was among the first previously unpublished stories the magazine sent to print.
Atwood’s first foray into Playboy was in 1991 with the publication of ‘The Bog Man’. ‘The Bog Man’recounts the discovery of a 2,000 year old man during a trip between a Canadian student and the married archaeology professor she is in love with. Atwood’s other works published in Playboy include The Bad News (2006) and The Age of the Bottleneck (2008).
Published in 1971, Marquez’s short story ‘The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World‘ is about a ridiculously handsome dead body that washes up onto shore and enchants an entire village. If you’re unfamiliar with Marquez’s work, I absolutely recommend A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings.
8. Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels
Image via Ian Fleming
According to John Cork, founding member of the Ian Fleming Foundation, “by 1960 Ian Fleming, James Bond, and Playboy magazine became a nearly synonymous cultural force, truly united with Playboy‘s publication of [Fleming’s story] The Hildebrand Rarity.” Fleming’s 11th book, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, was published simultaneously as a hardcover in Britain and serialized in Playboy from April to June 1963.
Dahl’s only non-children’s book, My Uncle Oswald, was based on ‘The Visitor’, a story written for and published in Playboy in May of 1965. You wouldn’t think a beloved children’s author would fit in with the publication but Dahl describes main character Oswald as “the greatest fornicator of all time”, so. Dahl’s first original story for Playboy was ‘A Fine Son’, published in 1959.
Heller refers to his short story ‘Yossarian Survives’(published in Playboy in 1987) as a lost chapter of Catch-22. The story describes Yossarian’s training at Lowry Field Air Force base in Denver, Colorado. Fans interested in reading this ‘lost chapter’ can find it in Catch As Catch Can: The Collected Stories and Other Writings.
Palahniuk is no stranger to getting published in Playboy, but I’m including him for a reason very close-to-home. When I was twelve-years-old, rifling through my best friend’s stepfather’s magazines, I found what would eventually become one of my favorite short stories. Palahniuk’s controversial short story ‘Guts‘was first published in the March 2004 issue of Playboy. ‘Guts’ is part of Palahniuk’s short story collection Haunted: A Novel.
12. Hunter S. Thompson, father of Gonzo journalism
Image via Rolling Stone
‘The Great Shark Hunt‘graced Playboy‘s pages in 1973 and was later published in a book of autobiographical essays of the same name. Over his career, Thompson’s work appeared in Playboy on a number of occasions.
In the January 1984 issue of Playboy, Capote retold some of the most outrageous stories from friend and playwright Tennessee Williams’s life. It wasn’t the first time Capote was featured in the magazine. He was also the subject of a 1968 interviewabout his writing career, the role of Jewish writers in the American literary scene, and his views on capital punishment.
14. An Interview with Joyce Carol Oates, author of 56 novels, and a lot more.
one of the most prolific writers in America. Her critics even complain that she writes too much. She has written more novels than Nobel laureate Saul Bello, more short story collections than John Updike, more books of essays than Norman Mailer, more words of poetry than Emily Dickinson and more plays than Chekhov. Critic Harold Bloom considers her “our true proletarian novelist.”
Featured image via The New Yorker, improved via my own photoshop abilities.
It’s weird to think about what life was like before the tragedy on September 11th, 2001. The post-9/11 world is completely different, and not just because of the TSA. No one could predict what the next sixteen years and one day would have in store. Well, no one but Hunter S. Thompson, apparently.
We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows?
At the time, the Gonzo journalist was a Page 2 columnist for ESPN. The Monday after 9/11, Thompson deviated from his regularly scheduled programming and devoted his column to the tragedy. Fans of Thompson’s work won’t be surprised at the essay. In typical gonzo fashion, it’s less about the attack itself and more focused on the abstract and unknown future which we have since lived through.
And that future’s pretty accurate.
The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now — with somebody — and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.
It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy.
Scary, isn’t it?
Read the entirety of Hunter S. Thompson’s 9/11 essay here.
We all know the exquisite pain of wishing we could climb inside the books we love and live in their worlds for a while. It may be easier than you think. We’ve put together the top destinations for adventurous book fans to visit in order to see the inspiration behind their favorite books, and how and where their favorite authors hung out!
1: A trip to see The Cursed Child in London’s West End followed by the Warner Bros. Studios tour.
Image Via The Wrap
Spend the day indulging in The Cursed Child in London’s West End. There’s a three hour break between the two halves, which you can spend by eating and wandering around the famous district. I’m pretty sure the alleged special effects in the play are actual magic. Prepare yourselves to get up close and personal with some all-too convincing dementors.
The following day, take the shuttle bus from London to Watford, home of Warner Bros. Studios, which in turn are home to every single prop and costume and specially built set used in the Harry Potter movies. Ride Hagrid’s motorbike, see the Weasely’s burrow complete with the self-knitting knitting needles and magic clock. Walk down Diagon Alley, see the Philosopher’s Stone, and wonder at the beauty of the life-size Buckbeak. This double-whammy has got to be the ultimate endgame for Harry Potter fans. Book your tickets approximately a year in advance, though, to avoid disappointment. Not kidding.
2. Tour of J. K. Rowling’s Edinburgh
Image Via Wow247
While you are waiting an entire year for your Cursed Child experience, another Harry Potter pilgrimage you can embark on is to Edinburgh, Scotland. J. K. Rowling wrote much of the first book in The Elephant House cafe, while looking out of the window at the stunning view of Edinburgh Castle. These days, the bathrooms are plastered in Harry Potter graffiti.
Greyfriars Kirkyard, a 16th century churchyard beside the Elephant House contains gravestones with names that inspired many of the Potter monikers! Nearby, Victoria Street and Candlemaker Row were the inspiration for Diagon Alley, while Heriot’s School is said to be the inspiration for Hogwarts!
3. Follow Patti Smith’s Adventures in New York
Image Via i-D
Though Patti Smith is primarily known for her music career, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, her contributions to the world of literature are arguably her greatest works. Her memoir Just Kids, about her time in New York with her friend and lover, artist Robert Mapplethorpe, has led many an idealistic young writer to the streets of New York City, the pages of their copies of the book dog eared, marked and highlighted, their paths mapped out.
Smith met Mapplethorpe when she worked at Scribern’s Book Store, at 597 Fifth Avenue. It is currently home to Sephora at 48th Street, which it ahs been for some time now, but you can still see the store name in gold. She writes:
It seemed like a dream job, working in the retail store of the prestigious publisher, home to writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, and their editor, the great Maxwell Perkins. Where the Rothschilds bought their books, where paintings by Maxfield Parrish hung in the stairwell.
Tompkins Square Park is where the third and most important meeting between Smith and Mapplethorpe occurred. On a date with a creepy older man, Smith spied Mapplethorpe, ran up to him and asked him to pretend to be her boyfriend. The two stuck together as lovers, and then as best friends for the rest of their lives. This park was a hub for the New York punk movement. The Chelsea Hotel was Mapplethorpe and Smith’s residence for some years, during which time they befriended the likes of Janis Joplin, Allen Ginsburg, and William S. Borroughs to name but a few. She once ran into Salvador Dali in the lobby! Situated directly below the balconies of the Chelsea Hotel, El Quijote, a Spanish bar and restaurant which was always full of the hotel’s patrons. Smith recounts: “At the table to my left, Janis Joplin was holding court with her band. To my far right were Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane, along with members of Country Joe and the Fish. At the last table facing the door was Jimi Hendrix…” St Mark’s Church in the Bowery is where Smith first began reading her poetry publicly at the insistence of Gregory Corso,
4. Tour Game of Thrones Locations in Croatia
Image Via Hotel Aristan Dubrovnik
Throughout the filming of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the Croatian city of Dubrovnik has served as the setting for King’s Landing. Visitors can see the Red Keep, the House of the Undying and the setting of the Purple Wedding among many other locations. St. Dominic Street is the setting of many market scenes, City Watch scenes, as well as where King Robert’s illegitimate sons were murdered. It is also the scene of Cersei’s walk of shame in Season Five. Bokar Fortress is King’s Landing. The two-story medieval fortress is open to the public all year!
Lokrum Island is situated 600 meters off Croatia’s mainland. Lokrum functions as the city of Qarth, ruled by the ‘pureborn,’ where Daenerys Targaryen gets a frosty welcome from the Spice King. This island dates back to 1023 and, according to legend, Richard the Lionheart sheltered here after a shipwreck while returning from the Crusades. At the highest point of Dubrovnik stands Mineeta Tower, which double as the walls of the House of the Undying. Fans can walk along a high wall above the city and look out over King’s Landing.
5.Visit Jane Austen’s House in Hampshire
Image Via Visit Winchester
The 17th-century house in which Pride and Prejudice author Jane Austen spent the last eight years of her life resides in the village of Chawton near Alton in Hampshire. It has been made into a museum where fans can see books, jewelry, and a piano belonging to Austen. There’s also furniture and other items belonging to the Austen family. The quaint country side and local houses will give you some idea of the world in which Austen lived, and the inspirations behind her settings such as Pemberley.
6. Tour of Hunter S. Thompson’s home Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado.
Image Via Newsweek
Hunter S. Thompson’s wife Anita is currently in the process of opening their home as a museum for Gonzo fans. Owl Farm was where Anita and Thompson lived for the two years of their marriage before his suicide in 2005. If all goes according to plan, you can sign up on the Gonzo Foundation website.
Anita will make the same breakfast she always made for Hunter at 2PM: grapefruit, scrambled eggs, juice, coffee, and fresh fruit suspended in Jell-O, with gin and Grand Marnier drizzled on top. After this, the grand tour of the two-story log cabin. The rooms are jammed with books, art, vinyl albums, memorabilia, and Thompson’s handwritten notes. His famous red shark convertible is in the garage. Owl Farm is also home to a German Shepard, two Siamese cats, and a flock of peacocks whom Thompson would defend with his shotgun.
7.Tour Emily Dickinson’s Amhurst Home
Image Via View from Federal Twist
One of the most lauded poets of the 20th century, Dickinson’s home in Amhurst, Massachusetts, where she lived as a recluse all her life, is now the Emily Dickinson Museum. Walk the grounds of the beautiful home where Dickinson was inspired to write her wonderful poetry about nature, and walk through the rooms where her more abstract verses were composed. The museum also hosts literary events and workshops.