Gonzo Writing and Journalism

I don’t know why I never made this connection before but, Anthony Bourdain’s style of writing and narration was like Hunter S. Thompson. Bourdain, like Thompson, was another one that I was on opposing sides of politically but I could watch his show and read his words all day long (just like reading Thompson). He really did fall into that gonzo style of journalism. Having wondered if Hunter S. Thompson may have inspired Bourdain, I went to the internet to find out.

Anthony Bourdain Twitter Profile photo

Sure enough, Hunter S. Thompson was one of Bourdain’s literary heroes. Saying of the book Fear and Loathing Las Vegas: “The book that probably influenced me more than any other. A prose stylist and a personality who changed my life.”

Hunter S. Thompson Magnolia Pictures

Of course, they also ended up having more in common than just writing, what with the way Bourdain left this world by his own accord.

I gravitate in their direction on the “first person writing” front. I did a review once for a local Atlanta pizza joint, on a now defunct blog, that was in the gonzo style of writing. After the daughters of the chef/owner saw it, they pushed it out to a ton of places on the internet. They even contacted me saying how much they loved it. I used a bit of cursing peppered throughout the review (in a good way) and it was very visual and easy flowing. For a time, that was one of the most popular pieces that I had on the internet.

Maybe I should have stuck with that style. People seem to love it while other writers condemn it for “not being proper.” When has “proper” ever been embraced though???


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