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Learning English - Words in the News
21 February, 2005 - Published 12:55 GMT
Hunter S Thompson commits suicide
Hunter S Thompson

The American author Hunter S Thompson has been found dead at his home in Colorado. According to his son, the writer best known for books like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, fatally shot himself. This report from Peter Bowes:

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In a statement released to the Aspen Daily News, Juan Thompson said "Hunter prized his privacy and we ask that his friends and admirers respect that privacy as well as that of his family." Mr Thompson is understood to have found his father's body.

Hunter S Thompson is credited with developing a new form of fictional journalism, sometimes called Gonzo journalism, in which the writer made himself an essential element of the story. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas became a psychedelic classic telling the story of Thompson's drug hazed road trip across the western US in search of the American Dream. The story was eventually made into a movie starring Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro.

Hunter S Thompson made an art out of observing the decadence and depravity in American life. His other books included Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, in 1973, and the collections “Generation of Swine” and “Songs of the Doomed.”

Together with the actor Don Johnson, he also wrote the script for a two hour TV movie called Bridges, a story about an unstable former alcoholic and drug addicted police officer. The story was initially rejected but eventually emerged as the TV series Nash Bridges. Hunter S Thompson's most recent work was “Hey Rube: Bloodsport, the Bush Doctrine and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness.”

Peter Bowes, BBC News, Los Angeles

Listen to the words

something someone says or writes officially


people who respect and are attracted by another person


credited with
said to be responsible for

a high standard against which other things are judged

watching something closely and then writing about it

low moral standards and behaviour

at first


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