Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 24, 2005
POP CULTURE: A High Bar

Tom Wolfe calls Dr. Hunter S. Thompson "the [20th] century's greatest comic writer in the English language." I know Thompson was a friend of Wolfe and traveled in the same circles, and admittedly I haven't read Thompson's best work. But it really seems quite unlikely that anywhere near a majority of people given the opportunity to read both would find Thompson funnier than Dave Barry, who I've argued in the past is "the funniest writer in the history of the English language." My sense of Thompson was that he was something of an acquired taste, and - like P.J. O'Rourke, only moreso - not to the taste of a lot of people who didn't share his point of view.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:54 AM | Pop Culture | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)
Comments

Well, all taste aside, obviously Thompson has a larger and more important impact on journalism and fiction than a columnist like Barry. Barry's cute and all, whatever. Fear and Loathing, Hell's Angels are incredible works and I imagine they will be read in journalism and literature curriculum for some time. And he wrote for ESPN.

Congratulations Hunter for going out your own way; we drank to you all night long on Monday.

Posted by: adwred at February 24, 2005 6:35 PM

You'd be hard pressed to find a humor writer the past 20 years - Lileks and O'Rourke come to mind - who won't admit to aping Barry.

Posted by: The Crank at February 24, 2005 7:56 PM

Considering you are comparing a recently deceased legend with some guy who writes in an entirely different style and you haven't even read Thompson's work, I just thought I might say something nice about him instead of reading some uniformed, offhand comment about your favorite writer.

Posted by: adwred at February 25, 2005 10:25 AM
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