Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's literary career has long attempted to prove to readers that the government is really as evil and shitty as we all suspect. His latest effort chronicles his personal role in the election of Mr. Bill, as he calls our beleaguered president, and is such a confusing and disturbing insider's look that it is difficult to guess just how many of the details were invented in the author's dope-infested mind. And though Thompson's classic theme of the dehumanizing effects of politics remains vodka clear, gone are the crazed, psychedelic episodes that we have come to love and expect.
At first glance, it appears that Thompson may have muzzled his biting mouth in his old age; or maybe the presidential campaign turned Clinton into such a political automaton that he couldn't find anything besides Bill's eating habits to be really nasty about. Either way, you get the nagging sense that he's become ineffectual, and that the political players that he faxes throughout the book are stringing him along good-humoredly and don't take him very seriously. All in all, though, true political junkies should find this book similar to a traffic accident--too unsettling to accept easily, but fascinating enough to take a close look.