BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Hmmm ...

I had a bit of a "lightbulb moment" this past week while reading the really excellent biography of Hunter S. Thompson, Outlaw Journalist. One of the repeating points in the book was how HST didn't really practice traditional journalism - going out and writing the story of an event - but wrote a "Gonzo" version where what the piece ended up being about him going out to cover the story (and the misadventures involved therewith).

Upon reflection, that has a certain resonance with what makes my book reviews "different from the other kids'" reviews - they are filled with a lot of stuff about where I got the book, why I was reading it when I was, how stuff in the book related to other stuff I've read or done, and how the reader can get the book as cost-effectively as possible.

While I'd certainly not want to compare myself to HST (after all, I left behind the "substance abuse" thing decades ago), and I never intentionally went looking for a "Gonzo" style of writing ... it's there, to a certain extent.

And I'm wondering if there's any way to market my reviews this way, without sounding like an idiot.

I realize that a lot of people get away with a lot of really obnoxious stuff in terms of "branding" themselves (to the extent of having a theme element tattooed on their chest, or always wearing bright orange shoes, or sporting goofy glasses, etc., etc., etc.) ... and I'm usually quite uncomfortable with how "fake" that always seems to me. However, as the classic line goes (interestingly, this was actually in criticism of P.T. Barnum, not by him!), "There's a sucker born every minute!", and people tend to be ovine in their search for ways to not actually have to think about stuff, resulting in being perfectly happy to take whatever caricature is offered as a short-hand symbology. So, how could I (without doing a blatant rip-off of the whole "Gonzo" thing) make that connection?

I doubt I could get Ralph Steadman (at age 80) to do a portrait (or be able to afford it if that were possible) ... but it seems like some sort of "mirroring" of Thompson's image would work for my writing ... and I'd love to be actually selling some of those books!

Oh, and as a P.S. ... the new versions of the review books, featuring the added alpha-by-author and alpha-by-title indexes are now up on the Create Space site and ready to roll ... not sure if the new versions have propagated over to Amazon, etc., yet, though.

Visit the BTRIPP home page!


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