KET
 KET
About KET | TV Schedules | Programs A-Z | Explore by Topic | Support KET  
Arts | Education | Health | Kentucky | Kids & Families | Public Affairs  
Search»
 
 
 
TV Schedule Book List News by e-Mail About bookclub@ket
Back to bookclub@ket bookclub@ket
July's Book
Hell’s Angels
by Hunter S. Thompson

Bill:
If there is a seminal work about a motorcycle gang and you want to know all about them, this is it. Louisville native, gonzo journalist, and literary roustabout Hunter S. Thompson rides with them, lives with them, and speaks their language—a strange and terrible saga. Sounds like a road trip to me. bookclub@ket starts now.

[Wilma arrives on set on a Harley.]

Bill:
All right. Be careful there, young lady. How about that—young lady?

Wilma:
That was fun.

[Everyone laughs]

Wilma:
... do it again next time.

Bill:
You’ve been out for hours, is that right?

Wilma:
For hours we’ve ...

Bill:
You came up from Danville.

Wilma:
All the way to California.

Bill:
California and back. So we start with our motorcycle entrance—what a grand way to begin the program! What does all that have to do with what we are reading today?

Wilma:
Well, we are reading about the Hell’s Angels and Harleys, but this ... I found this book very interesting, not only because it had interesting things about the Hell’s Angels themselves, but it took us to a very, very specific time period—’64 to ’66—and a very specific place, and that’s in California, mostly in the Oakland area. And the Hell’s Angels ... That’s one thing I found interesting about it is that it talked to us about the place of the Hell’s Angels in that very pivotal time in the history of the 20th century in the United States. What did you think, Gabrielle?

Gabrielle:
Yeah, it captured a specific time period, so you got to read about Vietnam and the riots that were going on and also some of the political responses from the government of how they were going to deal with the Hell’s Angels, which they viewed as a threat. So I thought it was very interesting.

Terry:
The timeline is interesting, too, if you look at the way Hunter Thompson wrote this book. He began the book after having written an article for The Nation, which was not his idea but was suggested to him. He was a freelance writer trying to make a living in California and the offers came in after his Nation article. And so then he went out and rode with the Angels through the summer of ’65. He was supposed to turn in the manuscript for the book in September. That got pushed back to December. That got pushed back to March. So it was because he couldn’t finish the book that he got in on, for instance, Mother Miles’ funeral, which happened in January of the next year.

Gabrielle:
And that is a good ending to the book.

Terry:
Great.

Bill:
Jonathan, what are your reactions? You said that being in Ireland at the time—maybe not being familiar with this book, but knowing of the Hell’s Angels and hearing about them—they were internationally ...

Jonathan:
Well, if you look at a web site today, HellsAngels.com, you’ll see that [there are] Hell’s Angel groups all over the world, and they have a world map. And it’s sort of like the old maps the British Empire used to have: pink bits where the British were. And the Hell’s Angels maps have got red bits wherever the Hell’s Angels are. And they are all over Australia. They are all over Europe. It’s quite interesting. But certainly in Ireland and in Britain in the ’60s, motorcycle gangs were very much a feature of youth culture. They probably all watched the same movies as the Hell’s Angels did. They probably all watched Marlon Brando in The Wild One.

I was interested in how Hunter S. Thompson analyzed the origins of the Hell’s Angels. I thought it was very interesting the way he talks about all these people coming home from the second World War and how it was kind of stirring up the social pot in some ways. And he wasn’t actually ... I think he was a little vague. I wasn’t actually clear on how many actual veterans of World War II entered, became Hell’s Angels. But it’s clear that they began in the late ’40s, and it was either veterans or the children of veterans who had the money to get motorbikes and then start forming these gangs.

Another thing I thought was interesting was the way in which he links the beginning of the Hell’s Angels and the cult of the Hell’s Angels in the early ’60s to Marlon Brando in The Wild One and the way in which ... Much as people say the Mafia watch themselves in the movies, similarly the Hell’s Angels were kind of watching themselves in the movies and watching themselves being reflected in the media and felt big about that. And it helped them to find their image, I think.

Wilma:
I’m sorry, Terry; go ahead.

Terry:
It wouldn’t be a book club if we didn’t ...

Wilma:
... interrupt each other. I was just thinking—and this is way beyond the book—but in the ’70s I saw Geraldo Rivera interview the Hell’s Angels on television, and they were standing behind him going, “Hi, Mom.”

[Everyone laughs]

Wilma:
I just thought that was just too funny.

Bill:
Yeah.

Terry:
He actually says that the Hell’s Angels as we know it today was a creation of the Eastern press, because at the time, in the summer of ’65, they were broke. There were only about 80 of them left. They were about to disband, but the attorney general of California, responding to a 1963 incident with a motorcycle club, came out with this report saying that it was very, very bad. Of course, that was going to be good for his political career as well. The Eastern press picked up on his report and all hell broke loose.

[Everyone agrees]

Bill:
And I think, too, that Hunter S. Thompson more than once sort of goes out of his way, and [it] may be self-serving in a fashion, to point out that The New York Times, uh, Time magazine ...

Terry:
Saturday Evening Post.

Bill:
... Saturday Evening Post.

Terry:
Saturday Evening Post cover with Princess Margaret.

Bill:
Uh huh. But at first they sort of relished all of that, I believe. And ... But then they found or sort of fell out of favor, or the Hell’s Angels, at least through Hunter S. Thompson, we learn, find out, that they are doing it for their own—that the journalists are doing it for their own gain.

Terry:
Right.

Bill:
And I think to a degree it’s well documented that Hunter S. Thompson sort of had a hard time with that. I mean, he had to gain [the Angels’] trust and their confidence in trying to tell the story. Of course, if you read the end of the book, we all know that he was beaten to a pulp at the very end for reasons that, quite honestly, I didn’t fully understand, other than they just did that.

Gabrielle:
Yeah, it’s almost like a switch went off and on.

Terry:
That’s what he says.

Gabrielle:
Don’t know.

Terry:
Sonny Barger, the president of that chapter, wrote a book that came out a couple years ago.

Bill:
Just a couple years ago?

Terry:
Yeah, yeah.

Bill:
Really?

Terry:
Yeah, it’s a relatively new book.

Bill:
Yeah. And it’s entitled ...

Terry:
It’s entitled Hell’s Angel, singular.

Bill:
Oh, OK.

Terry:
This is Sonny on the cover [shows book]. Uh, his ...

Bill:
Sort of looks like Wilma riding.

Wilma:
About the same age, actually.

Terry:
Sonny claims that the reason Hunter was beat up was because he went on a trip and one of the Angels got mad at his wife and slapped her. The dog got mad at the Angel who slapped the wife and bit the Angel. The Angel then kicked the dog, and Hunter walked up and said, “Only a punk would slap a woman and kick a dog.”

[Everyone laughs]

Bill:
Is that ...

Terry:
He ended up in a Santa Clara hospital.

Bill:
He did with some, and it’s almost just ... Very quickly—and I wouldn’t want to read this part of the book where he talks about when he, again, another accident when he laid his bike down. He had somebody on the back. That is a horrendous depiction of some horrible wreck that they had and how they ended up and everything. That was terrible.

Wilma:
It was.

Bill:
But apparently, as a lot of people who ride and often have accidents [know], that’s a terrible way to go down in an accident, whether it’s by yourself or whether you meet somebody head-on. I mean it was terrible.

Wilma:
One thing I liked about this book ...

Bill:
Gruesome.

Wilma:
And it was gruesome. I’m not trying to ...

Bill:
Yes it was.

Wilma:
... bypass that, but one thing I liked about this—and it does have to do with Hunter and telling his own story along with the Hell’s Angels’—he had an amazing insight for putting things into perspective while he was living it. I mean, it’s easy to go back, you know, ten or five, even five or two years later ...

Bill:
Like this Angel did.

Wilma:
Yeah.

Bill:
35 or 40 years.

Wilma:
40 years later. But it’s more difficult when you are living it to get some insight, to get some perspective as to how the Angels fit into the larger society at that time, because some of the people at Berkeley who were just getting started protesting the war in Vietnam—because at that time it was just beginning to escalate. They felt because the Hell’s Angels were kind of anti-establishment, they felt that they would be with them on that, and they weren’t at all.

Gabrielle:
Right.

Wilma:
And I believe that Hunter Thompson gets that idea and gets the idea that these are—he called it “a rising tide”—they were at the beginning of a rising tide of protest in this country, and he knew that in 1966. Which is early for the rising tide.

Terry:
He actually knew that before he ever started riding with the Angels. One of the things I discovered in going back and trying to piece the timeline together was a letter that he wrote—and he’s got it reprinted in The Proud Highway: Gonzo Papers Part I—a letter that he wrote a week or two weeks before Carey McWilliams suggested the article for The Nation. Now, this is before he has ever even thought of doing a piece on the motorcycles, and he wrote a letter to Charles Kuralt, who happened to be one of his drinking buddies from down in Rio, 1963 or something.

Bill:
Uh huh.

Terry:
And he tells him that he had just that day gone out looking for a job. And it was a humiliating experience for him, and he ...

Bill:
A real job.

Terry:
Oh yes, a real job.

[Everyone laughs]

Terry:
Didn’t actually have any skills; he just wanted to get a job because he couldn’t pay the rent. And his description of the way that made him feel was not word-for-word but almost word-for-word the way he writes of the Angels when he concludes that they are part of this underclass of society. And it’s the same thing. And in that same letter, he says to Kuralt that he believes he has gone past communism. He’s talking about not having any money and owing Charles Kuralt $110. And he says he believes he has gone past all that, and he really thinks that the power structure has the attitude that Kurtz had in Heart of Darkness.

Gabrielle:
Uh huh.

Terry:
That which it just ...

Wilma:
And that’s what he ends with.

Terry:
“Exterminate all the brutes!”

Bill:
Uh huh.

Terry:
But that’s in his letter two weeks before he ever ...

Wilma:
Even started this.

Terry:
... undertakes this mission.

Gabrielle:
Wow. I like the fact that as you read it, you do get to see the perspective, and you do almost walk the life of a Hell’s Angel. As we are going through their lives and how they make and prioritize things that are important to them, you really get to understand, kind of, the psychological makeup of why they do what they do.

Jonathan:
Yeah, it put Hunter S. Thompson in an interesting position, I think. You know he’s a journalist who has to infiltrate this group in order to gain their confidence because they were ... On one hand, they were attracted to publicity, and they wanted journalists to write about them. On the other hand, they were clearly suspicious of any journalist, and there were stories about them telling certain journalists to get lost. So I don’t know what he did or how he was initiated or hazed to gain their confidence, but anyway objectivity, subjectivity, writing about it like it is, describing everything that happens, not making judgments about it.

Wilma:
Uh huh.

Jonathan:
But I mean, how does he do this? How does he walk this tightrope? Personally I find that he was really quite uncritical of the Hell’s Angels, ...

Bill:
Yeah, that ...

Jonathan:
... largely, throughout, until near the end.

Wilma:
Right.

Jonathan:
And then toward ... And indeed he talks at the end about the fascination of our culture with Hell’s Angels.

[Everyone agrees]

Jonathan:
How that they are a kind of a ... Some people find them strangely attractive in some ways, even though they are also demonized and seen as very disruptive and dangerous thugs. And I think he shares that fascination the first 200 pages, 300; the first 150 pages, he’s fascinated by them. And he describes all their activities. He describes their rampages, their robberies, [how] they are beating people up, their drug abuse, the drunkenness and ...

Bill:
Everything, yeah.

Jonathan:
... in great detail. And he really refuses to judge. In fact, sometimes it seems as if he’s not just neutral; he even almost thinks it’s cool.

Bill:
Well now, I’m going to disagree just slightly, Jonathan. I’m not sure he ever really ... I’m not sure he ever really glorified it. I think in a way he was—and this is something we can talk about—writing as a reporter and as a journalist and maybe trying not to have an opinion. I mean, I think he was pretty ... for the most [part], throughout those first 150 pages, really sort of fact-finding, checking facts, reporting what he observed and saw.

Wilma:
I think so, too, but he was ... I agree with Jonathan that he got into, you know ... He was kind of interested and kind of flattered to be part of them, too. And the one place that I marked in the book was the Fourth of July 1965 run. And he had not caught up with the Hell’s Angels yet, but he was with another motorcycle group: the Jokers, the Gypsy Jokers.

Bill:
Bass Lake.

Wilma:
Yes. The Bass Lake incident. He’s with the Gypsy Jokers on the road, and they have to stop for something. He’s in a car; he’s not on a bike. And he says: “Finally the Joker president gave the word, and we thundered out of the parking lot.” You see, at that point he’s part of it; he’s on a motorcycle in his mind thundering with ...

Jonathan:
Part of the thunder.

Wilma:
Thunder, part of the thunder. But he’s in a little ... probably not even a very powerful car. I mean, he’s just in a car.

Terry:
I think he was in a Rambler, maybe.

[Everyone laughs]

Bill:
He’s not even sure the car was going to make it back.

Wilma:
I think he does somehow also get some type of thrill. I mean, I don’t think you could live or be that close to a group without somehow becoming part of them. I mean, you know, the seamier side he did not become a part of, but ...

Gabrielle:
I think there was almost a sense of pride that all the other reporters weren’t able to get in, and here he was able to sit at the bar and talk one on one and be able to be part of their lives. And I think towards the end, when he got sort of disillusioned, I think that’s when finally kind of the glory of it all kind of faded away. And he said “That’s it,” and he walked away.

Terry:
Yeah, he said they lost their sense of humor and began to read their own press clippings.

[Everyone agrees]

Bill:
Well, let me ask you this: What did he really learn that another trained observer, a journalist, a reporter, wouldn’t have learned? I mean your ...

Wilma:
Good question.

Bill:
... your proposition is sort of that he was taken in and revealed secrets and so forth.

Terry:
Yeah, I think he approached the thing as a sociological work.

[Everyone agrees]

Terry:
I think he really did, and I think he accomplished what most sociologists do, which is to prove the obvious: These are losers.

Bill:
Uh huh.

Terry:
The Hell’s Angels were people who, for the most part, didn’t have jobs, or if they did, they were temporary jobs. They were very violent people. They were not well educated. And they were dangerous. And I think that’s what he proved.

[Everyone agrees]

Terry:
But he did it in a way that wasn’t hands-off. When he first started the project with the Lynch report, the attorney general’s report, he discovered that that report, which was the government’s view of the motorcycle gangs, was all done by interviews with policemen. Nobody had talked to the bikers.

Bill:
Yeah.

Jonathan:
Yeah, that was important, I think, because the whole book ... It seems to me the whole book is written in reaction against the way they had been demonized by the public. I mean, people said they are animals, brutes. You know, all they want to do is get on bikes and ride into small towns and wreck the place and get drunk. And he wanted to prove that that wasn’t true. Now he didn’t do that ...

Wilma:
Right.

[Everyone laughs]

Jonathan:
They didn’t work awfully hard to fight ...

Bill:
They didn’t work, period. You could stop right there.

Wilma:
I have his final summation of them, which I marked, and several times ... And it’s just what we are all saying—it’s a sociological study, and I like that part of it.

Bill:
Uh huh.

Wilma:
And at the end he says: “Now, looking for labels, it is hard to call the Hell’s Angels anything but mutants. They are urban outlaws with a rural ethic and a new, improvised style of self-preservation. Their image of themselves derives mainly from celluloid, from the Western movies and two-fisted TV shows that have taught them most of what they know about the society they live in. Very few read books, and in most cases their formal education ended at 15 or 16. What little they know of history has come from the mass media, beginning with comics ...”

Bill:
Uh huh.

Wilma:
... and so on.

Jonathan:
That was a great passage.

Bill:
Yeah.

Jonathan:
And I think that that ...

Bill:
That pretty much puts it ...

Jonathan:
He’s really ... That really completes the book for me, because the book is so good at, as you said, showing the humdrum everyday life of these people, which he was allowed to do because he was allowed into their ranks. Other journalists asked patronizing questions, and their answers weren’t very satisfactory. He was allowed to enter their lives and live with them from day to day and just show how banal and boring much of their lives could be, with all due respect. But some of the passages here even ... I thought the whole section on Bass Lake, I mean ...

Bill:
Uh huh.

Jonathan:
To be honest ...

[Everyone talks at once]

Jonathan:
How do we get beer?

Bill:
Uh huh.

[Everyone laughs]

Jonathan:
How many cases of beer can you get for $35 if it is $1.50 [a case]? How is that different from what a case would be elsewhere? And so on and so forth. And then, yeah ... And then you realize that that’s what he was worried about; that’s what they were worried about. And in that sense it was very interesting. I mean, it’s about youth culture generally. I mean, not just Hell’s Angels, but youths everywhere were probably worried about how ...

Bill:
How to get beer.

[Everyone talks at once]

Wilma:
But the Hell’s Angels themselves are one-dimensional, so if it were just a book about the Hell’s Angels ... I mean there are some interesting anecdotes, but beyond that it needs to be more than that. And this book becomes that. And one thing I do want to point out for our readers is that there are very graphic passages in here. I mean we are talking about ...

Bill:
Oh yes.

Wilma:
... you know, over that ... But there are very graphic passages about some of the activities of the Hell’s Angels, so it’s not, you know, it’s not ...

Terry:
Not a children’s book.

Wilma:
It’s not a “G.”

Bill:
Well, the graphic depictions and also language, too. That doesn’t spoil—let’s say a scene or two—but I mean if you’re offended by some of that wording, too ...

Wilma:
No. And I didn’t mean ...

Bill:
Be forewarned.

Wilma:
I mean we just need to tell them that.

Bill:
Yeah, exactly.

Wilma:
But certainly [the language and style are] the correct thing for this book. I mean it needs to be. There is not a problem with that.

Terry:
And it’s also worth pointing out that this is the first book in a long career. Hunter Thompson, as you said, is from Louisville. He doesn’t, apparently, come back very often. He lives in Aspen, Colorado. But he’s had many books after this. This was his big break, and he knew it at the time.

Bill:
His first novel. His first book, not novel.

Terry:
Yeah, his first, actually.

Bill:
Is it categorized as a novel? Maybe I’m mistaken.

Everyone:
No. I don’t think so.

Bill:
Because if it’s nonfiction—well, reporting, and that sort of thing ... OK. I thought maybe somebody had [called it a novel] or I had read that ... His first book, then.

Terry:
Right. He went on to become one of the premier New Journalists of the ’70s. He was a creature of the ’50s, you know—a product of the ’50s, I guess, and a creature of the ’60s.

Bill:
Uh huh.

Terry:
He was a star in the ’70s, and since then he’s been pretty much a survivor.

Jonathan:
Well, there are a number of web sites to Hunter S. Thompson. Have you seen that?

Terry:
Oh, he’s still writing.

Jonathan:
These fans put on these enormous web sites—lots of reproductions of the Ralph Steadman [drawings] from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and so on.

Bill:
Right.

Jonathan:
There is still a kind of cult since Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was a cult book. I suspect this was something of a cult book among people who wanted to be Hell’s Angels in the mid-’60s.

Bill:
Wanted to learn about them, anyway.

Jonathan:
Yeah.

Bill:
People on the East Coast.

Jonathan:
People wanted to learn about them, but I think also people wanted to be like them.

Bill:
Yeah, sure.

Jonathan:
A young person’s book, in a way.

Terry:
It’s the modern cowboy myth.

Jonathan:
Yeah, it’s a modern cowboy myth.

Terry:
Yeah, it really is.

Bill:
Terry, the term “gonzo journalist” or journalism: Did he allegedly ...

Terry:
He invented that.

Bill:
Invented that, if that’s the correct term. Did he have that style while he was primarily writing magazine and newspaper articles, before this first book, or did that gonzo journalism come out of this? And then, of course, he used it as his style of writing throughout the rest of his career.

Terry:
I think “gonzo” is probably a word that he decided he would use because he knew he needed a name for it to market it. But he was writing in that way early on. When he was in the Air Force as an airman writing for The Command Courier, he would make up plays in baseball games that got boring, you know, and he would talk about home runs being hit for 40 miles and go off on a riff on where the ball landed.

Jonathan:
Is that what he means by “gonzo”: just wild hyperbole, wild exaggeration?

Terry:
I think the idea is ...

Jonathan:
What did he mean by gonzo journalism?

Terry:
I think the idea is to illustrate the truth even if it requires fantasy because reality, you know, falls short.

Bill:
That’s sort of a definition that I’ve read, yeah .... which you are supposed to read and learn about who they were and what they were. You sort of, at times, might take that to the literal extreme and think that maybe some of this was made up—or not. It wasn’t just pure reporting. [To Wilma:] You have opened your book and want to read another passage.

Wilma:
I have. It has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

Bill:
Well, that’s ...

Wilma:
Just fly right in there. No, I was very interested in Sonny Barger writing to President Johnson and offering the services of the Hell’s Angels in Vietnam, and I thought that was very interesting. He said: “Dear Mr. President: On behalf of myself and my associates I volunteer a group of loyal Americans for behind the line duty in Vietnam. We feel that a crack troop of trained gorrillas [sic] would demoralize the Viet Cong and advance the cause of freedom. We are available for training and duty immediately.” And this is a serious letter signed “Sincerely, Ralph Barger Jr., Oakland, California, President of Hell’s Angels.” And I find that quite interesting.

Jonathan:
Well, I think that that comes in a whole fascinating section of the book.

Wilma:
Yes, it does.

Jonathan:
Doesn’t it? Because that’s when you have the meeting with [Allen] Ginsberg ...

Gabrielle:
Right.

Jonathan:
... who’s trying to persuade the Hell’s Angels not to attack demonstrators.

Wilma:
Yeah.

Jonathan:
The anti-war demonstrators.

Bill:
Yeah.

Jonathan:
And in a sense, you know, of all the newsreels and retrospective films we’ve seen about the ’60s ... We see films from the civil rights demonstrations. We see films of Vietnam, of course, and the anti-war movement. I’m interested in how Hell’s Angels fit into this picture.

Gabrielle:
Right.

Jonathan:
They are the kind of lone ideological part of it. You know, they are wild, and they are individualists, and they are counter-cultural, and they don’t wash, you know; that was their boast. But what exactly do they have to do with all this? And this fits them in nicely. They were trying to find out what they were because they knew they were against the war, but then they went for the establishment ... They were helping. I mean, it was a very strange and confusing episode, I think.

Gabrielle:
Yeah.

Terry:
But in some way it shows that their political views were something less than developed.

Jonathan:
Very conservative.

Wilma:
And they are conservative.

[Everyone talks at once]

Bill:
I like that; that’s good.

Jonathan:
I like what Hunter Thompson said. He said: “The students are rebelling against the past, while the Angels are fighting the future.”

Wilma:
Against the future.

Jonathan:
And I think that sums it up rather nicely.

Wilma:
Then he said the only thing they had in common “is their disdain for the present,” which I think is very, very interesting.

Jonathan:
That’s right.

Wilma:
I was in college during ’65 and ’66, but we were still very conservative. But we were very aware of all of this. But it is very interesting to me as to what the students were doing at Berkeley and compared to what we were doing at the University of Kentucky.

Bill:
Exactly.

Wilma:
Yeah. And we were aware ...

Bill:
Yes, we were, but I don’t think we were that aware, and certainly I had not read the book.

Wilma:
Oh, no, I hadn’t.

Bill:
I don’t know if you had picked up anything that he had written, but until—and Jonathan mentioned this before we went on the air—until Altamont, until then, it was sort of glamorized, if you will, in Gimme Shelter, the Rolling Stones film that came out. And Jonathan, I think this is about right ... 1969, was the concert [in] ’69?

Jonathan:
The concert took place just after Woodstock.

Bill:
OK.

Jonathan:
And that was ...

Bill:
’67, then? Sixty—what was it?

Jonathan:
’69.

Bill:
OK, ’69.

Jonathan:
And I think what happened was that the movie Gimme Shelter came out, and the Rolling Stones had used Hell’s Angels, the original Hell’s Angels, as their bodyguards.

Bill:
Yes.

Jonathan:
But then they went overboard ...

Bill:
Well sure.

Jonathan:
... and they stabbed somebody.

Bill:
Well, I remember the accounts of that being that the Hell’s Angels were trying to gain some respect, or at least they were being sort of put out as the people who were going to keep the peace in that way. And then, of course, that went south on them.

Terry:
But it was just another case of the establishment types, the ones who were just a little bit outlaws, trying to tame the Angels and blaming them to the fault.

Bill:
That’s right; yeah. Yeah, exactly. So all of that. And that’s when I became, I think, aware of them more than ever before is when that whole incident occurred, and the stabbing did take place, or more than one. I mean there was a ...

Terry:
Yeah.

Bill:
... death or two, at least ....


References:

  • Reaction to our discussion from a Kentucky viewer who’s also a biker
  • Hell’s Angel description and online excerpt (from Sonny Barger’s own web site)
  • Excerpt from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness in which Marlow recalls discovering the notation “Exterminate all the brutes!” scrawled by hand at the end of a report on a British colonial mission to the Congo. Marlow had gone to Africa to find the author of the report: Kurtz, a colonial official rumored to have gone mad in the jungle. The site—Great Literature Online—includes the complete text of the novella, on which the film Apocalypse Now was loosely based.

 

bookclub@ket | TV Schedule | Book List | News by e-Mail | About bookclub | Contact Us


KET Home | About KET | Contact Us | Search | Terms of Use
Jobs/Internships | PressRoom | Privacy Policy |
600 Cooper Drive | Lexington, KY 40502 | (859) 258-7000 | (800) 432-0951 | © Copyright 2011 KET


Privacy Policy Copyright © 2008 KET Webmaster