20 Great Hunter S. Thompson Quotes


Hunter S. Thompson would have been 77 today.  Let’s celebrate with some of his great quotes.



I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.


If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.


I learned a long time ago that reality was much weirder than anyone’s imagination.


The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it.


I am surprised and embarrassed to be a part of the first American generation to leave the country in far worse shape than it was when we first came into it.


I understand that fear is my friend, but not always. Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.


Getting hold of the drugs had been no problem, but the car and the tape recorder were not easy things to round up at 6:30 on a Friday afternoon in Hollywood.


I was not proud of what I had learned but I never doubted that it was worth knowing.


Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.


Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!


Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives… and to the “good life”, whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.


You better take care of me Lord, if you don’t you’re gonna have me on your hands.


1) Never trust a cop in a raincoat.
2) Beware of enthusiasm and of love, both are temporary and quick to sway.
3) If asked if you care about the world’s problems, look deep into the eyes of he who asks, he will never ask you again.
4) Never give your real name.
5) If ever asked to look at yourself, don’t look.
6) Never do anything the person standing in front of you can’t understand.
7) Never create anything, it will be misinterpreted, it will chain you and follow you for the rest of your life.


I’ve always considered writing the most hateful kind of work. I suspect it’s a bit like fucking, which is only fun for amateurs. Old whores don’t do much giggling.


I have no taste for either poverty or honest labor, so writing is the only recourse left for me.


Pray to God, but row away from the rocks.


If you can’t make yourself understood by your friends, you’ll be in trouble when your enemies come for you.


You won’t find reasonable men on the tops of tall mountains.


You can’t hoard fun. It has no shelf life.


The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to those who can see it coming and jump aside.


Share your favorite in the comments!


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Liberty Hardy is a bookseller and Civil War nerd living in Kittery, Maine. She is also a contributing editor for Book Riot and runs Paperback to the Future.


  1. Trogdor_The_Burninator

    July 18, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Great Job Liberty! I love this man much more than I should. Had the pleasure to meet him once in 96.

  2. guest

    July 18, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    “If the Grateful Dead came to town, I’d beat my way in with a fucking tire iron, if necessary. I think Workingman’s Dead is the heaviest thing since Highway 61 and “Mr. Tambourine Man”” Fear and Loathing in America – Hunter S. Thompson

  3. Pitdoc

    July 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    You  missed the  best one…

    “When the  going gets weird, the  weird turn pro.”

  4. SkiBum69

    July 18, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    A word to the wise is infuriating………..

  5. Dwayne Hoover

    July 18, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Great article. Please write more.

  6. Derwood OMalley

    July 18, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    A moral man never gets the opportunity to second guess.

  7. eddietirebiter

    July 19, 2014 at 8:59 am


    Had a girlfriend who used to like to quote that.  I thought she liked just because it sounded a little freaky.  I was young.

  8. FLpro

    July 20, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Yep 😉

  9. steadmanralph

    July 22, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

  10. MacHarris

    July 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs for no good reason.

  11. CardiffGiant11

    July 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    I love that Dale Gribble was drawn to be a total likeness of him

  12. Chip Riptide

    July 23, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Buy the ticket…Take the Ride