METALLICA's LARS ULRICH Pens Introduction To Latest Edition Of HUNTER S. THOMPSON's 'Screwjack'

July 29, 2023

METALLICA's Lars Ulrich has written the introduction to the latest edition of "Screwjack", a rare collection of wild and outlandish short stories — long thought to be lost — by literary legend Hunter S. Thompson.

On Friday (July 28),Ulrich took to his Instagram to share a photo of him holding a copy of the book, and he included the following message: "Beyond psyched to have had the opportunity to write an introduction for the latest edition of Hunter S. Thompson's '91 collection of short stories, Screwjack.

"Reading these stories remind me what a treasure - and mindfuck - Hunter S. Thompson's immortal words continue to be.

"Thanx to @simonandschuster for encouraging me to put pen to paper for this. Check it out if you like things wild, salacious and unsettling."

Thompson's notorious triptych "Screwjack" is as salacious, unsettling, and brutally lyrical as it has been rumored to be since its private printing in 1991.

"We live in a jungle of pending disasters," Thompson warns in the opening piece "Mescalito", a fictionalized chronicle of his first mescaline experience and what it sparked in him while he was alone in a Los Angeles hotel room in February 1969 — including a bout of paranoia that would have made most people just scream no, once and for all. But for Thompson, along with the downside came a burst of creativity too powerful to ignore. The result is a poetic, perceptive, and wildly funny stream-of-consciousness take on 1969 America as only Thompson could see it. "Screwjack" just gets weirder with its second offering, "Death Of A Poet", which describes a trailer park confrontation with a deservingly doomed friend. The heart of the collection lies in its final, title piece, an unnaturally poignant love story ostensibly written by Thompson's alias Raoul Duke from "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas". What makes the romantic tale "Screwjack" so touching, for all its strangeness, is the aching melancholy in its depiction of the modern man’s burden.

"Screwjack" shows how brilliant a prose stylist Thompson really is, amid all the hilarity. As he puts it in his introduction, the three stories here "build like Bolero to a faster and wilder climax that will drag the reader relentlessly up a hill, and then drop him off a cliff...That is the desired effect."

Thompson's best-known work, "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas", is a quasi-fictional account of his drug-laced adventures in the city in 1972. He was portrayed by Johnny Depp in the 1998 film version of "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas".

In February 2005, Thompson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 67.

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