Hunter S. Thompson’s Harrowing, Chemical-Filled Daily Routine

E. Jean Carroll’s 1993 memoir of Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) opens like this:

I have heard the biographers of Harry S. Truman, Catherine the Great, etc., etc., say they would give anything if their subjects were alive so they could ask them some questions. I, on the other hand, would give anything if my subject were dead.

He should be. Oh, yes. Look at his daily routine:

3:00 p.m. rise

3:05 Chivas Regal with the morning papers, Dunhills

3:45 cocaine

3:50 another glass of Chivas, Dunhill

4:05 first cup of coffee, Dunhill

4:15 cocaine

4:16 orange juice, Dunhill

4:30 cocaine

4:54 cocaine

5:05 cocaine

5:11 coffee, Dunhills

5:30 more ice in the Chivas

5:45 cocaine, etc., etc.

6:00 grass to take the edge off the day

7:05 Woody Creek Tavern for lunch-Heineken, two margaritas, coleslaw, a taco salad, a double order of fried onion rings, carrot cake, ice cream, a bean fritter, Dunhills, another Heineken, cocaine, and for the ride home, a snow cone (a glass of shredded ice over which is poured three or four jig­gers of Chivas.)

9:00 starts snorting cocaine seriously

10:00 drops acid

11:00 Chartreuse, cocaine, grass

11:30 cocaine, etc, etc.

12:00 midnight, Hunter S. Thompson is ready to write

12:05-6:00 a.m. Chartreuse, cocaine, grass, Chivas, coffee, Heineken, clove cigarettes, grapefruit, Dunhills, orange juice, gin, continuous pornographic movies.

6:00 the hot tub-champagne, Dove Bars, fettuccine Alfredo

8:00 Halcyon

8:20 sleep

Ms. Carroll, you have my attention, I do declare. But when I get a grip on myself, I wonder: How did she get ahold of this list? Did Thompson map it all out for her? Did he note it in a diary, or jot it all down on a napkin? Or did Carroll observe him following this routine while visiting his 7,000-acre estate in Woody Creek, Colorado? And, if the latter, you have to wonder whether Thompson always lived this hard? Or was this a bit of schtick, the nurturing of a Gonzo persona now decades in the making? It’s hard to know what’s true, or what’s not. All I do know is this: Carroll has made her 1993 biography, Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson, available for free online. You can download it in PDF and RTF formats via her web site, or find it housed in our collection of Free eBooks.

Meanwhile, if you want to delve more deeply into Thompson’s daily routine, you can head to Lapham’s Quarterly where HST outlines his ideal breakfast. It consists of “four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crêpes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned-beef hash with diced chilies, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of key lime pie, two margaritas and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert.” All eaten naked and alone. Naturally.

Note: above you can hear a reading of HST’s daily chemical intake.

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Related Content:

Hunter S. Thompson Calls Tech Support, Unleashes a Tirade Full of Fear and Loathing (NSFW)

Johnny Depp Reads Letters from Hunter S. Thompson (NSFW)

Hunter S. Thompson Remembers Jimmy Carter’s Captivating Bob Dylan Speech (1974)

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Comments (16)
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  • John Lee Hooker says:

    Obviously fake, come on now open culture …

  • Hunter S. Thompson says:

    Well I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but it always worked for me!

  • Nikta says:

    I remember reading this book after seeing HST at my college lecture series. It’s a fantastic read. A bit of truth stretching, but nothing the Good Doctor didn’t approve of. :)

  • Kansas Voices says:

    I didn’t know you could get a Dove bar in Aspekn …. or a Chivas snow cone.

  • Raoul says:

    I can’t find the pdf to download on this site and her website doesn’t work for me either. Any help?

  • Sunshine says:

    Try the rtf download, worked on my ipad

  • Will says:

    I would wager that this is bullshit + truth mixed together. Having watched Fear and Loathing countless times, read excerpts of numerous Thompson essays/books and read a good deal more about the man than I have read about most people; it’s my opinion that Thompson was a fucking asshole. He’d probably say the same.

  • Martin McCallion says:

    It’s plain to me that the list is in itself and exercise in gonzo fiction. Even HST couldn’t survive a diet like that.

    Well, not _every_ day.

    And where I come from a Dove bar is soap.

  • Rikidozan says:

    I don’t think this is bullshit. There are people who had taken uppers and downers all day trying to balance their day-to-day life by tipping each side of it with extremes. This is also just a variation of the old-school alcohol (to tone down) + amphetamines (to liven up) “diet” some people used to do in the 50s.

  • Randy Woodall says:

    So, take the Gonzo Challenge?

  • Shitstorm says:

    I don’t see why any of you find this so unbelievable, clearly none of you have any experience with drug use or drug users. I could live this day easily. Maybe he didn’t do it EVERYDAY but this sounds like something he did regularly, it was his lifestyle. He was a great writer, great incite, his perspective was something most couldn’t conceive. One of the greatest voices of the literary world. Sure, maybe some of you are too esoteric to take him seriously and will always have something to say about what he was or wasn’t. However, he was a great man. Asshole or not. Long live Hunter. Long live Gonzo journalism.

  • Ricky says:

    Out of all those intoxicants, alocohol is the one that wud catch up with you first. This wud b a tough routine. He wud have had to been young to do it often, anyway.

  • David says:

    Without having studied HST nearly as closely as you, or, indeed, at all—I’ve read the essential canon, seen Johnny Depp’s caricature, and engaged in conversational riffing on and/or in the style of, but that’s really all—I’d wager your “fucking asshole” assessment is as spot on as your belief that he’d agree, which is to say completely. He was also an astute and fearless observer and writer. I’m guessing you’re as grateful for him as I.

  • David A Johnson says:


  • Josh says:

    Imagine trying to write after dropping acid every night: nope. And if we take that out of the equation we have alcoholism: yep.

  • David says:

    This was comprehensively debunked on the Beatdom website. It originally came from a creative biography of Hunter and was never meant to be thought of as a serious account of his daily activities.

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