Media: Godfather Of Gonzo

"Don't be rude!" Hunter S. Thompson, who famously crashed a D.A. convention with a head full of acid, chided the 1,000 or so fans who crammed a New York City Barnes & Noble bookstore. (That took care of people shouting such questions as "Do you like drugs?") The journalist was promoting "Kingdom of Fear," his latest gonzo blast. It's been more than 30 years since Thompson published "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," and Dr. Gonzo, as he's known, can still pack 'em in. The B&N reading was among the biggest in the store's history; the drunken fan who passed out and had to be taken away by paramedics was also a first, a bemused employee noted. For the rest of Thompson's two-week stay in New York, he received assorted cognoscenti (Lou Reed and the Strokes' Julian Casablancas were at the after-party; author George Plimpton threw a fete in his honor; Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter visited his hotel) and luxuriated in his on-call limo. "Yeah, America's in trouble," Thompson told NEWSWEEK in the midst of a night of fevered wagering at the Times Square ESPN Zone. "But I always like coming to New York."