Books: Wise Guy

HOLIDAYS IN HELL

by P.J. O'Rourke

Atlantic Monthly Press 257 pages; $16.95

The generation that gave us the all-purpose jeer "It sucks" also gave us gonzo journalism, that self-consciously hip form of social commentary. The conventions are rather rigid. The reporter should work for a publication that is liberal in both its outlook and expense-account policies. He should know not only how to do light drugs and hold his liquor but also how to fold these manly vices into the copy.

The papa of gonzo is, of course, Hunter S. Thompson, who at 49 seems to have lost his bite. In...

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