The earlier volume of Thompson letters, The Proud Highway (1997), surprised many readers with its revealing glimpses into the making of a notorious journalist; moreover, those letters did not disappoint for they are as audacious as their author. With this second of a planned three-volume set of letters, the original gonzo journalist's "testament to his life and times" covers the period in which Thompson's seminal pieces were published or, at least, well into the making. During this period, Thompson was reporting on the political scene for Rolling Stone, which would yield his highly original road book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1972); falling deeper into politics and increasing his knowledge of that world, which he pulled together for Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail; and running his own crazy political race for sheriff in Aspen, Colorado, where, as publicity has it, he still lives in a "fortified compound" (shades of Garry Trudeau's Duke in his Doonesbury comic strip; incidentally, readers discover letters here, too, that reveal that at one point Thompson considered suing Trudeau for libel). Often the correspondence is so eventful that it impresses one as being fictitious, as with the letters between Thompson and Oscar Zeta Acosta, the Chicano activist/lawyer and model for Thompson's 300-pound Samoan attorney, Dr. Gonzo, in Las Vegas . And then there are the painful letters between writer and publisher, particularly Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone and Jim Silberman of Random House, that trace the hard road many original writers travel to merely survive. The cast of characters is impressive, politicians such as Gary Hart and George McGovern, friends and colleagues such as cartoonist Ralph Steadman and writer William Kennedy. Summarily, Hunter's life and times are our life and times, and, oh, how wicked we've been.