The Joke’s Over: Memories of Hunter S. Thompson
By Ralph Steadman
Arrow Books £8.99
FT bookshop price: £7.19

Gonzo journalist Thompson told cartoonist Steadman not to write: “You’ll bring shame on your family.” It’s a request that Steadman defies with this work. In fact, the Welsh illustrator acquits himself well in this memoir of a long, brittle friendship, grappling eloquently with the conundrum that was Thompson – part old-fashioned gent, part thoughtless rodeo bull.

The book opens with Thompson’s suicide: “I have always known that one day he would take that road, but yesterday I did not know that it would be today.”

Gonzo adventures give way to a more ambiguous portrait of their alliance. It is this need to quantify a friendship that makes the book transfixing.

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