NEW REVIEW FROM BEAT SCENE IN ENGLAND
by Eric Jacobs
Following on from the whirlwind that was volume one, Margaret Harrell returns with more adventures involving three particular men in her life, Milton Klonsky, Jan Mensaert and Hunter S. Thompson. She was a top editor in her time – she worked on Thompson’s Hell’s Angels – and this provided the door through which she stepped into the lives of this trio. Or should that be the other way around? . . . It is chaotic, shambolic, impulsive, complete and utter madness at times here. Klonsky is the steadiest, a kind of mentor-father figure to Harrell. Mensaert is mercurial, frustrating and often suicidal and then she marries him. Thompson, perhaps the one writer with the biggest profile in American letters, is, well, Hunter S. Thompson as only he was. Mad as a box of mad things, living in the moment, furiously living and she is drawn to his flame. A passionately written memoir that doesn’t sit around being fit and proper and straight laced. . . . As a key to the lives of these three writers it is idiosyncratic and in an age where blandness is the norm it is a pleasure to go on her journey and find out a little about what makes these men tick and what drove her to them.
REVIEW BY RON WHITEHEAD
December 4, 2012
Margaret A. Harrell has done it again. In her brutally compassionately explicitly honest second autobiography, KEEP THIS QUIET TOO! More Adventures with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, Jan Mensaert, Harrell manages to repeatedly pull the rug out from underneath the reader. She travels from North Carolina to New York City to Morocco to Belgium to India to Switzerland to Owl Farm and many other places, . . . in search of herself. From depth psychology to dream analysis to hangoutologies to ecstatic love making to out of body astral travels to spirit guides, adventures and misadventures, she guides herself and is guided ever homeward, to her own heart and soul. Margaret A. Harrell’s new, second volume, like volume one, is a masterpiece. I thank her for sharing openly, honestly, so many intimate details of her journey.” Outlaw poet Ron Whitehead. “I have long admired Ron Whitehead. He is crazy as nine loons, and his poetry is a dazzling mix of folk wisdom and pure mathematics,” Hunter S. Thompson
This book is filled with beautiful, honest, agonized letters Hunter Thompson wrote me while we worked together in the final stages of the publication of Hell’s Angels. As part of the many wishes he left behind, he personally left me permission to use them. Or at least gave me a big high-five from a distance. Left word that I was one of the good ones.
What Critics Are Saying:
Check out the Reviews and Orders page of this site.
“A feast for the Gonzo soul” – Marty Flynn
This book was born out of my relationship with Hunter Thompson over many years. It covers the first four. The relationship started in Random House when one of my bosses, Jim Silberman, asked me to copy edit Hunter’s Hell’s Angels manuscript and be the link – his pathway up to Jim at the top of the chain. I was to keep Hunter happy by catering to his every concern.
Hunter knew nothing about me. But he immediately secured permission to phone me at will, paid for by Random House. For months I was happily on the job at home and off. I see the arrangement – of unlimited phone calls – something like that in You’ve Got Mail, before personal internet. The Hell’s Angels senior editor, Jim Silberman, traveled out to San Francisco, early on, to meet Hunter Thompson. He secured the book, Hunter’s first to be published (it was half written in manuscript), from its intended paperback publisher, Ballantine. Signed and sealed the deal. And we were off to the races.
NEW from the San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review:
”While the job at Random House did offer her the opportunity to meet a lot of writers and famous people, it is Hunter that became her secret office romance. The two start a correspondence within letters and long-distance phone calls that morphs from a concealed passion into a long-term friendship. Keep This Quiet! is a book about a woman’s life and her loves, determination, and discovery.
“. . . A great deal of the book is personal letters from Hunter to Margaret, with Margaret’s inside emotions written in the theoretical margins. Harrell is an excellent storyteller, in a story that is never about the narrative, but about the real people. Every person in the book is bold and well defined; and I especially liked the notes where Harrell backs up her story with proof.”
From Ron Whitehead
“KEEP THIS QUIET! a memoir: My Relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert by Margaret A. Harrell is a masterpiece! I never expected to say that about a memoir yet as I say it memories of so many other great works of creative non-fiction autobiographies memoirs etc start flooding in, works by Mark Twain and Walt Whitman and Frederick Douglass and Knut Hamsun and Marcel Proust and Cora Sandel and James Joyce and Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway and Zora Neale Hurston and Thomas Merton and Jack Kerouac and David Amram and Hunter S. Thompson and Diane di Prima and Bob Dylan and well the list is endless. And I see clearly that Margaret A. Harrell’s KEEP THIS QUIET! a memoir stands shoulder to shoulder with the greatest works of alltime. And I hear that volume 2 is on the way. How fortunate we are! Bravo Margaret A. Harrell! Thank You!!!”
Ron Whitehead, outlaw poet and damn proud to be
Author of numerous books of poetry and DVDs, also presently Kentucky’s Ambassador to Estonia. Check it out.
I hesitated to post the Ron Whitehead review right on the front page because it was so flattering, but then someone said, “If it were me, I’d run a banner headline.”
In this website you will become familiar with some of the people and events surrounding Keep This Quiet! I hope you will rush out to buy the book – experience the live words of Hunter Thompson again and relive some of his finest moments, of which he had so many. He had already written The Rum Diary in draft. But nothing in book form of his was in print. And then came Hell’s Angels, a best seller. Keep This Quiet! walks with Hunter Thompson as he enters the wide arena in which he became a legend. I hope this new Hunter Thompson book will find a place in your heart, as Hunter did in mine. And if you like it, don’t forget to write a review!
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