Action Figure: The Life and Times Of Doonesbury's Uncle Duke


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“There has been only one figure like Uncle Duke…”

God, do I miss Hunter.


The biography of HST “Gonzo” shows his life as far more interesting ( and unbelievably wild) than Uncle Duke’s cartoon life; in my opinion of course.

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Read TRANSMETROPOLITAN - Hunter Thompson. (called Spider Jerusalem) in the future.

I enjoyed Transmet but it got stale after a bit and isn’t as entertainingly HST to me as Duke.

As somebody who started reading old Doonesbury at age 8 and, thus, discovered Duke before she discovered HST, it was a wonderful, mind-blowing thing to learn that the character was based on a real person … and the real person was somehow weirder and more awesome.

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Transmetropolitan dragged in the middle but the end made the whole thing into one long story that paid off.

Your mention of Gonzo got me to download the sample from iTunes, and then immediately purchase the book. It’s pretty remarkable, and the first-person witness structure suits HST perfectly.

The book would have failed if a single writer had tried to tie all the stories into a narrative with a single voice; the fact that there are many voices describing events – often with a similar tone of stunned disbelief and rue – leaves you believing the unbelievable.

The man was a force of nature.

Condense Transmetropolitan into a feature film and put Johnny Depp in the role (he did OK by Hunter in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) and I’d watch the heck out of it.

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Your review is spot on. The many voices indeed give a depth and perspective on he who was “a force of nature”.

May I use your “force of nature” quote (with attribution)?


Of course; my pleasure. Thanks for mentioning Gonzo – it slipped under my radar, and I’m very glad to have caught up with it.

The first book I purchased at the Brown U. bookstore back in ‘73 was Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72, and frankly, I’ve never fully recovered. Thank goodness, and the good Doctor.

Loved this book collection as a youth. (Where’s my martini glass, chainsaw…for the action figure)
Parents are so hip they raised me on Doonesbury. Seems so clever and radical because most people ain’t (or ain’t able to express so well)

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