Hunter S. Thompson, Keep this Quiet! Margaret Harrell, Memoir Series, Book 1Keep This Quiet! captures the fear and loathing, charm and romance of Hunter in the late Sixties—along with tales of two other underground authors. Included are genuine, funny letters he sent Margaret during and after the publication of Hell’s Angels. Also, priceless reminiscences of some of Hunter’s oldest friends: William Kennedy, David Pierce, Rosalie Sorrels, and editor Jim Silberman—covered in no other account. Featured in addition are “poète maudit” Jan Mensaert and Greenwich Village “poet genius” Milton Klonsky.

hunter quote

Imagine the Montparnasse cafes, such as Le Select - which was famous for French Onion Soup - in Paris 1965. I read about the history of artists - painters, writers, philosophers, etc. - who hung out there, sometimes to keep warm, and decided to go.

Le Select - French Onion Soup
Le Select - French Onion Soup

Packing my bags in my New  York City Greenwich Village one-room rent-controlled apartment, I sailed alone on a boat to France, intent on starting "my novel." What better  place. In fabled Montparnasse cafés in the 1920s many poor writers, like Hemingway, spent long hours - as documented in A Moveable Feast. Also, Picasso (see the photo at La Rotonde). Or Henry Miller. Writers, painters, dancers, philosophers mingled and kept warm. Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir lived in the neighborhood and are buried now in the Montparnasse cemetery. The atmosphere was still alive in 1965. Why wouldn't it be? It was the 1960s. The menu in the slider is from yet another famous Montparnasse café; it displays the signatures of some of the regulars. But I actually sat down to begin writing just down the street, at "Le Dome."

Soon after sitting at the very famous Le Dome cafe in Monparnasse, Paris, fixed in the intent to start "my book" (which I did), I spent three months wandering on a shoestring budget through southern Europe and Morocco, guided by my trusty Europe on $5 a Day.

It was highly unusual for a woman to be traveling alone, in spite of an invasion of hippies. I'd been afraid on the ship - people successfully tried to scare me about what might happen on the trip - but one foot on French soil and I was in heaven.

Back in New  York, I began my copy editing job at Random House and rapidly got swept off my feet first poet and "guru" Milton Klonsky and second the future creator of Gonzo journalism, Hunter S. Thompson. I copy edited Hunter's Hell's Angels; that narrative fills much of Keep This Quiet! (I had met the outrageous Belgian poet Jan Mensaert in Casablanca just earlier; we were corresponding.) Meeting these three, I was in for "a ride." The 6os roared into high gear for me, setting the stage for the memoir of that exciting time, Keep This Quiet: My Relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert!

Below is a photo of me near Toledo, Spain, home of an El Greco Museum.

Keep this quiet!, Margaret Harrell, Toledo, 1960s, memoir series, Hunter S. Thompson,

Reviews of Keep this Quiet!

San Francisco Book Review

Keep This  Quiet!   . . . While the job at Random House did offer her the opportunity to meet a lot of writers and famous people, it is Hunter that b

Kirkus Indie Review of Keep This Quiet!

  Harrell’s memoir details her relationships with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky and Jan Mensaert, and how these partners influenced her life by

Midwest Book Review - volumes 1 & 4

Midwest Book Review followed the Keep This Quiet! series all the way through and reviewed each book. This was a very welcome boost. Thanks so much to

Doug Brinkley Plugs Keep This Quiet!

Keep This Quiet! offers an illuminating look at Hunter S. Thompson in full throttle trying to make it as a Top Notch prose-stylist. Harrell fills in m

Robert Morgan

Robert Morgan is a best-selling author  of an Oprah book selection and has many awards. He's also a professor at Cornell. The New York Times wrote...

Mark Strand

Mark Strand is the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, author of Blizzard of One and other books. Wikipedia says: "He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1990. Since 2005, he has been a professor of English at Columbia University." He has just let me know he likes Keep This Quiet! What a fantastic bit of news.

Portland Book Review of Keep This Quiet!

By Melissa Boles Margaret A. Harrell tells her own story through the stories of three artists; men who had written impacts on people they weren’t a

Rachel Escobar on Keep This Quiet!

  *****The Art of Complicated Relationships Margaret Harrell brilliantly illuminates the sentiments of three complicated relationships. This me...

Rory Feehan on Keep This Quiet!

“This is my life, I’m satisfied. So watch it, babe. Don’t try to keep me tied.” ---And I Like It –Jefferson Airplane song In the ever expanding...

Rain Taxi Review on Keep This Quiet!

By W. C. Bamberger Keep This Quiet! opens with the question, “How does the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times, manifest itself in the world, if not t

Martin Flynn on Keep This Quiet!

Keep This Quiet? Not Likely. Margaret Harrell’s “Keep This Quiet” is A Feast for the Gonzo Soul. September 24, 2011 There are folks who enjoy readin

Beat Scene Interview

Beat Scene is published in print in the UK by Kevin Ring. He liked Keep This Quiet! and asked for an interview. The format was that he emailed questio

Maurice Girodias - A bit of Adventure - the Sixties

There was a time when books were regularly censored - not just in Communist countries. Right here in the U.S. Living in Greenwich Village, I made a fr...