What a strange book! I felt that I just had to read this book because of its infamy, and I'm glad I finally did. It was an entertaining book to read in little snippets, but much too weird to read in one sitting. The illustrations by Ralph Steadman were great!
HST was my introduction to cult fiction. He has a talent for conveying the human experience and he does it in a way that only he can. His language is hilarious and his observations poignant. In his own strange way he shows that the American Dream is only an illusion and more akin to a nightmare.
I understand why some people don't get this book (squares lol) but HST nails the trippy drug frenzy on the head (no doubt from his many, many years of experience). It is so penetrating, in fact, I can understand and relate to his psychadelic journey.
Upon my third time reading this, I'm not sure I have the same sense of satisfaction finishing it as I have in past years. As much as I enjoyed his story- telling, I am not as tickled. He is still a great author. This is still a great work. Perhaps I'm just not the person I was once. For me, this will always be a 5 star book in it's own way.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is an absurd adventure in 1970s Sin City. First-person narrator Duke and his attorney are on drugs the entire time from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, resulting in violent, extreme, and illegal behavior. The strange illustrations reflect the tone and vividness of their drug-induced psychosis and paranoia. Hunter S. Thompson does a marvelous job expressing these; perhaps that is why this novel is on the list of 1001 books you must read before you die.
The book started off interesting, with a catalog of drugs in a car with two guys heading from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Thompson is hallucinating about bats, very large bats. Then they pick up a hitchhiker and freak him out with their paranoid talk or were they talking out loud? Once at Las Vegas they go from hotel to hotel abusing people, staff, customers, inanimate objects, themselves. It goes on in this vein the entire book.
In honesty, I never got into the drug scene, though I did more than my fair share of alcohol in college. Some of the things in this book, I understood (such as the lack of interest in things and people going on around you except in relation to your addiction of choice) while other things I just did not get (like the range and depth of mental alteration brought on by the drugs). With that said, I did not particularly enjoy this book though I do believe it captured the essence of drug addiction taken to the edge. In particular, there is reference to the lawyer picking up a young woman, taking her back to his room, inviting her to enjoy a mix of drugs and alcohol, and then using her for sex. While the scene itself is never covered in depth, the reaction by the lawyer and Thompson dodging any kind of responsibility for harming another being, on purpose, for pleasure alone pretty much got the point across. The only thing you care about are the drugs/personal pleasure and it is the same for anyone else hanging out with you.
One of my favorite all time books that I have read multiple times. It is a hilarious jaunt through the counter-culture dope scene. It is told with a style that immediately puts you there with intense visualization. Word of warning...this is a love it or hate it book.
the weird a wild adventures of one America's 1960-70s journalists engulfed in the fray of Vietnam and Nixon. his frank, blunt descriptions of his debauchery are fantastic and my favorite part of this bible of existentialism.
The book chronicles the adventures of a writer and his attorney as they visit Las Vegas, ostensibly to work on magazine articles. Plots require some kind of conflict, often an outside influence which gets in the way of the main characters trying to accomplish their goals. In Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the conflict arises from the characters themselves, namely their drug use, which severely hampers them actually working on those articles, even when they even bother trying. The drug use is excessive, and the main characters constantly react to situations which only exist in their heads, usually in the most ineffective and ridiculous way imaginable, often confusing or misleading the people around them. As such, it depicts very well one of the problems of using drugs and an excellent encouragement not to follow. At the same time, the author mocks pretty much everything around him, most of it deservedly so, both Las Vegas and the United States in general. One frequent target is the criminalization of drugs, and despite making the problems with drugs fairly obvious, he isn't terribly kind to those who enforce the drug laws either, condemning them as ignorant and gullible. Occasionally the author lets the characters sober up for a moment and make an astute assessment of the world, which is enough to make getting wasted and messed up seem like a good idea at the time. While on the surface it looks like a disorganized and silly mess, there is some good stuff in this book, definitely worth a read.
"An electric piece of work that takes off like a screaming rocket. It sizzles, it snaps, it dazzles. It's one whoosh of a book!"
--Women's Wear Daily
"The best book on the dope decade."
--The New York Times Book Review