Read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson Ralph Steadman Online

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First published in Rolling Stone magazine in 1971, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is Hunter S. Thompson's savagely comic account of what happened to this country in the 1960s. It is told through the writer's account of an assignment he undertook with his attorney to visit Las Vegas and "check it out." The book stands as the final word on the highs and lows of that decade,First published in Rolling Stone magazine in 1971, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is Hunter S. Thompson's savagely comic account of what happened to this country in the 1960s. It is told through the writer's account of an assignment he undertook with his attorney to visit Las Vegas and "check it out." The book stands as the final word on the highs and lows of that decade, one of the defining works of our time, and a stylistic and journalistic tour de force. As Christopher Lehmann-Haupt wrote in The New York Times, it has "a kind of mad, corrosive prose poetry that picks up where Norman Mailer's An American Dream left off and explores what Tom Wolfe left out."        This Modern Library edition features Ralph Steadman's original drawings and three companion pieces selected by Dr. Thompson: "Jacket Copy for Fear and Loath-ing in Las Vegas," "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan," and "The Kentucky Derby Is Deca-dent and Depraved."...

Title : Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780446313933
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Reviews

  • Nathan
    2019-03-19 02:31

    I recently went to Las Vegas for the first, and probably only, time in my life. I hadn't read this book in years, and previously, it hadn't even been my favorite Hunter S. Thompson work. Thompson is dearly missed by many people, and on a personal level, I miss him deeply. He spoke to a true astonishment at the complete, unrelenting fuckedupedness of America and her politics, and he did it with a bite that was deserved and unmatched. He probably could have been a very rich super-novelist of popular, uninspired filth. He probably could have been a brilliant novelist of any kind. But he chose to do what he did, and he did it better than any of his generation. Like Mark Twain, he chronicled American stupidity in the tongue of his generation, and he captured it perfectly, from the insanity of the drug experience to the depravity of American politics. For years, no work of his stood out to me as much as Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 or the Gonzo letters. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, to me, wasn't his best work. Then I went to Vegas. Suddenly, all the subtle differences between this and his other work made sense, and I realized that he had captured the true tackiness of the truest tacky city on the entire planet (though Dubai with their fucking Island fantasies are likely to take over soon). Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas IS Las Vegas. It's a nightmare, a joke, a blunder of comical, cosmically-fucked proportions. It's not Sin City. It's where Sin goes to die when it's embarrassed for itself. It's where families go on vacations with ten-year-olds, children who get handed fliers for prostitutes. It's the living, pulsing, filthing embodiment of the Holy Dollar. It's sensory overload on a scale drugs can't equal, a place where you almost have to take a brimful of Valium and a pint of ether to feel normal and not feel utterly ashamed at the state of the human condition. It would make you want to blow your brains out if it weren't so goddamned fun, even if you're gay, you hate gambling and hookers make your brain itch. Yet you never, ever feel like it is evil or subversive or curious in any way. It's just about a buck, and every other blink reminds you of it. This is a place where Hunter S. Thompson could easily mingle with a law enforcement convention and not get noticed. This is a place where a lawyer could leave you with a hotel bill. This is a place where no questions get asked because no answers would make sense, and the only thing profound about any of it is that you know, on a gut level, that all the oil used to produce all the plastic used to build that city no doubt funded an island shaped like Australia that was built off the coast of the UAE over the weekend. This novel will never cease to be important, and one day, as a cultural artifact of a forgotten culture from a forgotten nation, it will be one of the most important anthropological pieces in existence. I wish he'd survived the Bush administration. We need this man.NC

  • Jafar
    2019-03-22 20:31

    Yes, I see all the raving reviews and the four- and five-star ratings, but I honestly don’t remember the last time I was so bored and annoyed by a book. Barring a massive conspiracy, maybe I just didn’t get this book? This is what I got from the book. Please help me if missed something. We drove more than 100 miles an hour while drunk and high. WAHAHAHA! We ran up a huge bill and fled the hotel without paying it. WAHAHAHA! We picked up a teenage girl and gave her drugs and then left her alone, all scared and paranoid. WAHAHAHA! We nearly strangled the poor cleaning lady. WAHAHAHA! Do the good people who’ve never done, and will never do, and in reality will be quite appalled by the things described in this book, really find these tales so interesting and charming? Or did this book offer subliminal messages about human nature or sociopolitical conditions of its time that I missed? What does this have to do with the heart of the American dream? Describing the book as some kind of a backlash against the Vietnam War and the fraudulent Nixon administration must be another joke that I don’t get. This book somehow reminded me of Sexual Life of Catherine M. People waving their filthy laundry – the stench going up to high heavens – in our face, just out of sheer narcissism. Look at me! Aren’t I great?This book must have been really cool and hip when it was published in 1971. If anyone writes a book like this these days, the only thing that I have to say is: grow the fuck up.

  • Lyn
    2019-03-19 18:01

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson is profane, violent, disturbing, irreverent, and yet immaculately compelling. The reader is as entranced as a driver witnessing a bizarre car wreck, horrified but unable to turn away. It reminds me alternatively of Why Are We in Vietnam?, A Confederacy of Dunces and in a strange way that is indescribable, A Clockwork Orange. It is about the American dream in a similar way that Mailer’s book is about Vietnam, you may get specifically to it at the end and then, looking back, realize that the subject had been lurking in the shadows all along. What makes this a much better book than Mailer’s swill is Thompson’s sequences of lucidity amidst murky sections of drug descriptions and ramblings. Thompson is a fun writer, I’ve always liked gonzo journalism humor, the similes and metaphors are golden; they are as good as Captain Kangaroo hopped up on mescaline and vodka soaked rice cakes.

  • Petra X
    2019-03-14 01:10

    I read this years ago and reviewed it, but it seems to have disappeared from my booklist. Did I blot my copybook by slagging off the author's major drug and alcohol habits and thereby get it deleted or what? It's not like the author could object as a) he's dead and b) he was proud of his prodigious consumption of substances that got him off his head. Or was it just the GR monster, munching away, like a moth, holes here, holes there and you don't find them until you actually go looking?Whichever. Bastards.When I was very fired up about the censorships and deletions I wrote a 'review' and I'm wondering if I was more prescient than I realised?

  • Nadine Larter
    2019-03-04 21:23

    Oh I don't really know where to begin with my absolute hate for this book. Hunter Thompson is a famous journalist. He is respected. He rode with the Hells Angels and he interviewed all the musicians that we worship. He was Rolling Stone Magazine "cool". He was so cool that friggen Johnny Depp played him in TWO movies. Loving him is just a given. Apparently. Unfortunately I can't get past the fact that I just think he's a fucking twat.

  • Shovelmonkey1
    2019-03-10 21:21

    Whoop whoop, yeehaw, arrrrghflurszlegastle, shit shit shit drugs make you crazy. Yes, yes they do. So the first question is exactly how many drugs did Hunter S Thompson actually imbibe when writing this book. Either one too many or not enough would be my answer. First off, I'd like to critique the author photo on the inside sleeve of this book. Hello.. there's Hunter S Thompson staring out from the page. He is wearing what can only be described as a three-tone patch-work denim shirt, and old-skool Aviators and draped in an American Flag. He's standing in front of a "clever" montage of boiled sharks jaws (a la Robert Shaws boat house in Jaws), another couple of miscellaneous animal skulls and a hunting knife which has been jabbed into the wooden shelf. Aside from the fact that I'm a vegetarian and not at all patriotic (towards America or even my own country), I have to say that three-tone denim is an extremely ill advised look Mr Thompson; one might even go so far as to say a mighty fashion faux pas, hence the loss of a star in the ratings. Moving on...I didn't hate this book (or loath it) but I didn't exactly love it either (but am at the same time weirdly impressed and drawn in... shucks i'm upping the rating to a fat five stars). Cult status for this sort of thing is frequently imposed by people who look at this sort of tale as a potential bible to live by. Listen up kids, taking this amount of drugs would fuck you up so good that you would probably shit your brain out of your own ear and not even notice. I've never taken so many drugs as to shit my brain out of my own ear but I did once have my own Fear and Loathing style road trip experience.A few years ago I was travelling from the Iranian Border to a town in a mountainous (read as not touristy) region of Turkey on the train. Three gentleman arrived at the station dressed as deeply religious local individuals (full on beards, prayer beads, traditional shalwar and skull caps), loaded their motor-bikes onto the rear of the train and proceeded to the yatakli car (sleeper car). After a while I encountered them again in the dining car and pretty quickly became sure that they were not local. After some hard eye-balling across the carriage we eventually struck up a conversation and it turns out that said gentlemen were en route back to their home town country of the Czech Republic having just been to Afghanistan. Their behaviour was a bit erratic and the random disguise was clearly falling apart after a large amount of beer and spirits were consumed. Every time we entered a tunnel they'd jump up on the tables and chairs, wave their arms over their heads and should wooloolooloooloooooo for as long as we were in the tunnel. Yes, you're thinking, this is not the behaviour of a sane/un-stoned person. Clearly. When the beer had run out and we still had another 12 hours of train-trapped boredom to endure, they asked if I would like to join them for the rest of the journey and participate in a party. On offer was a share of some of the more high-end products that they claimed to have brought (in bulk) from Afghanistan. Having seen Midnight Express, I declined and returned to my seat. About an hour later one of the individuals was so out of his mind that he decided to go into the main carriage and tried to climb into the overhead luggage rack for a sleep, after mistaking it for his own bed, then getting into a big argument with people who were unhappy about a man drooling and snoring on their suitcases. The gendarme were called (rather unluckily there was a whole platoon of them travelling at the rear of the train). The gentlemen were removed from the train, screamed at, severely kicked and pistol whipped, had a few AK47's pointed very levelly at their heads and advised in no uncertain terms that this was not an acceptable way to behave. The bottom line? Apparently you can only get away with this kind of behaviour in Vegas.

  • Lord Beardsley
    2019-03-05 23:26

    You know, if this was the first of Mr. Thompson's books I had read, I never would have picked up another one. As far as I can tell, this is one of his weaker ones and is really the most well-known only for the long, droning drug bullshit. Reading drug writing is about as interesting is watching paint dry. There are little kernals of hilarity (because he's a fantastic writer who is able to describe pitch perfectly the bizarre ineptitude of the human experience) which saves it from being snoringly dull. I mean, he gets on a plane to Denver by accident and decides to attempt to purchase an albino Doberman because "Since I was already here, I thought I might as well pick up a vicious dog." I love his use of language, his token words that he throws around *such as calling various people swine*. I love his misanthropic disposition that saves him from being a misogynist (god probably didn't spell that right but I'm tired) due to the simple fact that he views all of mankind as pretty much an entire wasteland. I have to say I adore Mr. Thompson. I didn't hate this, but I didn't love it either. I'll just pretend I read A Generation of Swine instead. He's more interesting as a political junkie, rather than just a junkie.

  • Martin
    2019-03-19 18:18

    A co-worker, whom happened to be completely insane, sized me up once and told me I was ready. He handed to me a VHS tape bearing the title, "Where the Buffalo Roam". At the time I was living a lifestyle of depraved decadence and over consumption of massive amounts of drugs and booze. While this particular journey had many peeks and valleys the next step in my literary evolution took place under a haze of pot smoke, a quart of rum and a pack and a half a day tobacco habit. After watching the movie with a roommate he stumbed off to his room but instead of retunring with a bong he handed me a copy of this book.I will not kid you and say that being twisted on drugs won't help you understand this book more; it will. Not a necessity but once you dig deeper into the mind and works of one Hunter S. Thompson you will crave whiskey, beer and "...everyone narcotic known to mankind..." Enough of my story, this is after all a book review.A virtually unkown writer was given a line of credit, a hotel room in Las Vegas, NV and an assingment to write a story that he never did. Instead after days of binging, purging and binging some more the man emerged with a cobbling of notes and tape recordings that he lashed together and handed to Rolling Stone magazine. While several other books were written prior to this tome, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas vaulted Hunter S. Thompson into the limelight. For better and worse "Gonzo Journalism" was born. The style is by the seat of your pants, insert yourself into the middle of your story and hope you come up with a comrprehsnible and most imporantly publisher worthy book in the end. Thompson invented it so I am not afraid to tell you he does it the best.With his attorney at his side, Hunter searches for the American Dream, ponders the death of the free wheeling 60's and generally blows his own mind along with yours before the story ends.If you are looking to dive into the world of Hunter S. Thompson this probably isn't the best way to start, but this is his Mona Lisa, his swan song, his coup de gras and the story that made him larger than life. My attorney has advised me to write as many reviews of his works as I can and I assure you this is only the first of many. Mahalo.

  • Jason Koivu
    2019-02-25 01:26

    This needed to happen. On the Road needed to happen. Burroughs, Kesey, Ginsberg, etc needed to happen. But is it good literature? For its time, yes. For all time? The jury's out. Certainly Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is good comedy, but it may also be bad everything else. Is this wisdom? Is it pure nonsense? Is it intelligent? Perhaps when it's occasionally intelligible. There are flashes of philosophy and poeticism...stoner philosophy and beat poeticism. Good for their day, necessary even, but dated and -like a new car driven off the lot- losing its value day by day. This is the first thing of his I've read, so I don't know Hunter S. Thompson from a hole in the wall. I plan to read his other books and I should seek out his Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone articles before I cast judgement, but if this is his crowning glory, I can't help but lump him into that category of '60s drug-addled mind drifters, those wastes of talent who spout some scattered lines of faux guru shit that impresses other strung out jellyheads in between bouts of frying up their brains. When genius-level IQ luminaries of the day (E.G. Jim Morrison) weren't getting wasted, they picked up a single random and usually obscure book and it blew their mind...so they constantly referred to it in their own writing repeatedly like a mantra (In Thompson's case: see Horatio Algers). Beyond that they were too busy destroying their minds to be bothered with improving them. I suppose someone had to do it. I just wish I hadn't wasted a moment of my life idolizing such pseudo philosophers. Ah, but the young, innocent and flat out stupid will be fooled by the simplest of messiahs.

  • Sam Quixote
    2019-02-23 22:10

    “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”is one of my favourite opening lines in literature. Two paragraphs later are the equally brilliant lines:“I hit the brakes and aimed the Great Red Shark toward the shoulder of the highway. No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.”That whole opening narration sets the tone of chaos and comedy told in a perfect deadpan that defines this book.Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream is a modern classic of American literature and is the cause for untold numbers of irresponsible Vegas road trips. Published in 1971, it tells the semi-true story of when Hunter S Thompson and Oscar Acosta (renamed here as Raoul Duke and Dr Gonzo) went on a drug-fuelled road trip from LA to Vegas where Thompson was commissioned by Sports Illustrated to do a write-up on the Mint 400 motorcycle race in the desert. The drugs they consume - marijuana, mescaline, all kinds of pills, cocaine, opiates, LSD, ether, and adrenochrome - lead to whacky adventures and surreal hallucinations as the pair barrel through a plotless non-story where they also cover a drug convention full of cops and go in search of The American Dream - or its corpse. Our anti-heroes learn nothing and have no character arcs - and it’s perfect!I read Fear and Loathing some fifteen years ago when I was a teenager and remember devouring it in one go, laughing the whole time - it instantly became one of my favourite books. Years later, I’m glad to say it still holds up. I wouldn’t say it’s as intoxicating still, but it remains a terrific book and really funny to boot.What’s most striking about Fear and Loathing is Thompson’s unique voice narrating with a loquacious urgency and an intelligently arresting, feverish, tone. It’s what makes this book so original. And that has to be stated: Fear and Loathing is ORIGINAL.It’s said that there are seven basic plots in the world that get repeatedly used; so how do you get around that to create something new? Abandon plot altogether! Because, yes, there’s a kind of setup with the road trip and reporting, but nothing that could be concretely described as plot. Fear and Loathing careens around at high velocity though it’s aimless – and that’s fine because the book’s strength lies in Thompson’s unstoppable descriptive narration. The book also marked a shift from the author as the creator of the story to the author as the story. And no, Fear and Loathing isn’t the first plotless novel or the first to feature the author as main character. It’s not the first to have a road trip or hallucinations feature prominently - I don’t mean it’s original in that sense. But there had never been a voice like Thompson’s before in literature - he’s the only reason this book is so much fun and so famous - and he would set a style that would be oft imitated for decades to come. It’s also notable for being the first Gonzo book, meaning a blend of fiction, non-fiction, and fantasy. Cartoonist Ralph Steadman’s iconic line drawings capture the mania of Thompson’s potent writing and helped define Gonzo as a literary style. But Fear and Loathing also has more traditional literary features, as befits a writer heavily influenced by Fitzgerald and Hemingway. The search for The American Dream, as abstract as it sounds, takes the form of the novel as well as a real place Duke and Gonzo go searching for – and turns out to be a long burned-out bar (heavy-handed symbolism, Thompson!). The form of the novel could be seen as an indictment of the American Dream, post-idealistic ‘60s. There are snippets of news stories dropped into the text highlighting that ‘Nam was still ongoing, Nixon was in the White House and declared a “war on drugs” that persists today, people on drugs were killing others, and maybe Thompson wanted Duke and Gonzo to embody the America he saw in 1971: self-destructive, paranoid, and almost wilfully stupid.Duke and Gonzo end up driving around in a white Cadillac Eldorado which Duke describes as “the White Whale” perhaps a nod to what is often described as “the Great American Novel”, Moby Dick. Are Duke and Gonzo the white whale themselves, elusive and hunted – is that what the “Fear and Loathing” of the title references? – or are they demented Ahabs, chasing the white whale of the American Dream? While it has a lot of positives, I wouldn’t say Fear and Loathing is perfect. Certain skits like when Duke and Gonzo pretend to be undercover agents to the cleaning lady, or in the bar where Gonzo goes too far in soliciting a female bartender, were very unfunny and felt a bit dated. And, like the tail end of a bender, the novel starts to taper off towards the end and feels like its outstayed its welcome. Make no mistake though: Fear and Loathing is an outstanding novel. Thompson’s irresistible voice is captured forever between the covers to entertain - and it is incredibly entertaining - for generations to come. Is it an important novel? I think there’s a case to be made for it being of minor literary import and I really think those first twenty pages or so could easily stand up to anything by Twain or Hemingway. But for me, and probably for you, the real question is, is it a fun read? And it is. It’s so damn cool and sure of itself, the book swaggers! Pick this one up whenever you want to go on the greatest road trip ever. No point mentioning some of the great scenes that await you inside - you’ll see them soon enough.

  • Brian Yahn
    2019-02-23 23:20

    Fear and Loathing captures the experience of visiting Vegas expertly. It's flashy and in-your-face and fun. Hunter S Thompson has a way with words and characters that immediately draw you into his absurd, drug-filled chronicle. Coherency isn't really his strong point, though. So like Vegas, it severely lacks substance. The chapters ramble along like episodes in a sitcom. All the tangents and digressions and paranoid hallucinations are page-turners for sure, but they don't really connect or go anywhere...The fact that this is semi-autobiographical really makes it worth reading, though. It's kind of a shame that how the story was compiled and published and the origin of it all isn't worked in somehow. That's what really gives Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas its unique place in literature.

  • Lou
    2019-03-24 22:29

    A gonzo journalist writing for sports editors hits the road on an assignment to Sin City with a trunk full of dangerous drugs that looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. He had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-coloured uppers, downers, screamers, laughers and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum (there's a movie out Rum  diaries starring Jonny Depp out now what a strange coincidence!), a case of Budweiser, a pint of Rae ether and two dozen amyls.What I am thinking is oh boy! that's all gonna do some irreversible damage to the old human body. What was meant to be an assignment on a few photos of motorcycles and dune buggies racing around the desert, had turned out to be a point of no return.If you thought things should only get better, wrong. He was then sent to cover the National District Attorney's Conference on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs still fully loaded with dangerous substances. Outrageous. The story was one wild helter skelter goings on written in an easy flowing style. Dark humour thrown in with some realistic characters. Don't forget there's nothing better than getting high naturally on adrenaline, fear, happiness and love.Prepare to be immersed into the seedier side of the world by a writer who's been they and got the t-shirt.You can watch Hunter S. Thompson on Letterman, 11/25/88 here on my web page.Review also on my webpage here.

  • Stacey
    2019-02-26 23:07

    I wasn't blown away by anything about this book. Maybe it's because it's been built up as such a classic or maybe it's because it's just bad. I don't think it was bad because I thought it was so out there and wild and crazy. I thought it was bad because it pretended just writing about being wild and crazy makes it immediately worthwhile. Two guys testing their luck by breaking every law made while in Vegas and doing a bunch of drugs. I need more than this. The book really didn't have a plot. About two-thirds of the way through Thompson seemed to realize this and tried to give the book meaning with the "American Dream" concept, but it flatlined. On top of being pointless, it was also choppy. One good thing about the book: it was short and quick so I was able to end my suffering in a timely manner.

  • FrancoSantos
    2019-03-25 22:07

    Lo siento. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • Jessie
    2019-03-23 22:14

    Hunter S. Thompson is my personal hero. He is an incredible writer. He lived his life with no fear and was willing to try anything or any drug. But despite the assumption that this book is all about drugs (ok, well most of it is about drugs) if you can look past that you will find a book that is so insiteful on human behavior. What most people fear and dream and wish and strive for. I think it is all summed up by my favorite quote from him:"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man"

  • Greg
    2019-03-06 20:26

    This is one of the few, if only times I will ever say this...go see the movie instead. There was nothing wrong with this book mind you, had I never seen the movie before I would've considered it a totally original experience. But between the amazing portrail by Johnny Depp (and Del Toro), and the brilliant directing work by Gilliam, and the fact that the movie is an amazingly accurate adaptation of the source material, I can't really see a reason to read the book, when you can immerse yourself in the full experience of the movie. Much of the book is in the movie practically word for word, and beyond that, this savage journey is exactly the type of story that is only aided by an immersive visual experience, since so much of it depends on the perception of the narrator. Though I will say, reading the book forced me for the first time to contemplate the "meaning" behind the book. Does Duke find the American Dream? Is the book even remotely about the American dream? I think so, in Thompson's own perverse way, the book IS an exploration of the American Dream, or lack there of. I think part of his whole point is that no one really knows what they're looking for. That even the movements aimed at freeing ourselves and making change, ultimately failed. That it's all just a horrible fucked up mess. Thompson points out the hypocrisy and the ugliness of society, but chooses to embrace it and ride it for all its worth, rather than try to fix it. Why? He starts out the book with "he who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man." Here Thompson has given us his conclusion before we even begin reading about the search.

  • Benji
    2019-03-01 02:20

    Ridiculous. I mean, I had a vague memory of watching the film while super high in the second year of university and having an absolute riot, and maybe that should have prepared me for the book.... (But enough about that.)Nothing can prepare you for this drug and violence-fuelled look at America's seedy underbelly. Hunter S. Thompson was a genius. Read this utterly compelling and captivating book. That is all.

  • Molly Billygoat
    2019-03-25 19:02

    Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a giddy, unpredictable, and hilarious escapade of one journalist and his attorney’s travels while on an exorbitant amount of drugs. In Las Vegas to cover a story, the real story centres around their drug-induced mania. Wherever they go, they create chaos as distressing for the characters as it is hilarious for the reader. The characters are erratic and bombastic; two tornadoes that suck in anyone who stands too near.There are many statements pertaining to freedom and its perceived connection to the culture of taking hallucinogenic drugs. At one point the journalist states that, “It is worth noting, historically, that downers came in with Nixon.” This reflects the novel’s overall sense of lamentation at the loss of the hallucinogenic drug culture and its replacement with the more stifling drug culture surrounding substances such as heroine and benzodiazepines. The main characters are certainly reckless and dangerous, but it is important to note that their desire to take drugs is based on mind-expansion rather than escapism.The prose describing their conundrums, as they chase this drug-addled sense of freedom, is deeply humorous. The psychological journeys and human interactions hold a sharp sense of realism. As far as fun is concerned, this novel is a fast-paced dose of pure entertainment.

  • Stepheny
    2019-03-11 19:08

    “We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold.”I remember the first time I readAlice in Wonderland I said to myself- Stepheny, what the hell did you just read? I was lost, confused and quite certain that the book was a random conglomeration of events that surely only someone heavily under the influence of multiple drugs could possibly understand. Well, I have come to the conclusion that Hunter S. Thompson’sFear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the adult version ofAlice in Wonderland. This is a book about two guys travelling through the desert in search of the American Dream. These two are so fucked up on drugs that you as the reader don’t have clue what is actually happening. In fact, if there were ever fanfiction I would want to read, it would be anything written from the perspective of the other characters in this book. You know, telling us what was actually happening. Here you have two men completely whacked out on multiple drugs…wouldn’t you just love to see what the scenarios were like from someone else’s perspective?? I can’t be the only one who thinks these accounts would be worth reading!“We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.”Anyway, these scenes are absolutely insane. Everything in this story feels so over the top, yet so likely under the circumstances. When reading this book you’ll feel like you’re the one tripping your face off on all these drugs and questioning the reality of the world you live in. The writing in this book is what surprised me the most. I had a basic idea of what the book was about and a very vague idea of who Hunter S. Thompson was before picking this book up. It amazed me how profound some of the thoughts were for a book about being whacked out of your mind. I really loved the writing and can’t wait to read more of his work. Sure it was vulgar, but when you set all that aside and look at what is being said, I think then you will begin to realize what an incredible mind he had.“Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits -- a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.”I think this last quote I will share with you is probably the best summary ofFear and Loathing in Las Vegas I could hope to give you. So, here it is:“1) Never trust a cop in a raincoat.2) Beware of enthusiasm and of love, both are temporary and quick to sway.3) If asked if you care about the world's problems, look deep into the eyes of he who asks, he will never ask you again.4) Never give your real name.5) If ever asked to look at yourself, don't look.6) Never do anything the person standing in front of you can't understand.7) Never create anything, it will be misinterpreted, it will chain you and follow you for the rest of your life.”

  • Emma
    2019-02-25 01:19

    I want to disagree with all of the people that say you should just watch the movie instead. The movie DOES follow the book almost verbatim, that's true, but I believe that some of the deeper meaning of Fear and Loathing is lost on the big screen. Too distracted by the drug-addled antics of Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro a movie isn't long enough to ponder what Thompson is "really trying to tell us." And I do believe with all my powers of deduction that Thompson was writing more than a story about mescaline and LSD.It's true that the off-the-wall drug-induced antics of Raoul Duke and his attorney kept me laughing out loud throughout the entirety, but this book has many, many gems of insight into the mood of the era and the status of American culture strewn throughout, if you only take the time to pick them out and examine them.I found many of Duke's encounters especially poignant juxtaposed to today's modern war on drugs, speaking specifically of the anti-drug convention Duke and Gonzo attended. Many references are made to Vietnam as well that paint a fearsome picture in shades of sarcasm and cynicism of how Americans at large felt about their own soldiers.Anyway, this is an extremely short read so watch the movie if you want to watch the movie, but don't discount the book -- it's just not the same, verbatim or not.

  • Lilly
    2019-03-20 02:20

    i loved this book. i didn't *expect* to love it, which is why i had put it off for two years after receiving it. i'd read bits and pieces of thompson's work, but never sat down to read one end-to-end. now i know what i've been missing.this book is everything i had hoped On the Road would be. a wild travel adventure with protagonists i would root for. they do disgusting, off the wall, unconscionable things, but they do it with such spirit that you can't help but laugh, over and over again. a good writer makes you love characters you ought to despise. as i was reading this, i understood why the world mourned the loss of thompson and his take on things. planning to read more of his work. a great intro- and most people say it's not his best- so i know i have lots to look forward to.

  • Jim Fonseca
    2019-03-10 19:09

    A long drug- and alcohol-frenzied week in Las Vegas. This is written by Hunter Thompson, long-time editor of Rolling Stone, so we know he knows firsthand about what he writes about. I imagine this is one of the best portrayals of what is like to go through life in a drug-frenzy, but the story is laced with humor. It's not great writing, or even good writing, but it holds your attention in the way a magazine column does. But even wild antics can get tedious night after night in a drug-filled haze. I know it is a work of irony and commentary on materialism but still the writing struck me as sophomoric.

  • Courtney Lindwall
    2019-03-13 22:31

    This book is not so much about a character as it is about a culture - the drug culture of the 60s and early 70s. The manic way uppers and downers and LSD and hard liquor mix together with a little too much West Coast soul-searching. There are a couple of things I really liked about this book. For one, the atmosphere of open Western desert is to me one of the most alluring places you can find in America. It's that original sense of Manifest Destiny. It's barren and untamed and there's a part of every generation's spirit that can find some inspiration from this. In the late 60s, of course, it was the vagabonds and the Kerouac types that were drawn in. I think Thompson did a pretty fantastic job of capturing the feeling of this part of the country - especially at this point in time. In the book, the main character says he is chasing the "American Dream." And isn't that what the West is all about? Maybe Thompson was pointing out the lie of the American Dream. Here in the midst of the Los Angeles/Vegas slums, infested with drug-bingers, the "American Dream" is not only out of reach, but mocking them? Or maybe Thompson was saying even these guys, the ones reeling off LSD, are still, in their own way, searching for that American ideal. Maybe it was the ideal that pushed them to this? I'm not sure. But either way, Thompson captures the tone of Vegas and Western US in a unique way. I also enjoyed his descriptions of Las Vegas - even though I've never been to Vegas I could still feel its atmosphere and bizarre culture. The way freaks become the norm in a place like that, the way it must breed a particular type of drug culture. There must be a certain emptiness in Vegas - basically comprised of gamblers, drinkers and cokeheads filling up some void in their life by going to a place that profits from it. It was really interesting, I liked it.Now, why this book was 3 stars and not 4 was just that I didn't feel very connected to the characters, themselves. There was a lot of description of the physical ridiculousness of this guy's drug-frenzies. Basically the book is in a heightened state of paranoia about being caught by the cops. I wish there had been more connection to the characters emotionally. But maybe that, too, is a statement. There can't be much more than surface-level in cities like Vegas or L.A. in the crowds this guy was running in. Not because they were superficial - but because at that point in a drug-dependent life, there's the same emptiness that is reflected in the city of Vegas itself. Emotional emptiness, maybe. I'm not sure.I did like this book. I feel like this novel is a better anthropology of 60s drug culture than anything a textbook/PBS Documentary could give me. /Recommended.

  • Joseph Cognard
    2019-02-26 22:20

    There is a CD with bits from this book performed by a bunch of the original SNL cast and writers. It is one of the best audio comedic CD's I have ever heard. Ruined the book slightly, but any fans IMO should seek it out. It is really well done and way better than the movie in my opinion. I liked the book but because of above CD was a little let down.Added to original review:Just re-read, liked it even more now. Longing to hear the above mentioned cd but loaned it to somebody, who I guess thought I gave it to her.Anyway my new review of the book below:A quick read but one hell of a long amazing trip.

  • Wayne Barrett
    2019-03-15 23:23

    3.5I'm not sure if this book made me feel like I was stoned or if I needed to be stoned to really appreciate it. It really was pretty hilarious and it was quite a wild ride. The reason I don't rate it higher even though I compliment it as a hilarious, wild ride, is because aside from the entertaining craziness, there didn't seem to be any cohesive story here. Nothing that had a point (although I think that was the point). Just a couple of fucked up guys in Las Vegas believing they were on a quest to find the American dream while under the influence of one of the most radical concoctions of drugs and alcohol imaginable. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas... including your traumatized maids and grapefruit rinds.

  • Alex
    2019-03-19 22:21

    We knew a kid like Hunter Thompson. You know. He wasn't that cool, and he tried to compensate by being especially crazy. That was the kid who did like twice as many drugs as any of the rest of us, and it was annoying because inevitably we'd have to bail his ass out at some point - like, we'd be happily buzzing along, and then it'd be "Well, someone's gonna have to go dig Rick out from under the bed," or he's pissed his pants, or whatever.Rick was a poser. I got that feeling even more from Thompson's Hell's Angels - it's not just about the drugs, it's also a kind of high-testosterone, gun-toting, motorcycle-riding aesthetic that he seems desperately to want to fit into, and he just doesn't. He's tolerated at best; and, memorably near the end of Hell's Angels, folks do seem to get sick of him after a while.I've heard Fear & Loathing described as Thompson's elegy for the 60s, and I don't know what the fuck they're talking about, this doesn't seem anywhere near that well thought out. It seems to me like a braggy, over-the-top stream-of-consciousness diary. It is way better than Hell's Angels, though. It's actually really fun to read.And, yeah, I guess as far as literary drug freakouts go, this is the apogee. I mean, it's really a drug freakout. Moment to moment, from exhilaration to paranoia to exhaustion and, incredibly, back around again like six times, it's one of the great literary binges of all time. Top Five Literary BingesMoney, Martin AmisOn the Road, Jack KerouacKubla Khan, ColeridgeThe Bacchae, EuripidesFear & Loathing in Las Vegas(No, you know what, I'm not going to put Alice in Wonderland on that list. I don't feel like it.)So, look, yeah, it's good. It's "gonzo," which is a word that doesn't mean anything other than this book.* I liked reading it more than I liked digging Rick out from under the bed.* and some gross porn. And the dude from the Muppets.

  • Leland
    2019-03-14 22:29

    I read this book as a teenager, and must say it had a profound comedic influence. I tried re-reading it recently and found it completely unpalatable. This led me to the inevitable realization that I perhaps am not aging as well as this insane little book. Oh well. Everyone should have a Hunter S. Thompson phase in late adolescence, and they should forever after try their hardest to avoid him.

  • David Sarkies
    2019-03-18 20:03

    As Your Attorney ...26 September 2016 I have been meaning to get around to reading this book for quite a while especially since I delved into a couple of Thompson's other works such as Hell's Angels. However this book sort of sits apart from not only his other works, but other works of non-fiction, though I would probably not go as far as calling it 'non-fiction' because technically the story did not pan out the way Thompson has described it. Sure, he did make a couple of trips to Vegas as a journalist, but his Samoan attorney (who seems to provide legal advice for anything and everything that doesn't have anything to do with the law – as your attorney I advise you to have the chilli burger) never actually existed. Actually, in real life Hunter's companion on the trip to Vegas was Oscar Zeta Acosta, a Mexican activist and lawyer. In a way this book is somewhat of a laugh – it is about how Thompson, under the alias of Roaul Duke, travels to Vegas with his attorney to first of all cover an off road car race (the Mint 400), and then the District Attorney's conference, but rather than actually doing what he is being paid to do, he simply goes around consuming copious amounts of drugs and causing heaps of trouble. Then again, isn't that what one is supposed to do in Vegas – take drugs and cause trouble? Isn't that why there is a saying that goes along the lines of 'what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas'? Anyway, when I think about it, what does one expect to happen when you give people money and tell them to go to Vegas to do something – I would say not what you have instructed them to do. The weird thing about this book is that I kept on getting it mixed up with another story about a trip to Vegas – the Hangover. Yet it sort of makes me wonder whether one can actually have any other story set in Vegas that doesn't involve gambling, drugs, and getting yourself into no end of trouble. Well, one sort of wonders whether it is possible to get oneself into trouble in Vegas, particularly since Thompson suggested that he managed to catch a plane by doing an illegal u-turn on the expressway, crashing through the fence, driving down the runway, and then proceeding to drop his attorney off behind a baggage truck. Actually, I'm not sure if you could get away with that these days, not with all the added security around airports, but this was 1971, and people could get away with a lot more back them. The other rather amusing thing is that before I started reading this book I had just finished another book on American culture – The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. Normally I don't read two books of a similar theme in a row, namely because it can lead to a bit of confusion, but this is what I did, and in a way this is what happened. Well, not really, but it was interesting to see two different perspectives on the American way of life – from from the view point of a child in the fifties, and another from a drug addled journalist in the early seventies. Mind you, both writers are no doubt contemporaries, yet Bryson and Thompson couldn't be more different, not just in their outlook on the world, but also in the way that they describe it – but while they are quite different, in many cases they are simply saying, and perceiving, the same thing. Well, it does make me wonder a bit because it all boils down to the concept of the American dream, and Bryson in a way saw it in action, and being fulfilled, as he grew up in Des Moines. This is the idea that if you work hard, and are persistent, then anybody can share in the country's prosperity, and if you don't end up sharing in this prosperity then it must be something that you have done wrong. Well, Thompson looks at the other side of this belief, but in a way it is what has come of the dream after the upheaval of the sixties, and if one can point to a result it clearly comes down to one word – Vegas. You see what Vegas represents in the dark side of the American Dream – it is not a question of working hard and living a prosperous life, it is a question of never being satisfied with what you have and always wanting more, and the blowing what you have on incredibly risky ventures so that in the end you have something. Yet it is also the idea of how one can only participate in the American Dream if one is the right type of person. This is shown with this idea of North Vegas, the part of Vegas where everybody who does not fit the image of what Vegas is supposed to be about lands up. Take for instance the Longhair who was wandering down the strip, and is then arrested for vagrancy – he doesn't fit the image that is trying to be displayed, and because he doesn't fit the image he is taken out of the picture and kept locked up, and is only let out if he can show that he has money. Well, even when he gets money, they decide to take a bigger cut than they are entitled too, and there is little that he can do about it. This in a way also paints the picture of the viciousness of American capitalism – it is not a question of working hard and getting ahead, it is a question of have you got what it takes, and are you willing to tread on anybody and everybody to get ahead. The American Dream of the fifties is dead, even if it was ever actually in existence – if you were a Negro, or Hispanic, then the American Dream certainly didn't apply to you – only if you were white, and male. However things have changed, and if you don't have the right connections, are not born in the right family, or even have the charm and charisma (or the ethics) to move into the upper classes, then you are probably going to find yourself falling further and further behind. Sure, we may live in an era where those of us in the west are wealthier than anybody has ever been before, but we are also witnessing the slow death of the middle class, and the gap between the haves and the have nots grows ever and ever wider.

  • StevenGodin
    2019-02-25 01:07

    An oddball, wild and crazy thrill ride bursting at the seems with drugs, drugs, and even MORE drugs, how on earth I managed to get through this in one piece is beyond me but did spend a lot of the time laughing my socks off, even if I didn't really have a clue just what the hell was going on, but then again neither did Duke or Dr Gonzo so that makes three of us!. Can't think of anything else to date that comes even remotely close to this so credit to Mr Thompson for that. A total shot in the arm (no pun intended!).

  • Noe Crockett
    2019-03-24 19:15

    This book was crap. 204 pages of some dude staying completely wrecked. There was no point, I kept waiting for some deep meaning to come out of it but it never did. A complete waste of my time.