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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: My take on things.
I actually bought this copy for a freind to give as the 'Secret Santa' at work! I have had my own copy for years. Well, what can I say? On the surface, a madcap and very funny adventure for two good ol' boys but beneath, an accurate and insightful commentary on post 1960's America. Thompson captures the spirit of the age perfectly, with of course, the viewpoint of the...
Published on 18 Jan 2010 by Paul Cushion

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FINE STORYTELLING, BAD STORY
I’ve always wondered at the admiration and downright love people whose opinion I respect express for Hunter S. Thompson. Even in my 20s, I thought he epitomized 1970s selfism, and my bias certainly wasn’t going to moderate as I aged. A month ago, I was at a wake for an RAF Squadron Commander who flew at the Battle of Britain and was talking to a couple of...
Published 19 days ago by T. F. Wells


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: My take on things., 18 Jan 2010
By 
Paul Cushion "Gonzosonic" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Harper Perennial Modern Classics (Paperback)
I actually bought this copy for a freind to give as the 'Secret Santa' at work! I have had my own copy for years. Well, what can I say? On the surface, a madcap and very funny adventure for two good ol' boys but beneath, an accurate and insightful commentary on post 1960's America. Thompson captures the spirit of the age perfectly, with of course, the viewpoint of the counterculture. In my opinion, this is HST at his very best; making the incredible, seem credible and even though he describes the craziest of behaviour you cannot fail to take this man very seriously. HST is quite prophetic in his thoughts about where America is going during the 1970's and beyond. The book does tail off mid way through, but picks up again quickly.

The only part of the book that I don't like, is where HST describes his attorney abusing and intimidating a lady who works in a diner on the outskirts of 'Vegas. In my opinion, it was unneccesary and tarnishes the great respect and admiration that I had for both charachters up until that point. Whilst parts of the story are in fact geuinely true, I like to think that this part is fiction as I would hate to think that HST would do nothing in such a circumstance, even whilst high or drunk.

On first reading this book, back in the 1990's, I remember laughing out loud even in public, upon the turn of almost every other page and conversely, I often felt quite sad for HST as he reflects upon the promises and hopes of the 1960's, which by that time were dashed. This is the kind of book that you can keep and cherish forever and I often find myself picking it up and just reading a few paragraphs or pages for inspiration. If you have only enough credit or cash to buy just one book today, buy this. I don't think that you will regret it, especially if you have a leaning towards the counterculture, have an interest in the 1960's or simply want to get some new ideas and inpiration. If you are a square however, maybe this book is not for you?

....or maybe it is just what you need?!

Reading the book now, I often feel quite sad as it is clear that with the way the USA is going today as well as the world in general, we all need to hear what Hunter has to say more than ever. RIP Hunter. You were the greatest.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A savage indictment of america - and the funniest book ever, 20 Jan 2006
This review is from: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Harper Perennial Modern Classics (Paperback)
By far the most intelligent and funny book I've ever read. But it's so much more than that, it captures the polarization of cultures in america at the end of the sixties and many of the observations still ring true today. A brilliant satire, the drawings by Ralph Steadman complement the text wonderfully well.
My favourite quote: 'at one point I tried to drive the Great Red Shark into the laundry room of the Landmark Hotel - but the door was too narrow, and the people inside seemed dangerously excited'.
Genius.
RIP Hunter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FINE STORYTELLING, BAD STORY, 3 Dec 2014
By 
T. F. Wells "Skink" (Chislehurst Kent UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Harper Perennial Modern Classics (Paperback)
I’ve always wondered at the admiration and downright love people whose opinion I respect express for Hunter S. Thompson. Even in my 20s, I thought he epitomized 1970s selfism, and my bias certainly wasn’t going to moderate as I aged. A month ago, I was at a wake for an RAF Squadron Commander who flew at the Battle of Britain and was talking to a couple of attendees. We got on the subject of American writers and both—one in his 30s and one in his 60s--said how much they loved Hunter S. Thompson. I mumbled something about not being a fan and then thought, well, it’s not like I’ve read enough—a handful of Rolling Stone articles—to have an informed opinion. And so I decided after all these years to read his most famous work. I’m happy to say that F&LinLV confirms my prejudices.

There is nothing likeable about Hunter’s alter-ego Raoul Duke and his grotesque Samoan attorney, except as subjects of Ralph Steadman’s superb drawings. Their idea of sticking it to the man is staying high, running up an expense account and trashing hotel rooms, all the while fretting about jail time. They are not defiant outlaws yelling, “Come and get me, copper!” They’re just slimeballs ridiculing easy targets in a town full of them.

It’s not as if Thompson is a great stylist, either. There are passages of excellent prose when he steps out of the spotlight he shines on himself and observes the outside world. Otherwise, it’s straightforward narrative about me-me-me with the odd line that makes you smile and on occasion laugh out loud.

But one thing Thompson is, he’s a very good storyteller. I may not much like his characters or subject matter, but I do like the way he sets his stories up and then unfolds, twists, turns, mutilates, extrudes and interweaves them. It’s actually enough to make me want to read more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 9 July 2008
By 
J. Hull (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Harper Perennial Modern Classics (Paperback)
Hunter S. Thompson is by far THE most entertaining writer in modern literature, it has to be said. His engrossing affilliation with substances that he swore he hadn't been taking during the writing of the major part of this novel, make this most probably the funniest piece of literature available. His quick wit and complete topsy-turvy sense of humour is only the beginning. As he travels through the desert with his attorney to "find the dark side of the American dream", they well and trully find it when they agree that any trip such as the one their making can only be made armed with a stupendous arsenal of drugs. And this they do. They engage in a completely twisted reality that is there's alone, and their journey, so infallible to their minds, leaps from one thing to the next supporting complete hysteria and laugh-out-louds situations, and I can honestly tell you there isn't a moment in this book that isn't ruthlessly fun.

Thompson manages to bring across madness in a sweet, yet shocking form, and produces simile after simile, metaphor after metaphor of true brilliance. I wouldn't go so far as to call this book a comedy, that would suggest that Thompson is attempting to be funny. But the fact is, he IS funny, whether you want him to be or not. His discriptions of the events that took place are superb, giving you the absolute feeling that you were right in the back seat of their car with the hitchhiker himself, and even more. His emotions and the feelings of his attorney are all described and somehow justified in some twisted way, and you can't help but get pulled into the story.

Apart from being hilarious, and wildly enteraining, the book also shows an overture on the scary American dream that was large during the late sixties. The malignant culture is portrayed wonderfully, and described from the standpoint of someone who got involved himself, and he describes the whole thing from things he saw. Even after the book has finished you'll find yourself hearing Hunter S. Thompson speaking in your head describing your every move in the form of one of his writings, almost like he's part of your sub-concious. His power, delivery and intoxicatingly clever witted nature makes this book what it is: a masterpiece. No wonder it became a modern classic.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY THE TICKET, TAKE THE RIDE!, 8 May 2006
By 
D. Hale - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Harper Perennial Modern Classics (Paperback)
...This is Hunter S Thompson's countercultural classic 1973 non-ficition novel. Originally serialised in Rolling Stone and often written under the influence of mind-altering chemicals or booze (which Thompson injected into his chest), "Fear And Loathing..." is a powerful, funny and forceful assault on American culture and values. Ostenibly taking the viewpoint of one Raoul Duke- a thinly disguised HST-, a journalist assigned to covering a a desert race in Las Vegas, the book gives us a brilliant insight into the American culture of 1970s. Many who review the book draw attention to the protagonist's drug abuse, however this really secondary to the book and quite harmless when you consider he uses mainly psychedelics rather than powerful, habit-forming substances like heroin.

Accompained by his obese Samoan attorney- HST's mate and missing Hispanic loon, Oscar Acosta- the book follows Duke's wild adventures in the joyless pleasuredomes of Las Vegas. Duke's real purpose is to search for the American Dream and find it in physical form, he hopes he will achieve this aim in Las Vegas. However, he knows that Las Vegas is a corrupt and filthy place and that the American Dream does not actually exist.

Thompson is a master of bringing absurd comedy out of a situation and his visceral exposures of the stupidity and idiocy of the Las Vegas people and workers are hilarious. He also brilliantly dissects and informs us about the failures of the Nixon administration and the shame and pity of living in the world after the glory of the 1960s.

The influence of Fear and Loathing echoes in the work of numerous journalists and writers- Will Self. Easton Ellis, the fella who wrote Fight Club- who are by comparison mere imitators.

It is easy to forget, in the fallout of his suicide and the confusion of the adaptation, the brilliance of Hunter S Thompson: his wit, power, brutality and acerbity. He escapes easy caterogorisation and labelling to create a voice and a sense of individuality unique in writing. He specified in his own notes for the book that we should read it drunk and to the accompaniment of loud, violent music. In this violent mix, we can still hear the author's voice raving on with candour and wit like a debauched and intoxicated uncle.

To read Fear and Loathing, and to observe the cartoons of Ralph Steadman, is truly to experience something entirely new and different, HST's voice is one you will recognise and agree with without being preached to and you will doubtless appreciate the sheer power of his work. People complain of his alcoholism, anger and failure to repeat his success, but, ultimately, when you hold this book in your hands, none of that really matters. He changed the way we view our leaders and our contrymen. And he did it all drunk. For that alone, he deserves applause.

A true testament to the importance of rebellion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the gonzoest of them all, 1 Dec 2007
This review is from: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Harper Perennial Modern Classics (Paperback)
The good doctor may have reached the peak of his literary prowess with this book, at least in the sense that here he was willing to be his most funny and fun. There's actually a streak of sadness and depression that runs through this work, as was surely the case in Hunter's actual life, but for the most part it's a heck of a lot of fun and wackiness. The protagonist is trying to find the American dream and never quite tracks it down, but he does manage to get his hands on a whole lotta illegal substances, as well as a few legal ones, and some 1960s-like drugged out madness ensues! One of the more memorable scenes takes place between the California highway patrolman and the doctor near the middle of nowhere. It's also amusing when they attend the drug conference. If these events really had taken place exactly as written, it would've made for an interesting magazine article to say the least! Author of Adjust Your Brain: A Practical Theory for Maximizing Mental Health.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 11 April 2014
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This is the first novel I've read by hst, but have been a fan ever since I read the Kentucky derby. This is a truly unprecedented piece of literature that probably shouldn't work as well as it does. It's terrifying, hilarious, confusing and even moving. It gives the funny and frightening insight into a bad psychedelic trip, and then somehow gives one of the most true and poignant critiques of American society at the time. Can't get enough. Any and every person should read this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars like a depth charge, 19 Mar 2013
This review is from: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Harper Perennial Modern Classics (Paperback)
An amazingly odd book. The story is more like a list of drugs it's like a diary of two of the worst kind of drug addicts, its drugs, guns and dumb `fun', all rolled up in a car. The social commentary underlying all of this though is a stroke of genius, with the idea of an `American Dream' turning out to be a case of sheer dumb luck and aside from that it isn't even worth pursuing anyway.

The book gave me a strong feeling of `A Clockwork Orange' in the casual way in which the truly unsavoury acts are carried out. A detached feeling that what is quite shocking and abnormal in reality becomes completely normal in the frequency and off hand casual remarks made in the book. The way the book ends also mirrors `A Clockwork Orange' though in a more subtle way.

Well worth a read, oh and play Motorhead in the background to add to the atmosphere.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a Joy Ride!, 28 Aug 2004
By A Customer
There aren't many books that can make me laugh out loud. But this one did. In fact, there were times when I was laughing so hard I couldn't focus my eyes on the page to read. I'd have to stop reading just to compose myself enough to go on. Wild only begins to describe the adventures of Thompson and his lawyer. In all fairness, I should warn you that drinking large amounts of liquor and taking illegal drugs play a big part in the story. If drugs and drug culture easily offend you you may want to pass on this book. My feeling is this: I do not condone drug use but this novel does reflect a period in America's recent past, it is a modern classic, and it's so darned funny that it you really should read it. The story follows Thompson and his lawyer as they search for the real America. On the way, Thompson gets an assignment to cover a motorcycle race in Las Vegas. Armed with a red convertible and enough drugs to kill a VERY large animal, they set off for Vegas. The story is a mixture of reality, drug induced hallucinations, and some fuzzy experiences that are both reality and drug clouded. It's just a flat-out, fun, hilarious romp -- a joy ride of a novel. Don't miss out! Another offbeat novel that I came across recently and enjoyed was THE LOSERS CLUB by Richard Perez.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A weekend of light-hearted mayhem, 18 May 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Harper Perennial Modern Classics (Paperback)
Having repeatedly forgotten to rent the movie, I decided to read the book before watching it. One thing to remember is that this is not a story with a beginning middle and end, it is gonzo journalism, a rambling stream of consciousness that reads in such a way that puts us inside the mind of Thompson's alter-ego Duke.
Despite the excessive drug use in the book, the tone is refreshing and presents a perspective alternate to the media's usual take on drugs. Thompson doesn't say 'drugs are bad', he dabbles in drugs in such a way that transforms them into his playthings; he is a 'Doctor of Journalism' exploring American culture in the 1970's.
Thompson's often paranoid view of 'American Dream' is communicated with humour in this book. Originally published as a two-part article in Rolling Stone magazine, my advice would be to approach it with an open mind, let Hunter carry you beyond conventional fiction and drop you off wherever he pleases.
If you already know about Hunter S. Thompson read this now, for everybody else this is a valuable experience in alternate storytelling.
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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Harper Perennial Modern Classics by Hunter S. Thompson (Paperback - 4 April 2005)
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