Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Harper Perennial Modern Classics Paperback – Illustrated, 4 Apr 2005
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Heralded as the "best book on the dope decade" by the New York Times Book Review, Hunter S. Thompson's documented drug orgy through Las Vegas would no doubt leave Nancy Reagan blushing and D.A.R.E. (US anti-drugs organisation) founders rethinking their motto. Under the pseudonym of Raoul Duke, Thompson travels with his Samoan attorney, Dr. Gonzo, in a souped-up convertible dubbed the "Great Red Shark." In its boot, they hide "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 multicoloured uppers, downers, screamers, laughers ... A quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser [and] a pint of raw ether" which they manage to consume during their short tour.
On assignment from a sports magazine to cover "the fabulous Mint 400"--a free-for-all biker's race in the heart of the Nevada desert--the drug-a-delic duo stumbles through Vegas in hallucinatory hopes of finding the American dream (two truck-stop waitresses tell them it's nearby, but can't remember if it's on the right or the left). They of course never get the story, but they do commit the only sins in Vegas: "burning the locals, abusing the tourists, terrifying the help." For Thompson to remember and pen his experiences with such clarity and wit is nothing short of a miracle; an impressive feat no matter how one feels about the subject matter. A first- rate sensibility twinger, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a pop-culture classic, an icon of an era past and a nugget of pure comedic genius. --Rebekah Warren --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
‘There are only two adjectives writers care about…”brilliant” and “outrageous”. Hunter Thompson has a freehold on both of them. “Fear and Loathing” is a scorching epochal sensation.’ Tom Wolfe
‘What goes on in these pages makes Lenny Bruce seem angelic…the whole book boils down to a mad, corrosive prose poetry that picks up where Norman Mailer’s “An American Dream” left off and explores what Tom Wolfe left out.’ New York TimesSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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'.
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.Read more ›
Fear and Loathing is basically a rant against the Establishment. It has its roots in journalism and is the prime example of what Thompson dubbed ‘Gonzo’ or cartoon journalism. Here one finds the truth of one man’s search for the American Dream, but the book is more an attempt to expose the corruption at the heart of American society. The author does this through huge black banner headlines from the daily press, Steadman’s grotesque caricatures of angry, fat, snarling human beasts and a writing style that is deliberately non-literary.
It is a book that will mainly appeal to the adolescent and the disaffected. Thompson and his ‘attorney’ are on the road to Las Vegas, the drug capital of a drug-infested United States, driving a super-charged rented Red Shark, crammed with Class A drugs. Both are stoned from the start and remain that way throughout. Vegas is a pleasure city, where everything goes bang, but especially girls and guns. It’s the mid-Sixties and the enemy are the police, who are everywhere, threatening, intimidating and brutal under a veneer of care - but infinitely bribable. The search for The Dream is never-ending and pointless.
Where Henry Miller explored not only Europe but philosophy and literature, Thompson remains on American soil, a cynical joker, celebrating not sex but crime at the heart of a society, from which he himself, benefits and in which he glories. ‘In a world of thieves’, he tells us, ‘the only final sin is stupidity.’
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fast paced, funny, and autobiographical. This book is Thompson all over. If you liked the Terry Gilliam film, you'll love the book.Published 1 month ago by T
This book is relevant more so than ever, hunter s Thompson writing style makes for a great read, once you read this book you won't be the same!Published 2 months ago by Shaun Oblein
Amazing condition. Amazing book overall a great buy thank youPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fear and Loathing is the book which cemented Hunter S. Thompson’s reputation as a writer who challenged authority, by defying traditional laws of both literature and governance. Read morePublished 2 months ago by SocialBookshelves.com
son loved it I havent read it yet
Brilliant insight into the out of control. Drugs, booze, sex ... It's all the same. A penniless life spent working out how to get the next hit. It's funny because it's so tragic.Published 3 months ago by Nic Ferrier
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