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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream Paperback – May 12, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library
  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 2nd edition (May 12, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679785892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679785897
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (721 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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. 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 trunk, they stow "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 multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers.... A quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls," 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

Review

'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a scorching epochal sensation. There are only two adjectives authors care about any more - 'brilliant' and 'outrageous' - and Hunter Thompson has a freehold on both of them' Tom Wolfe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

From start to finish, this book was an enthralling read.
A reader
Hunter S. Thompson proves this in his book Fear and Loathing in Las vegas.
joe farrell
Just like comparing and book to movie you get much more of a story.
Rich N

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Schtinky VINE VOICE on November 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Written in 1971, `Fear and Loathing' still has a powerful impact on the mind even today. If you are easily offended by gratuitous drug usage and the craziness resulting from it, then put the book down and back away slowly. For those who may have perhaps saw the movie with Johnny Depp and did not know what to think of it, I highly recommend reading the book and then watching the movie again, its subtleties come out from the background provided in the book, and you will truly appreciate the performances afterwards.

`Fear' is absolutely hilarious, following the ramblings of a journalist and his attorney into Las Vegas in the early years. Through clouds of mescaline, acid, ether, amyl, tequila, rum, and pot, we see Las Vegas through the demented eyes of a person totally over the edge and bordering on drug induced psychosis.

The bar scene in Circus-Circus is worth the price of the book alone, and all of the vapid trippings of our dynamic duo are practically frightening in their intensity. Thompson has captured the mind of the delusional manic in `Fear', and while it is a journey not recommended for real life, in its book form it is highly entertaining and brutally funny.

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas may be dated in its use of drugs and money, and the picture painted of a Las Vegas strip long gone to the commercialism of today's Vegas, but the amusing underlying story of human nature of the edge of reason is timeless. Definitely a worthwhile muse to entertain yourself with. Enjoy!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Williams on May 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream" by Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter Thompson practiced total immersion journalism. This form of reporting is called gonzo journalism.

Hunter Thompson drove to Las Vegas to report on a motorcycle race and ended up writing a story about himself writing a story about a motorcycle race. If he would have written a conventional report on motorcycle racing it would have been interesting to motorcycle enthusiasts for a few days. Since he wrote a gonzo story he had a very wide canvas and he used it well to create a classic.

The reader might be turned off by the obstreperous behavior, extreme self indulgence and offensive inconsiderate language. If you can look past this offensive conduct and you will see that Hunter Thompson gave us an insight into the American character of the 1970's.

See also: Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga (Modern Library)

I completely enjoyed this book and recommend it to others.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
I personally live just outside of Las Vegas, and just about everything the good doctor wrote about is still true (especially Circus Circus). I can only imagine what he'd think of the quasi-Disneyland attractions that are there now.
The drug content was to be expected at that era. The world was still in a white picket fence mode and "creative chemistry" was seen as a tool to escape from it (or at least, take a different view).
The stream-of-consciousness writing style is a wonder to behold. You can practically feel your mind bob-sledding through the ether-induced haze, coming to a landing on both feet.
As for weither or not it was real, get over it. Just wallow in the genius of the work; how it dissects the "American Dream" and how we were so rudely woken from it.
And if you've seen the film, READ THE FREAKIN' BOOK AS WELL! You will discover a favorite quote or two that you'll find yourself using over and over again. I laughed so hard reading it the first time, my face hurt!
It's a classic document of the tail end of the "flower power" generation, and the beginning of the narcisism of the 1970's. Classic American literature with sheer outright BALLS that's so dearly lacking in today's pop culture.
I am certain that when Dr. Thompson reaches his final reward, he will have a never-ending orgy held in his honor, just for writing this book.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Williams on May 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream" by Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter Thompson practiced total immersion journalism. This form of reporting is called gonzo journalism.

Hunter Thompson drove to Las Vegas to report on a motorcycle race and ended up writing a story about himself writing a story about a motorcycle race. If he would have written a conventional report on motorcycle racing it would have been interesting to motorcycle enthusiasts for a few days. Since he wrote a gonzo story he had a very wide canvas and he used it well to create a classic.

The reader might be turned off by the obstreperous behavior, extreme self indulgence and offensive inconsiderate language. If you can look past this offensive conduct and you will see that Hunter Thompson gave us an insight into the American character of the 1970's.

See also: Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga (Modern Library)

I completely enjoyed this book and recommend it to others.
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60 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Roule Duke on July 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have read and re-read my copy of this book so many times the pages are all dog eared and the spine is on the verge of coming apart. In short this book is an absolute masterpiece. I don't think that there is any other book that will completely hold you in it's grip from the first to the last line in the way that this book will.
This book and it's author have became cultural icons ever since it went to print in the early seventies. Plenty of other reviewers have gone into great detail about many of the notable qualities of this book: the hilarious dark humor of the two's drug induced antics and the razor sharp wit it is written with, the clarity in descriptions of the drug state, the spot on observations of the 'American way of life' as well as the counterculture of the '60s, the brutal honesty in which the author deals with negative and reckless acts commited by him and especially his attorny (which some find disturbing) and of course the shear genius in every page of this by all means flawless novel.
After reading this book too many times to keep count, although I still find it totally laugh out loud funny, I generally must say that Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas is ultimately a sad novel. Sure it's a road trip to cover a story in Las Vegas on hallucinogens, but I feel that overall it is the cronicle of a 'failed seeker'. I mean the search for the American Dream is unsuccessfull and you get the feeling from this book that it will always be an unfruitfull search as the American dream doesn't exist. The passages on how the energy of the '60s dissappeared are particularly moving in this way.
I cannot recomend reading this book enough, it is funny, witty, paranoid, dreamy yet crystal clear and written impecably well.
"Buy the ticket, take the ride"
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