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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Other American Stories (Modern Library) Hardcover – May 5, 1998


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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Other American Stories (Modern Library) + Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga (Modern Library) + The Rum Diary: A Novel
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library (May 5, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679602984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679602989
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Dr. Thompson made the list of inspirational scribes when I polled in a recent writing workshop, and why not? Back in a spiffy Modern Library edition, replete with additional essays, I find in this iconographic work that HST both invoked--and provoked--an era that was not so much the '60s proper, but rather the mean, shadow-filled death of that time, which is still playing out. Thank God Thompson was there to explode the myth of "objective" journalism and help pave the way for the pens and voices that followed. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

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."

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Customer Reviews

I'm glad I finally broke down and read it, it's really a great book!
Mr. Andre
Thompson possesses a magical way with words, and his writing style is a pure pleasure to read.
"stridemachine"
And it should be noted that this book is much more then drug induced babble.
Zander Kaufman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steveatty on January 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has not read Hunter S. Thompson, owes it to him or herself to read at least one of his efforts. This is the perfect starting point.

Often described, alternately, as a drug crazed lunatic, a brilliant writer, a humorist, a political commentator, and a popular historian; none of those titles really does justice to him as a person or his body of work.

Hunter was a visionary, while associated with the counterculture of the 1960's and 70's, he is more closely related to the beat movement of the 1950's. His desire was to capture life in action, with a blend of prose and newscopy.

To try to explain Fear and Loathing is impossible, its simply not about a trip to Las Vegas. Its about the American Dream, something Hunter stringly believed in, and his attempt to experience it hanging on by his fungernails. As he would say, buy the ticket... take the ride.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By buendia on December 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Literary gem "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" repackaged with a movie cover to go with the Terry Gilliam film. This book includes the original itself, with Ralph Steadman's accompanying gonzo art, and adds a few happy surprises. Jacket copy for the book by Thompson is included, alongside "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan" and the hysterical tale of Thompson and Steadman's first dizzying encounter, "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved".
These stories are laugh-out-loud funny, and this slim volume is a great addition to any collection.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Simpson on November 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Deep within the mind of the creative artist often lies the tendency to become destructive. Nowhere is this more apparent than in this brilliantly written work. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" describes the effects of alcohal and drugs in calculated journo-prose. Initially assigned to cover a motorcyle race in the desert, the emphasis soon shifts from responsibility to reckless partying. The book meanders between odes to opium, mescaline and other mind-altering substances to ethical issues and social commentary. The book is a true story, which recounts the adventures of Thompson, alias Duke, and his obese lawyer, alias Gonzo in Las Vegas in the early 70s. Generally regarded as a collection of infamous drug exploits, the book also captured critical acclaim for it's abrupt and edgy style, and has remained a favorite in journalistic circles. The drug concotions enable Thompson to comment carelessly on everything from social issues to personal exploration, providing an objective critique of modern American life. The language is edgy and vulgar, lacking refinement and dignity. As well he knows, Thompson himself resembles these remarks and at least in this instance, life does imitate art. Overall, it is an odyssey into the mind of a true gonzo-journalist, chock full of emotion and definately worth a few hours of your time. The brains cells are up to you.
Other books of interest: "Post Office," by Charles Bukowski, and "THe Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," by Tom Wolfe.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 1998
Format: Hardcover
When someone mentions Hunter S. Thompson, the almost immediate reponse is "Oh, yeh - the Fear and Loathing guy." To review that piece in 1998 is perhaps too little too late, but a glance at this volume, which matches the original with "Jacket Copy" and "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved," is in order because of its complete vision of Thompson's style and purpose. What "Fear and Loathing" delivers is what was promised by "Kentucky Derby," and what it fails to tell you is what is filled-in by "Jacket Copy." For those interested in reading "Fear and Loathing," today, this package will give perspective on the times and reinforce the power of the original work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Williams on August 30, 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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