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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream Kindle Edition
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Now a major motion picture from Universal, directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro.
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Now this cult classic of gonzo journalism is a major motion picture from Universal, directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro. Opens everywhere on May 22, 1998. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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 kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B003WUYQG4
- Publisher : Vintage; 2nd edition (July 23, 2010)
- Publication date : July 23, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 2331 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 93 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #51,232 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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I was hooked on HST's moral philosophy and precise writing style right away. Immediately after F&L I read Hell's Angels, his first published book, and loved that too. Through the years since I've read most of his other books -- The Proud Highway, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, The Great Shark Hunt, and the Rum Diary most notable among them.
Very recently, a workplace debate with a coworker who despises Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (and Thompson as a concept) inspired me to go back and read F&L a second time. It's been almost 10 years since the first reading, and I'm shocked at how much of what he was really talking about flew right over my head when I was 15. The slapstick humor and ridiculous hi-jinks that Raoul Duke and his "attorney" Dr. Gonzo get into are still fun and aptly described, but on a closer reading these serve a similar purpose as does the magician's other hand, yanking your attention away from the real thing going on.
This really is the quintessential novel about the death of the American 60s and the youth idealism of that period. If you've heard anything about this book you're probably familiar with the chaos and the hedonism and the rampant drug use (all admitted by Thompson as fictional exaggerations), and you probably know one-liners like: "We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold," or "Buy the ticket, take the ride," or the famous "“We can't stop here, this is bat country!” To most non-fans Thompson is best remembered for these sort of one-offs that've been made cliche by the commercial reproduction machine.
Below is a long-ish passage about the end of the 60s from Fear in Loathing in Las Vegas that is less well-known than the cliches and displays Thompson as what he really was beneath the rage, drugs, and liquor: a visionary thinker and writer of the first order.
“Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. . . .
History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.
My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder's jacket . . . booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change) . . . but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that. . . .
There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. . . . You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . .
And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”
Really kind of a 3.5 rambling meandering mess, but I'll round up because Thompson writes it pretty darn well anyway (and kept it mercifully short). Somewhere in the haze is some sort of message about America and its paranoia... but it's also mostly Duke and his 'attorney,' the 300 pound Samoan Dr. Gonzo: kinda admirable anti-heroes, mondo jerks, and entirely out of their minds and on something all the time.
I'm not sure I enjoyed reading about this pair of human car wrecks, but I certainly couldn't stop reading it either.
This was an exhaustive journey of a man that just seem to float through one disaster after another only to end up wanting to buy a vicious dog. Did it make sense? Hell no, the drug algorithms that were used in the description and analysis of each situation did make for an entertaining read.
Stop what you are doing, get this book, sit back with a glass of rum, some grapefruit and a large hunting knife and talk a walk on the wild side.
I'm not sure if anything can be "learned" from such a book or if could be called an intellectually enriching experience, but it's certainly a culturally enriching one, and a sturdy landmark of American journalism that's unlikely to lose it's relevance -- or it's appeal -- anytime soon.
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I do NOT loathe 'Hunter S', found ''The Rum Diary'' to be good, and am exploring his work - however as one who grew up listening about how great he was, this is a massive comedown
When you get to a certain age and watch the film again (as opposed to watching it in your youth) you realise that is also absolute rubbish
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.’
I'm aware of Hunter S Thompson's style was a break through at the time but so was Jack Kerouac who actually delivered something readable.
No flow, no purpose and very little humour apart from 1 chapter towards the end, it's also factually incorrect, living of a citrus diet whilst consuming vast amounts of drugs does not recharge the soul, it pretty rapidly brings about vomiting.
I can easily read a book in 2 or 3 days, while this living hell took me months as I'm not easily defeated, I kept going back and forcing myself to the end.
This gets my award for the most anodyne piece of literature I have ever had the misfortune to encounter