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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream Mass Market Paperback – December, 1982

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,042 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the ne plus ultra of Hunter S. Thompson and the whole gonzo clan he spawned. Written in the lurid afterglow of the 1960s, Fear and Loathing is a loosely connected series of mad dashes across the desert, trashed hotel rooms, and goofs on the brutish, naïve, or merely unhip, perpetrated by Thompson and his mammoth Samoan attorney. The pair start out high on a medicine cabinet's worth of elixirs, powders, and pills, and stay that way for 200 pages. They careen through an unsettling landscape of paranoia and alienation, but that doesn't mean the book isn't a riot. Here's a small taste: "By this time, the drink was beginning to cut the acid and my hallucinations were down to a tolerable level. The room service waiter had a vaguely reptilian cast to his features, but I was no longer seeing huge pterodactyls lumbering around the corridors in pools of fresh blood."

Though somewhat dated (it appeared serially in Rolling Stone throughout November 1971), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a book of real vitality and Rabelaisian wit. A document of the counterculture after it was well past ripe and deep into rot, the book is a wild ride, a paranoid ramble that is thoroughly exhilarating and worth the trip. No pun intended. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a scorching epochal sensation. There are only two adjectives writers care about any more... "brilliant" and "outrageous"... and Hunter Thompson has a freehold on both of them.' 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 Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (December 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446313939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446313933
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,042 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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