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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thomspon


"There is no formula for finding yourself in Vegas with a white Cadillac full of drugs and nothing to mix with properly." (page 156)

About the Book: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the best chronicle of drug-soaked, addle-brained, rollicking good times ever committed to the printed page. It is also the tale of a long weekend road trip that has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest journeys ever undertaken.

"Old elephants limp off to the hills to die; old Americans go out to the highway and drive themselves to death with huge cars." (page 18)

My Thoughts: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson (Flamingo, 1971) is a representation of Thompson's "Gonzo Journalism," a blurring of lines between fiction and non-fiction, based on two trips to Las Vegas with attorney and Chicano activist Oscar Zeta Acosta. This is not a book for anyone who is easily offended by language or lewd behavior. The is told through the perspective of Raoul Duke, "Doctor of Journalism" and Thompson's alter-ego.
     The first trip to Vegas is centered around Duke's assignment from a motor sports magazine to cover the Fourth Annual Mint 400 in 1971. Thus begins the drug-induced journey with his "attorney," Dr. Gonzo, who makes the arrangements and accompanies him on the journey that is designed as an opportunity to experiment with a variety of recreational drugs. Following their survival of that trip, Dr. Gonzo quickly arranges another assignment to bring the duo back to Vegas. This time it is for Rolling Stone magazine to cover the National District Attorneys' Association's Third National Institute on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. While law enforcement officials are attending the conference to learn how to handle the drug epidemic and drug-related crimes, Duke and Dr. Gonzo continue their quest to discover the "American Dream," a concept that had radically shifted over the past decade.
     The book is illustrated by Ralph Steadman and the graphic art adds another element to the chaotic feel of the story. Throughout the book, Thompson is exploring the effects of the 60's counterculture and U.S. society in the early 70's, society's thirst for consumerism, and a changing political climate.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one if you have read it!
Happy Reading,
Rebecca

4 comments:

  1. Somehow I've lived my whole life without reading this. How?? I really should remedy that!

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    1. Thanks for visiting Jennifer! I was mostly just curious about this one because it seems like I am always reading or hearing something about it. It was different! But at least now I feel like I am in the know :)
      Happy Reading!
      Rebecca

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  2. I have had this book on my shelf for years and have still not got round to reading it! I worry it might be too 'weird', but I really must give it a go.

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    1. It is weird! But it was an interesting concept for story-telling. Let me know your thoughts if you decide to give it a try. Thanks for visiting!
      Happy Reading!
      Rebecca

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