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Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:14 pm
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream
by Hunter S. Thompson
# Paperback: 204 pages
# Publisher: Vintage
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0679724192
# Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 0.7 inches
# Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
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.