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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:
A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

Hunter S. Thompson

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Harper Perennial

Published : 2005

Copyright : Hunter S. Thompson 1971

ISBN-10 : PB 0-00-720449-3
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-00-720449-6

Publisher's Write-Up

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.

‘We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like, “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive …”’

Hunter S. Thompson is roaring down the desert highway to Las Vegas with his attorney, the Samoan, to find the dark side of the American Dream. Armed with a drug arsenal of stupendous proportions, the duo engage in a surreal succession of chemically enhanced confrontations with casino operators, police officers and assorted Middle Americans.

This stylish reissue of Hunter S. Thompson’s iconic masterpiece, a controversial bestseller when it appeared in 1971, features the brilliant Ralph Steadman illustrations of the original. It brings to a new generation the hallucinatory humour and nightmare terror of Hunter S. Thompson’s musings on the collapse of the American Dream.

'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
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Annett Grosser-Rogoff (310313) Rating (9/10)

Review by Annett Grosser-Rogoff
Rating 9/10
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson has been called the "best book on the dope decade" by the New York Times. It’s certainly an interesting description of a book that can just be read completely under the influence of some mind-altering substance. This doesn’t mean it’s badly written, but the experience of reading it makes your head spin. It feels like sitting in a rollercoaster and holding on for dear life. It almost makes you think the use of drugs is a necessity to be able to follow Thompson's story under the pseudonym of Raoul Duke with his Samoan attorney, Dr. Gonzo to Las Vegas and it’s an amazing achievement for him to be able to put ink to paper to tell the tale.

It’s never clear if this is a true story or has been altered by hallucination under the influence of all sorts of drugs. The story is so twisted and confusing it’s funny and extremely entertaining and makes you realise why drugs are not a good choice. It’s certainly hilarious to watch other people lose themselves in a cocktail of legal and illegal substance but to experience this yourself must be anything but funny.

The book describes a phase in the recent history of America when drug taking was almost considered normal and it leaves a strange after taste. However, this doesn’t mean the journey is not enjoyable. It makes you wonder if there is some truth in some people claiming their best ideas come under the influence of psychedelics. It’s so brilliantly written that one almost forgets this is written by a man who injected these substances in his chest and makes you wonder what he is capable of with a clear mind.

Duke's purpose is to find the American Dream in a physical way and where else could they go to achieve this than in Las Vegas. But of course he realises that this is just a fantasy-bubble and the real Las Vegas is a corrupt and dirty city and the American Dream is just that- a dream.

In all this absurdity Thompson brings out the dark comedy of each situation and his visceral exposures of the stupidity and idiocy of the Las Vegas people and workers are hilarious. On the way he gives a witty insight into the failures of the Nixon area and double-morals of the 1960s.

All-in-all this book makes you dizzy, but also feel regret when putting it away. It gives you the buzz no drug can ever do.
Annett Grosser-Rogoff (31st March 2013)

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