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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas: A Savage Journey To The Heart Of The American Dream » User review

A cultural artifact

  • Sep 16, 2002
Rating:
+3
In an attempt to get culturally on-line, I decided to rectify a missing portion of influential pop culture in the form of the guru of gonzo, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. I realized that I had been missing something when I started noticing several biographies on Thompson on the bookstore shelves. If he's being bio'ed, I thought to myself, that must mean he's dead, or as good as. If the account in Fear and Loathing is anywhere near that fickle creature called truth, chances are he's been as good as dead for years now.

Fear and Loathing is a cultural artifact, an attempt to tell things as they were in the early 70s, to be totally realistic about the journalistic process, in a true post-modern manner (that is, not separating the teller from the tale). Unfortunately--or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint--it's tough to be totally realistic when you're always strung out on: (take your pick) cocaine, alcohol, methamphetamines, ether, LSD, and numerous other mind-altering substances. As a reader, you find the constant drug taking a little tiring after awhile, not in a bored sense, but in a sense of amazement at how anyone could punish their body so.

And the reader is punished somewhat here as well, although when Thompson is funny--as when he and his attorney convince a podunk lawman from Atlanta that drugs are out (crime wise) in L.A., and that the real problem now is satanic rituals--he's found a style and medium that emphasizes and broadens the humor. And I can't say that I didn't like that style--I went out and bought The Great Shark Hunt after finishing this.

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More Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas... reviews
review by . September 26, 2010
Hunter S. Thompson was a much celebrated American journalist and writer, and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is his most famous book. Written in a style of "gonzo journalism," this seminal book aimed to capture as much as possible the wild and reckless drug-induced adventures of Thompson and his lawyer friend over the course of two journalistic assignments in Las Vegas in the early 70s. The actual protagonists of "Fear and Loathing" were actually slightly altered from …
review by . July 12, 2010
I laugh every time I read this book, and I have probably read it about 20 times. The scene that gets me isn't in the film, so you won't remember it from the film. Duke, having nearly escaped Las Vegas, is called back into town and is given his second rental car, the Great White Whale. He convinces the boy at the service station to fill up the tires with air to the point of danger and drives around, enjoying his newly enhanced handling, feeling every pebble on the road, but turning on a …
review by . July 01, 2010
I do not even know where to start.  I guess you can start at the beginning with...THE BATS!      This is a very good fictional representation of the early 70's drug scene.  The tale follows a writer and his attorney as they go to Vegas so that the writer can cover a race.  Very actual work is done, unless you call being a social deviant work.  As the story goes on, so does the rampant amount of drug abuse that could kill an adult elephant, but not …
review by . September 20, 2010
Hunter S. Thompson was a much celebrated American journalist and writer, and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is his most famous book. Written in a style of "gonzo journalism," this seminal book aimed to capture as much as possible the wild and reckless drug-induced adventures of Thompson and his lawyer friend over the course of two journalistic assignments in Las Vegas in the early 70s. The actual protagonists of "Fear and Loathing" were actually slightly altered from the real world personages, …
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
While the thought and intention behind the book is genius, it is a disgusting, vile, crude, and uncomfortable read.
Quick Tip by . July 16, 2010
A sucker for Thompson's scathing and brutal narratives and point of view, I absolutely love all of his work. Check out the Gilliam flick, if you haven't yet.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
A crazy journey, that one can actually join with Gonzo!
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
Funny book, and a funny movie too. I read that Hunter S. Thompson made it all up though. An interesting look into the drug culture.
Quick Tip by . July 05, 2010
buy the ticket, take the ride!
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
Hunter Thompson was a sick young man and this told the story of one of his sickest tales.
About the reviewer
Glen Engel-Cox ()
Ranked #334
Glen is a forty-something communications professional living near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He grew up in Texas and has also lived inLos Angeles, Colorado, Washington State, and Washington, DC. Glen also … more
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About this book

Wiki

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.

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.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0679785892
ISBN-13: 978-0679785897
Author: Hunter S. Thompson
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Vintage; 2nd edition (May 12, 1998)
Date Published: Original Copyright 1971
Format: Paperback: 224 pages, Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
First to Review

"A cultural artifact"
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