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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  179,440 ratings  ·  4,067 reviews
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.
Paperback, Second Vintage Books Edition, 204 pages
Published June 1998 by Vintage Books (first published 1971)
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Mike McGlathery [on remembering the feeling of mid-sixties San Francisco]

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West,…more
[on remembering the feeling of mid-sixties San Francisco]

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nathan
Sep 17, 2007 Nathan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who want to read this lame, personal review.
I recently went to Las Vegas for the first, and probably only, time in my life. I hadn't read this book in years, and previously, it hadn't even been my favorite Hunter S. Thompson work. Thompson is dearly missed by many people, and on a personal level, I miss him deeply. He spoke to a true astonishment at the complete, unrelenting fuckedupedness of America and her politics, and he did it with a bite that was deserved and unmatched. He probably could have been a very rich super-novelist of popul ...more
Petra X
I read this years ago and reviewed it, but it seems to have disappeared from my booklist. Did I blot my copybook by slagging off the author's major drug and alcohol habits and thereby get it deleted or what? It's not like the author could object as a) he's dead and b) he was proud of his prodigious consumption of substances that got him off his head.

Or was it just the GR monster, munching away, like a moth, holes here, holes there and you don't find them until you actually go looking?

Whichever.
...more
Shovelmonkey1
Jul 26, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who want to chalk up another alleged cult classic
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
Whoop whoop, yeehaw, arrrrghflurszlegastle, shit shit shit drugs make you crazy. Yes, yes they do. So the first question is exactly how many drugs did Hunter S Thompson actually imbibe when writing this book. Either one too many or not enough would be my answer. First off, I'd like to critique the author photo on the inside sleeve of this book.

Hello.. there's Hunter S Thompson staring out from the page. He is wearing what can only be described as a three-tone patch-work denim shirt, and old-sko
...more
Jafar
Yes, I see all the raving reviews and the four- and five-star ratings, but I honestly don’t remember the last time I was so bored and annoyed by a book. Barring a massive conspiracy, maybe I just didn’t get this book? This is what I got from the book. Please help me if missed something. We drove more than 100 miles an hour while drunk and high. WAHAHAHA! We ran up a huge bill and fled the hotel without paying it. WAHAHAHA! We picked up a teenage girl and gave her drugs and then left her alone, a ...more
Lord Beardsley
Sep 07, 2007 Lord Beardsley rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all of the two people over age 16 who haven't already read this
Shelves: read2007
You know, if this was the first of Mr. Thompson's books I had read, I never would have picked up another one. As far as I can tell, this is one of his weaker ones and is really the most well-known only for the long, droning drug bullshit. Reading drug writing is about as interesting is watching paint dry. There are little kernals of hilarity (because he's a fantastic writer who is able to describe pitch perfectly the bizarre ineptitude of the human experience) which saves it from being snoringly ...more
Martin
Jan 02, 2008 Martin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who buy the ticket and take the ride
A co-worker, whom happened to be completely insane, sized me up once and told me I was ready. He handed to me a VHS tape bearing the title, "Where the Buffalo Roam". At the time I was living a lifestyle of depraved decadence and over consumption of massive amounts of drugs and booze. While this particular journey had many peeks and valleys the next step in my literary evolution took place under a haze of pot smoke, a quart of rum and a pack and a half a day tobacco habit. After watching the movi ...more
Nadine Larter
Oh I don't really know where to begin with my absolute hate for this book. Hunter Thompson is a famous journalist. He is respected. He rode with the Hells Angels and he interviewed all the musicians that we worship. He was Rolling Stone Magazine "cool". He was so cool that friggen Johnny Depp played him in TWO movies. Loving him is just a given. Apparently. Unfortunately I can't get past the fact that I just think he's a fucking twat.
Lou
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
A gonzo journalist writing for sports editors hits the road on an assignment to Sin City with a trunk full of dangerous drugs that looked like a mobile police narcotics lab.

He had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-coloured uppers, downers, screamers, laughers and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum (there's a movie out Rum diaries starring Jonny Depp out now what a
...more
Jason Koivu
This needed to happen. On the Road needed to happen. Burroughs, Kesey, Ginsberg, etc needed to happen. But is it good literature? For its time, yes. For all time? The jury's out. Certainly Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is good comedy, but it may also be bad everything else.

Is this wisdom? Is it pure nonsense? Is it intelligent? Perhaps when it's occasionally intelligible. There are flashes of philosophy and poeticism...stoner philosophy and beat poeticism. Good for their day, necessary even, b
...more
Stacey
Jan 23, 2008 Stacey rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people I dislike.
I wasn't blown away by anything about this book. Maybe it's because it's been built up as such a classic or maybe it's because it's just bad. I don't think it was bad because I thought it was so out there and wild and crazy. I thought it was bad because it pretended just writing about being wild and crazy makes it immediately worthwhile. Two guys testing their luck by breaking every law made while in Vegas and doing a bunch of drugs. I need more than this. The book really didn't have a plot. Abo ...more
Sam Quixote
“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”

is one of my favourite opening lines in literature. Two paragraphs later are the equally brilliant lines:

“I hit the brakes and aimed the Great Red Shark toward the shoulder of the highway. No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.”

That whole opening narration sets the tone of chaos and comedy told in a perfect deadpan that defines this book.

Fear and Loathing
...more
Jessie
Mar 09, 2007 Jessie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone with an open mind
Shelves: faves
Hunter S. Thompson is my personal hero. He is an incredible writer. He lived his life with no fear and was willing to try anything or any drug. But despite the assumption that this book is all about drugs (ok, well most of it is about drugs) if you can look past that you will find a book that is so insiteful on human behavior. What most people fear and dream and wish and strive for. I think it is all summed up by my favorite quote from him:

"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of
...more
James

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a masterpiece of paranoid monomania. Hunter S. Thompson and his lawyer in this quasi-fictionalized piece of memoir head off to Las Vegas in search of the American Dream. It’s an odyssey doomed to failure, and Thompson and his lawyer, the Samoan, are hell bent on enjoying that failure in one long ravenous drug-induced psychic meltdown.

Much of what goes on in this story is dependent on the reader buying into the absurdness of Thompson and his lawyer’s insane credu
...more
Courtney Lindwall
Dec 25, 2011 Courtney Lindwall rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Druggies/Lovers of 70s Culture
Recommended to Courtney by: Alexa Kristensen
Shelves: 2011
This book is not so much about a character as it is about a culture - the drug culture of the 60s and early 70s. The manic way uppers and downers and LSD and hard liquor mix together with a little too much West Coast soul-searching.

There are a couple of things I really liked about this book. For one, the atmosphere of open Western desert is to me one of the most alluring places you can find in America. It's that original sense of Manifest Destiny. It's barren and untamed and there's a part of e
...more
Fewlas
Divertentissimo racconto di un viaggio allucinante ed allucinato alla ricerca del Sogno Americano. Dialoghi carichi di paranoie ed un’analisi acutissima (seppur sotto gli effetti di stupefacenti ed alcolici vari) della “fatale era Nixon”, era durante la quale si assiste al tramonto del sogno psichedelico.

Invece di raccontarci la Mint 400 e la Conferenza Nazionale dei Procuratori Distrettuali su Sostanze Psicotrope e Droghe, Thompson tira fuori un pezzo di giornalismo mai visto prima, caratteriz
...more
Greg
This is one of the few, if only times I will ever say this...go see the movie instead.

There was nothing wrong with this book mind you, had I never seen the movie before I would've considered it a totally original experience. But between the amazing portrail by Johnny Depp (and Del Toro), and the brilliant directing work by Gilliam, and the fact that the movie is an amazingly accurate adaptation of the source material, I can't really see a reason to read the book, when you can immerse yourself i
...more
Lilly G
i loved this book. i didn't *expect* to love it, which is why i had put it off for two years after receiving it. i'd read bits and pieces of thompson's work, but never sat down to read one end-to-end. now i know what i've been missing.

this book is everything i had hoped On the Road would be. a wild travel adventure with protagonists i would root for. they do disgusting, off the wall, unconscionable things, but they do it with such spirit that you can't help but laugh, over and over again.

a good
...more
Emma
I want to disagree with all of the people that say you should just watch the movie instead. The movie DOES follow the book almost verbatim, that's true, but I believe that some of the deeper meaning of Fear and Loathing is lost on the big screen. Too distracted by the drug-addled antics of Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro a movie isn't long enough to ponder what Thompson is "really trying to tell us." And I do believe with all my powers of deduction that Thompson was writing more than a story ab ...more
Leland
I read this book as a teenager, and must say it had a profound comedic influence. I tried re-reading it recently and found it completely unpalatable. This led me to the inevitable realization that I perhaps am not aging as well as this insane little book. Oh well. Everyone should have a Hunter S. Thompson phase in late adolescence, and they should forever after try their hardest to avoid him.
Alex
We knew a kid like Hunter Thompson. You know. He wasn't that cool, and he tried to compensate by being especially crazy. That was the kid who did like twice as many drugs as any of the rest of us, and it was annoying because inevitably we'd have to bail his ass out at some point - like, we'd be happily buzzing along, and then it'd be "Well, someone's gonna have to go dig Rick out from under the bed," or he's pissed his pants, or whatever.

Rick was a poser. I got that feeling even more from Thomps
...more
Stepheny
“We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold.”

I remember the first time I read Alice in Wonderland I said to myself- Stepheny, what the hell did you just read? I was lost, confused and quite certain that the book was a random conglomeration of events that surely only someone heavily under the influence of multiple drugs could possibly understand. Well, I have come to the conclusion that Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is th
...more
Mike
This was the defining article of Thompson's famed Gonzo journalism approach. With this novel, he gave a wakeup call to both the previous generation, in which he took part in and supported the anti-conformist lifestyle, and the present generation, in which he rallied against the commercial and class values through his drug-induced antics and subsequent reports.
The book is a satirical expose which resulted from failed attempts to cover the 1971 Mint 400 race and the National Attorneys Association
...more
Chris
Sep 17, 2009 Chris rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: BYU students, and everyone else as well
Recommended to Chris by: junkies
When gas prices skyrocketed in the summer of 2008, I actually had to stop huffing that sweet shit and resumed mainlining heroin to occupy all the time I suddenly found on my hands in the absence of a solid addiction. This was probably a good move, economically speaking at least, especially since I’m pretty much a priss about my huffing, and sternly refuse to douse my rags with anything with a gradation below that of rocket fuel (and don’t even bother trying to pawn off some ‘smoke’ on me, unless ...more
Lyn
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson is profane, violent, disturbing, irreverent, and yet compelling.

The reader is entranced as a driver witnessing a bizarre car wreck, horrified but unable to turn away.

It reminds me alternatively of Why Are We in Vietnam?, A Confederacy of Dunces and in a strange way that is indescribable, A Clockwork Orange. It is about the American dream in a similar way that Mailer’s book is about Vietnam
...more
Trenton Judson
A masterpiece! One of the most underrated books in American literature. Thompsons search for the American dream is a journey that leads him through the absurd. This journey is taken at face value, as Thompson and his "lawyer" alter their own perceptions to see the true absurdity of reality, the American dream, and Las Vegas. A great book to read in connection with this is Camus The Stranger. There is a lot more philosophy in Thompson's book than I ever thought was possible. A great surprise, whi ...more
Zaki
Reading this is akin to going through a veritable roller coaster ride of Hunter S. Thompson’s mind: manic, frenetic and desultory.
Ellinor
While reading this book I always thought (or hoped) that there would be a sense behind all this. The book is really famous and also on the 1001 list so I was always looking for some hidden meaning behind all this. But, well, I couldn't find any.
The book is written in a quite fluent style so I read it pretty quickly. The first part still made some sense, but the second part lacked it entirely.
I was only fascinated by one thing: how can anyone take that many drugs and still be able to do anythin
...more
Mohnish
I loved this letter, and a lot of HST's quotes, was pretty much predisposed to give this book 5*. I liked the writing, guffawed a few times, but I'll forget most of it before new years. I wanna read some beat-hip lit that could be as good as One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, but these auto bio-druggy books are brilliance only in chunks. Junky was another similar reading experience. Maybe On The Road will be too.

The wave speech is pretty much the highlight of this book. So if you're not into HST y
...more
Louise
Reading The Footloose American: Following the Hunter S. Thompson Trail Across South America all but required that this be the 5th book in my "reading challenge" (in 2014 read 10 books I've read at least 20 years ago). I picked up a well-worn copy at the library.

Since its publication there have been many drug inspired poems, rants and narratives, but Thompson can't be beat. He's the gold standard of the genre. His prose, narrative and attitude are consistent from paragraph to punctuation.

Thompson
...more
Kedar
This little gem is like one of those drugs in the back of the Red Shark. You never know what the good doctor is going to pick up next and garble something.

I guess now I realize why people praise Hunter S. Thompson so much. He has practically introduced a lot of new phrases that have become staple material later on. Such as "Passively hostile" (passive aggressive), "in the general direction of..." (that Monty Python line) and some others.

I loved the commentary on the phasing out of Uppers and the
...more
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BookTube Reading ...: May - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 9 30 May 17, 2015 10:15PM  
Funniest book ever? 30 183 Apr 28, 2015 01:01PM  
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Literary Exploration: Final Thoughts *Spoilers* 1 12 Mar 01, 2015 02:39PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson 1 9 Jan 17, 2015 08:11PM  
Gonzo Journalism 22 302 Jan 14, 2013 05:17PM  
  • Clown Girl
  • The Informers
  • Filth
  • The Coma
  • Dead Babies
  • The Contortionist's Handbook
  • Slaves of New York
  • The Room
  • Stanley Kubrick's Clockwork Orange
  • The Fuck-Up
  • The Basketball Diaries
  • Nineteen Seventy Seven (Red Riding, #2)
  • Kingdom Come
  • The Insult
  • Leaving Las Vegas
  • Guts
  • Hey Nostradamus!
  • Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson
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Hunter Stockton Thompson was an American journalist and author, famous for his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He is credited as the creator of Gonzo journalism, a style of reporting where reporters involve themselves in the action to such a degree that they become the central figures of their stories. He is also known for his promotion and use of psychedelics and other mind-altering substanc ...more
More about Hunter S. Thompson...
The Rum Diary Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (The Gonzo Papers, #1) Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century

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“No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride...and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well...maybe chalk it off to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.” 1510 likes
“Too weird to live, too rare to die!” 852 likes
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