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Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas And Other American Stories

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,587 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Dr. Thompson made the list of inspirational scribes when I polled in a recent writing workshop, and why not? Back in a spiffy Modern Library edition, replete with additional essays, I find in this iconographic work that HST both invoked--and provoked--an era that was not so much the '60s proper, but rather the mean, shadow-filled death of that time, which is still playing ...more
Hardcover, 283 pages
Published May 5th 1998 by Random House USA Inc (first published 1971)
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Jeffrey Keeten
“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.”

 photo HunterSThompson_zpsa91587fd.jpg

When I was attending college at the esteemed institution of the University of Arizona I scored a ticket to see Hunter S. Thompson. My book friends were green with envy or it could have just been the pallor left over from the drinking bout the night before. A
...more
Lp
Sep 04, 2007 Lp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the few books out there that literally made me laugh out loud. As your lawyer, I advise you to read it.
Jason
Wow. This book is bloody brilliant. It goes along at one hell of a pace. The book starts off hilariously funny, some of the things they get up to and how they stay under some kind of control makes for an awesome read.

It's not all fun and games though, the fear and the loathing soon start to creep into them, there is so much paranoia its hard to keep up. How they don't end up dead, especially with how violent the attorney is, amazed me.

The favourite part of the book for me though was the illustra
...more
Whitney
May 21, 2014 Whitney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent guidebook to surviving the straight world as a drug connoisseur. A lot of people write this off as some sort of nonsense drug rant. Those are usually the same sort of people Thompson is describing in the book. Naive, sheltered, invested in the illusion of the "American Dream". I think part of the reason this book is underrated these days is because it's style has been poorly copied to death.

I saw the movie a long time ago as an adolescent. I was expecting something as diffic
...more
Brandon Cavanaugh
Thompson’s first book, Hell’s Angels, closes with a mesmerizing description of what it’s like to push a motorcycle to a speed where the rider can feel the machine begin to shake and unhinge as the tires spin so fast they can no longer grip the road. Thompson’s time with the Angels pushed him to the brink and the book’s conclusion left the reader to wonder whether he would ever make it back. Fear and Loathing provides the answer – nahhhh….not even close.

In Fear and Loathing, Thompson uses Las Ve
...more
Brian
Jan 05, 2011 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the telling of Hunter S. Thompson's wild and hysterical drug filled romp in Vegas. It does a great job of depicting the hilarious insanity and paranoia of a drug binge. Vegas is the perfect place for all of these off the wall situations and responses. I read this over a Vegas weekend bachelor party - my trip wasn't quite this crazy. This novel has one of the better opening lines, 'We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to ...more
Raw Bean
Jul 13, 2015 Raw Bean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Old elephants limp off to the hills to die; old Americans go out to the highway and drive themselves to death with huge cars.”

As your attorney, I advise you to read this novel.

As hophead diaries go, those who have been exposed to William S. Burroughs will find the surprisingly lucid, semi-autobiographical escapades of Gonzo journalist Thompson and his raving shyster sidekick somewhat toothless, but also infinitely more accessible. Anyone who’s ever been in at least tentative contact with mind-e
...more
Taylor Cooper
Apr 12, 2015 Taylor Cooper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Too weird to live, too rare to die!”
“In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”
“We can't stop here, this is bat country!”
“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.”
“Good people drink good beer.”
“We had t
...more
April
Jun 09, 2016 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hotdamn, this guy is a beast. I heard about the movie before I knew there was a book, but I didn't watch it and only caught snippets of it on YouTube after reading through the first parts of the story. I don't think I could stand watching a whole 60+ minutes of this craziness because it probably would have made just as much sense as the writing, which, in a drug-induced insanity, could be called making sense. I watched interviews with Johnny Depp as he talked about Hunter S. Thompson and then wa ...more
Samuel Gompers
Jun 21, 2015 Samuel Gompers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This non-fiction by Hunter S. Thompson was a brilliant (and hilarious) book. Hunter S. Thompson describes his drug induced voyage of covering a motor-sports race for the Rolling Stone magazine in Las Vegas. Mr. Thompson is a man of great vision and truth and is the ultimate satirist of the world and himself.

He takes the logical premises of many in society around him and follows them to their absurd conclusion while doing it under the influence of a cocktail of high powered narcotics. He delves i
...more
Pan
Dec 09, 2010 Pan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
the movie follows the novel pretty damn closely, so i wish i had had the opportunity to read this before seeing the movie a million times. still mad and enjoyable! makes me want to take a crazy, drug-fueled adventure.

4 stars, but i already loved it before i read it so i am biased.
Kristin
Feb 02, 2009 Kristin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Seriously? I got stuck reading this Kerouac ripoff freshman year of college. I'm not sure why I was supposed to care about this bonehead and his never-ending quest to get high. And yeah I know those beat books all involve drug use, but it was never the focus. Waste of time.
Natalie
Man, do I love reading books about people fucked out of their skull on drugs. Especially if the book is as funny as this one. Unfortunately, "out of one's mind on drugs" and "funny" do not always coincide in literature.
Robert Brown
This is the book that came at the end of the counter culture movement. A tale that examines the American Dream through a drug fueled week in Las Vegas. This book is fun to read, but can also be disgusting. Thompson writes with a honesty that I admire, and helped him reach the fame of being the people's journalist of that era. Fear and Loathing also challenge Timothy Leary's psychedelic drug craze, where Leary suggested to key to understanding life is through the use of illicit substances. Thomps ...more
Janet
Sep 10, 2014 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a desert rat, I found the description of the Vegas scene in the early 19y0s enchanting, amusing, and, in some ways, disturbingly true to life. The illustrations featured in this edition, I felt, also very effectively supplemented the piece. While I feel the Las Vegas establishment wishes this descriptive narrative would vanish into thin air because of the seedy, drug-addled portrayal of the place, it's a wonderful and easy read that'll take you on a vacation that you'd truly rather read about ...more
Darius
Sep 24, 2015 Darius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thompson hiding out from the law while reporting on a racing event in the middle of the desert flees Los Angeles in search of adventure and asylum. After an injection of cash from the money man and a few too many illicitly ingested narcotics he finds himself in a world of strange hallucinations, and even stranger circumstances all fueled by his love for drugs, and the freedom of the open road.

I love this story of a drug addled journalist experiencing a thrilling time in Las Vegas as he fights th
...more
Alexis
This was hands down the worst book I have ever read. Considering that I have read A Canticle for Leibowitz, that it quite a statement. My mind boggles when I think that this is 1) a classic book 2) the writer has made a living off of this verbal diarrhea 3) this story was made into a movie starring Johnny Depp??????????? The main story of this novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, is pure nonsense, utter trash. Talk about babbling about nothing. I really fail to see who could possibly enjoy rea ...more
Julia
Aug 18, 2007 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one under 18
Although this book came highly recommended and does have its literary moments, it is hard for me to totally appreciate it as others do. There seems to be no real point besides portraying two semi-depressed, drugged out, lying crazys in the already twisted city of Las Vegas and how they systematically destroy their health with a wide assortment of illegal substances and cheat death repeatedly. This book is in itself a psychedelic twisted journey through the drug crazed head of one of America's mo ...more
Matt
Oct 04, 2007 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I began this thinking that I would not like it that much, but more than the cover, you can't judge a book by the people who love it. The main piece, Fear and Loathing itself, impressed me as a piece of writing, but I was also rather appalled by the paranoid disaster that was the combined forces of Duke and his Attorney. Beautifully written, I found very little admirable in what they did, and was continually amazed that neither had died. After I finished it I read the original jacket copy for Fea ...more
Michelle
If you've been to Las Vegas, you'll understand it probably would be the most terrifying place to be high on drugs. Or maybe you speak from experience. In any case, I don't think you've done as many drugs as Hunter S. Thompson/Raoul Duke reputedly does in Fear and Loathing in any locale. People are clearly drawn to this book because of it, and it is perversely fascinating, truth be damned. It's a dysphoric period piece capturing the burnout from the 60's with Thompson's own weirdness melded in.

It
...more
Joe Chapman
Dec 23, 2013 Joe Chapman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Vegas piece was very entertaining. The very finest "Gonzo" piece I've read by the man. It made me feel like if any of the fictional parts of the story had actually happened, that he would have fried in the chair, and never would've made it out of Vegas alive. That made for some fun reading!

On the Salazar piece: This is the second draft of the same piece I've read, and it still hits with equal power. It would make any journalist, who was on the same side, think twice about what they were writ
...more
Dana Garett
Mar 16, 2014 Dana Garett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just recently discovered Hunter S. Thompson; a devotee friend of mine encouraged me to read this and it was phenomenal. I was exhausted after finishing it , I wanted to join him at the Polo Lounge for a drink. The Atzlan piece was even better, I felt like I was right there with him the entire time; he captures everything from the sun streaming in through the small high windows of the bar to the cultural powder keg of the time. Really amazing stuff.
ryan
Sep 16, 2007 ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is hilarious. Buy this edition, as it contains an essay Thompson wrote about attending the Kentucky Derby that is absolutely brilliant (and also hilarious). The sort-of autobiographical account of Thompson's trip to Vegas with his fat-assed lawyer, ostensibly to cover a motorcycle race, but quickly becomes an account of human depravity the likes of which has not been read in literature since the Marquis de Sade. Luckily, Thompson isn't nearly the mindless hedonist many who have heard o ...more
Sean Seger
Jan 25, 2008 Sean Seger rated it it was amazing
There are some really very funny and disturbing moments in this book, but what stands out is the melancholy. The more Hunter S. Thompson spirals into the decadence around him, the more he sees the folly and sadness of what the 60s became. That's where Thompson shines. He doesn't criticize the drugs, he criticizes the naivety of the drug culture evangelists. He doesn't call those opposed to drugs stupid, he just shows the stupidity of their stereotypes about the drug culture. It's caustic, it's d ...more
Danny Romero
Jun 02, 2015 Danny Romero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A rousing tale of the booze fuelled and drug induced adventures of Duke and Gonzo. I loved this book because of the journalist in Duke and it made me want to go on crazy adventures while covering news stories.
Kevin
May 02, 2015 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had never read an HST book so decided to try this one. There were some very funny parts but overall felt like a period piece. This was certainly more shocking in 1971.
Crankyfacedknitter
Oct 12, 2014 Crankyfacedknitter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-challenge
I think I'm missing some important context, here, unless Thompson was only trying to illustrate the madness of the drug culture. In which case...success, I guess?
Noli  Janos
Jun 27, 2015 Noli Janos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
watched the movie before seein it, albeit like 6 years ago. ok, content wise entertaining but any longer of the shit and it woulda been drawn out. funny. deeper than surface level. dare i say, no bukowski?
Matthew Thomas
Jun 23, 2015 Matthew Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A stronger story than the film, with a better ending. The illustrations in the book were a wonderful surprise. Think Phantom Tollbooth on acid.
Jennifer
Apr 20, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I really don't know how to describe this book. It was bizarre, terrifying, and hilarious. How about those drawings???
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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
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