Christina's Reviews > Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
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May 22, 2011

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Read in January, 2011

I must admit, I was reluctant to read this book. I was not a fan of the movie. I do realize that movies rarely do their books justice, and it was with that notion that I embarked on this journey.

The first 50 or so pages seemed like they were perfectly adapted to the screen. Thus, I didn’t get into the book until a little bit after that. This is when I began to be truly fascinated with Thompson’s knack for fast-paced and entertaining storytelling.

“But our trip was different. It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the national character. It was a gross physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country—but only for those with true grit. And we were chock full of that.” Thompson, known by his alias, ‘Duke’, and his attorney begin their journalism assignment with the American Dream, optimism, and hope in the front seat of the Shark, and with an array of illegal drugs and alcohol in the trunk. Together, they delve into the underbelly of Las Vegas in the early 70s—a place that I would never want to be—in a constant state of some sort of intoxication.

This makes for an interesting journey, probably the closest I’ll ever get to an acid trip. The lure of this book for me was the feeling of insanity that Thompson was feeling, with the drugs, alcohol and sleeplessness. You are declared officially insane after 72 hours without sleep. At 80 hours+ for Thompson by the end of the book, I’d say this proves true.

While it was good quick read, and I appreciated the ease that Thompson has in his writing, I didn’t love it. The same reason I enjoyed it served as the ultimate disconnect: I will never fully comprehend a life like his, even if I felt like I was part of it for 200 pages.

Thompson never did actually cover any of the stories he was sent to. This book serves as the result of his time in Las Vegas. This book is the story he ultimately covered. This is his American Dream.
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