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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  264,934 ratings  ·  5,504 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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Nathan
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Jafar
May 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Lyn
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
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 immaculately compelling.

The reader is as 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
...more
Nadine Larter
Oct 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1001-books
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.
Petra Eggs
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
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Lord Beardsley
Jun 11, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  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 rated it it was amazing
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
Sam Quixote
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Jason Koivu
Feb 11, 2013 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Brian Yahn
Sep 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Fear and Loathing captures the experience of visiting Vegas expertly. It's flashy and in-your-face and fun. Hunter S Thompson has a way with words and characters that immediately draw you into his absurd, drug-filled chronicle. Coherency isn't really his strong point, though. So like Vegas, it severely lacks substance. The chapters ramble along like episodes in a sitcom. All the tangents and digressions and paranoid hallucinations are page-turners for sure, but they don't really connect or go an ...more
Lou
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Franco  Santos
Lo siento. \_(ツ)_/ ...more
L.A. Chalmers
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
the indisputable thompson of his time
Jessie
Mar 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Fede
The main flaw of this book is that the expectations are usually higher than it actually deserves.

''Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'' is supposed to be a hilariously witty portrait of the underground culture of the 70s, when the Summer of Love experience was nothing but a sad memory, already fading away in the burst of violence of those final lysergic days: the Family's murders, the escalating Vietnam atrocities, the ethnic clash, the political tension etc. The American Dream had already turned i
...more
Greg
Aug 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Benji
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017, bookbuster
Ridiculous. I mean, I had a vague memory of watching the film while super high in the second year of university and having an absolute riot, and maybe that should have prepared me for the book.... (But enough about that.)

Nothing can prepare you for this drug and violence-fuelled look at America's seedy underbelly. Hunter S. Thompson was a genius. Read this utterly compelling and captivating book. That is all.
Molly Billygoat
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a giddy, unpredictable, and hilarious escapade of one journalist and his attorney’s travels while on an exorbitant amount of drugs. In Las Vegas to cover a story, the real story centres around their drug-induced mania. Wherever they go, they create chaos as distressing for the characters as it is hilarious for the reader. The characters are erratic and bombastic; two tornadoes that suck in anyone who stands too near.

There are many statements
...more
Jim Fonseca
Oct 05, 2013 rated it liked it
A long drug- and alcohol-frenzied week in Las Vegas. This is written by Hunter Thompson, long-time editor of Rolling Stone, so we know he knows firsthand about what he writes about. I imagine this is one of the best portrayals of what is like to go through life in a drug-frenzy, but the story is laced with humor. It's not great writing, or even good writing, but it holds your attention in the way a magazine column does. But even wild antics can get tedious night after night in a drug-filled haze ...more
Steven Godin
An oddball, wild and crazy thrill ride bursting at the seems with drugs, drugs, and even MORE drugs, how on earth I managed to get through this in one piece is beyond me but did spend a lot of the time laughing my socks off, even if I didn't really have a clue just what the hell was going on, but then again neither did Duke or Dr Gonzo so that makes three of us!. Can't think of anything else to date that comes even remotely close to this so credit to Mr Thompson for that. A total shot in the arm ...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
Emma
Nov 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Lilly
Mar 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Courtney Lindwall
Jul 05, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Joseph Cognard
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There is a CD with bits from this book performed by a bunch of the original SNL cast and writers. It is one of the best audio comedic CD's I have ever heard. Ruined the book slightly, but any fans IMO should seek it out. It is really well done and way better than the movie in my opinion.
I liked the book but because of above CD was a little let down.

Added to original review:
Just re-read, liked it even more now. Longing to hear the above mentioned cd but loaned it to somebody, who I guess thought
...more
Noe Crockett
Feb 24, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book was crap. 204 pages of some dude staying completely wrecked. There was no point, I kept waiting for some deep meaning to come out of it but it never did. A complete waste of my time.
Wayne Barrett

3.5

I'm not sure if this book made me feel like I was stoned or if I needed to be stoned to really appreciate it.

It really was pretty hilarious and it was quite a wild ride. The reason I don't rate it higher even though I compliment it as a hilarious, wild ride, is because aside from the entertaining craziness, there didn't seem to be any cohesive story here. Nothing that had a point (although I think that was the point). Just a couple of fucked up guys in Las Vegas believing they were on a ques
...more
Alex
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
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  • Requiem for a Dream
  • The Contortionist's Handbook
  • Dead Babies
  • Clown Girl
  • The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs
  • Fear and Loathing: The Strange and Terrible Saga of Hunter S. Thompson
  • Junky
  • The Basketball Diaries
  • Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson
  • Leaving Las Vegas
  • The Informers
  • Crash
  • Factotum
  • Big Sur
  • The Fuck-Up
  • The Coma
  • Apathy and Other Small Victories
  • The Joke's Over: Ralph Steadman on Hunter S. Thompson
6,772 followers
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
“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 up to forced consciousness expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.” 1857 likes
“Too weird to live, too rare to die!” 1074 likes
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