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Fear and Loathing: The Strange and Terrible Saga of Hunter S. Thompson

4.3  ·  Rating details ·  7,559 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Fear and Loathing creates a sharp and savvy profile of one of the most provocative voices and distinctive personalities of our time. To Hunter S. Thompson, being a Gonzo journalist means doing whatever it takes to get to the truth; everything from dropping acid with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters in the 60s, to participating in wild orgies and getting his nose broken w ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 19th 2004 by Da Capo Press (first published 1992)
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Feb 18, 2009 rated it liked it
more satisfying as a whole than the "oral history" bio by Wenner et al, although less vivid in some ways... Everyone seems to think it was a tragic waste of talent, the way this guy just spent his time as a burnout, ripping editors off and rarely producing quality work... And there are some very ugly suggestions in one or another of these biographies, as to the truly dangerous psychological make-up of Dr Thompson. But everyone should be given the space and information to form their own conclusio ...more
Katie2225
Jun 05, 2008 rated it liked it
While reading this book, I awoke to a ferret walking around on my bed.

I was not on drugs.

I was not dreaming.

I did not own a ferret.
Paul Hansel
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Paul Perry's biography of Hunter gave me basically what I wanted: a relatively intimate look at the man's life. Spanning from his youth in Louisville, KY up through to 1990, it leaves some out (Like his death), but that can hardly be blamed on Perry since it was published in '92.

It reads well, splashed with anecdotes from the 100+ friends and colleagues Perry interviewed. One important part of this book is that it never dissolves into hero worship. Perry, who knew Hunter and was able to convinc
...more
Andoni
May 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Andoni by: Miss Kristy
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


How many of us had dreamed with leaving everything and running away to live a life full of excess, cutting with your normal and ordinary life? Wouldn’t you like to stop the monotony of your every day life? Then “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” is a book that you should read. The book can be the reflection of the life of more than one that left everything in search of the so called “American Dream”.
The uncertainty and locomotion that Hunter S. Thompson gives to this
...more
Glen
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Perry's profile of Thompson, completed and published more than a decade before the journalist's death in 2005, is a much more likable read than its subject-matter. I have never been much of a Thompson fan and so I read this book in hopes of understanding what all the fuss is about. Perry does an admirable job of research and of mixing wild anecdote and legendary episodes alongside more banal details of the business of being a famous writer from whom much in the way of debauchery and excess is ex ...more
Amy M
Apr 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I am finished with the book and I didn't want to put it down. I am tried to savor every page. I had seen the movie with Johnny Depp and I must say that both he and Terry Gilliam really nailed this book on the head when adapting it to the movie! It's a fun read for sure! Thompson was one crazy guy!
Joie Mikitson
May 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I've always been a fan of Hunter S. Thompson's counter-culture persona and gonzo journalism writing style, but man, the guy was a complete dick. He beat his wife, threatened homosexuals, skipped out on tabs and bills constantly, prided himself on his racist comments, was completely self-absorbed, and generally treated everyone around him like shit. I went into this book knowing all that, but it seemed like the author had both a personal vendetta against the man and a grudging admiration for Thom ...more
Bert! Stanton!
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve read most of the books written by Hunter S. Thompson, so it’s refreshing to read something about him from a different perspective. This book chronicles his life from birth to the early 90s. A lot of the material covered are things Hunter wrote about himself, but told from Paul Perry’s point of view, it feels much more honest. I always suspected a lot of what he wrote was not true, and that was reiterated here a lot. It’s also interesting to hear from others how wrapped up Hunter became in t ...more
Jeremy Silver
Some good info and some good stories but I just felt like it fell short of my expectations. The writing was very bland. I feel like this could have been done a lot better even without the direct assistance of the king of Gonzo. Nonetheless, if you're a Hunter S Thompson fan it is still worth a read.
Jeremy Hessman
A solid view of Hunter’s life from forty thousand feet. At times, the book lacked the depths of life that many of Thompson’s fans want to read about. Overall, a good starting point for those wanting to delve into the life of Gonzo.
Edmund Johnson
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thompson is a favorite and this provides some very intesting insight.
Diletta Anselmi
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5
Hugh Ashton
Disappointing in some ways - it gives the story behind the story and de-Gonzos some of the best anecdotes, while attempting to explain some of the motivations that made HST what he was (a prisoner of his own legend). It was published in 1992, which means that the infamous Bill Clinton and french fry incident isn't mentioned, nor does it deal with HST's outrage against the Generation of Swine.

It does, however, (and this is natural, given the sources) spend a lot of time on the relationships betwe
...more
John
May 05, 2013 added it
This book must have the most exciting, hilarious and appalling opening of almost any story. I thought that the Johnny Depp movie didn't live up to the book, when I saw the movie the first time. However, upon a second watch, I think it held up pretty well in comparison. The movie also reminded me of a cool line that Thompson says about how sitting his hotel room in Las Vegas after this drug filled weekend from hell in a hotel full of police, he almost thought he could see the highwater mark left ...more
Rob
Feb 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Paul Perry shows as much of HST's true nature as anyone may ever see. The reader can appreciate the genius of HST's writing gift, and see deep into the man's flaws. HST was the right man for his times, and those times were not always sunny and pretty. In fact HST, took us into the very dark and ugly places of American culture, and this book shows us what made him the right man for that journey. I don't know if I would have liked Mr. Thompson if I ever met him, but this book reveals how he made h ...more
Zeenat
Mar 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Hunter S. Thompson is the father of Gonzo journalism, which blurs the line between fiction and non-fiction in news writing. However, I found this book eye opening to the actual day to day existence of such a profound icon of modern America, and in his own right a leader of generations of non-conformist individuals.

Unlike other biographies that I have read, this is amusing, at times light hearted, and basically places you as Hunter's ghost, following his every move from childhood through his dru
...more
Milly
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I initially picked this bad boy up thinking it was THE bad boy, and was surely disappointed upon realizing it was a biography and since I don't or can't really do biographies, you can imagine my dilemma. Although it took me quite longer than expected, not the authors fault, but my own, it was a great read. Learned more than I would have liked from time to time about Hunter S. Thompson, but overall, this book really did do the job. Highly recommended... Especially for those who can't keep their h ...more
Ryan Thomas
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
The story behind this book is interesting. Essentially, Thompson screwed Perry by not writing a story he was supposed to, so Perry, to get back at Hunter, wrote this bio about him. I liked this better than Gonzo, because I found the tone and perspective weren't as "Thompson is God." It was well researched and easy to read.
Ron
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I doubt that there will ever be a definitive biography of the great one, but this is a very entertaining portrait of the early life that formed the sensibilities of the greatest journalist of this or any other time. Essential reading for fans of Hunter or the truth.
furious
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: only obsessive HST completists
Shelves: bio, mines
if i had read this when i first heard about it (back in the 1990s), i may have liked it. but at this point, it really has nothing to offer. and some of what it does offer has since been discredited by numerous other sources. don't waste your time.
Lynne Larkin
Sep 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Basically Hunter Thompson was a selfish self centered asshole who took drugs in massive quantities drank like a fish and beat up his wife and girlfriends. If I had anything else to read I would have burned this crappy book.
I never liked Thompson's writing and now I dislike him as a person
Adam Muir
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional
Jen
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Great biography
Ray (user2637)
Mar 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Love. Lovelovelove. The audiobook and the movie are good too.
Liz
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Insanetastic
Allieshae
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting take on Hunter S. Thompson.
Monique
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story! Love H.S.T.
Alicia
Nov 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Very over the top. Seemed well-researched, if not particularly well written. Interesting stories.
S.J. Pettersson
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: worn-spines
"The final crest of the wave, the high water mark". Oy vey...
Every time I see a big red shark on the road I get goosebumps...
Patti
Jan 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
Apparently Hunter S Thompson was a complete jerk.
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Paul Perry is an author of a wide variety of subjects from near-death experiences to biographies of authors including Hunter S. Thompson. He is also a documentary film maker. Perry's writing and film making earned him a knighthood in the Royal Family of Portugal.

There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
More about Paul Perry

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