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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream [Paperback]

Hunter S. Thompson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (305 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 12 1998 Vintage
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.

Now this cult classic of gonzo journalism is a major motion picture from Universal, directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro.

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream + Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga + The Rum Diary: A Novel
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Heralded as the "best book on the dope decade" by the New York Times Book Review, Hunter S. Thompson's documented drug orgy through Las Vegas would no doubt leave Nancy Reagan blushing and D.A.R.E. founders rethinking their motto. Under the pseudonym of Raoul Duke, Thompson travels with his Samoan attorney, Dr. Gonzo, in a souped-up convertible dubbed the "Great Red Shark." In its trunk, they stow "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 multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers.... A quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls," which they manage to consume during their short tour.

On assignment from a sports magazine to cover "the fabulous Mint 400"--a free-for-all biker's race in the heart of the Nevada desert--the drug-a-delic duo stumbles through Vegas in hallucinatory hopes of finding the American dream (two truck-stop waitresses tell them it's nearby, but can't remember if it's on the right or the left). They of course never get the story, but they do commit the only sins in Vegas: "burning the locals, abusing the tourists, terrifying the help." For Thompson to remember and pen his experiences with such clarity and wit is nothing short of a miracle; an impressive feat no matter how one feels about the subject matter. A first-rate sensibility twinger, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a pop-culture classic, an icon of an era past, and a nugget of pure comedic genius. --Rebekah Warren

Review

'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a scorching epochal sensation. There are only two adjectives authors care about any more - 'brilliant' and 'outrageous' - and Hunter Thompson has a freehold on both of them' Tom Wolfe --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a ride... June 19 2001
Format:Paperback
Hunter S Thompson's journey to find the American dream and consume as many ilicit substances as possible on the way is a fantastic, exciting and classic read through the drug hazed mind of Thompson.
He is heading to Las Vegas to cover the "Mint 400", a motorbike race where there is more desert dust than media story. Armed with a boot-full of drugs and his aggressive, slightly crazed Samoan lawyer Dr Gonzo, they rocket across the highway in their "great red shark" convertible in search of the fabled American Dream.
Thompson's graphically acurate descriptions of their drug binge across the buzzing lights and sounds of Vegas are truly remarkable and funny. He pokes fun at what is deemed the dream as they fraud their way through two 5* hotels and encounter many other fun and perilous adventures on the way. My favourite parts (the whole book is full of them) are when they pick up the hitchhiker, the bath scene with "White Rabbit" (a Jefferson Airplane song), the police anti-drug rally and the scene before entering and inside the Circus Circus casino.
A truly wacked out and crazy adventure story through the eyes of an original hippie tripper, whose analysis and derision of things around him is delivered in a fun and insightful manner. A thoroughly enjoyable read; laugh along at this audacious adventure. If you have seen the movie, you will enjoy the book; if you have read the book you will enjoy the movie. A mirror of each other...a total classic!
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5.0 out of 5 stars first paragraph should hook you... June 10 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The opening words still thrill me, even though they are terrifying and articulate an American nightmare. Thompson and his Samoan Attorney on the road to hell, Las Vegas and druggie Nirvana. The movies have had a good go at this but it must be read. Thompson's classic is completely original, weird and profound. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is exactly what the title promises with Thompson's sociopathic wit and vision devastating the veneer of the American Dream. Highly recommended. Best read surrounded by phantasmagoric colours with Cream playing in the background.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic! April 29 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Classic hunter s thompson...exactly what youd expect. Read the book after seeing the movie and believe me the movie doesnt do justice to this book at alllllll ! A. Must read
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5.0 out of 5 stars funniest book ever written Aug. 30 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'll never get tired of reading this timeless classic. I think this is my 3rd copy, read it once a year minimum.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Classic Feb. 21 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this book because of the Rum Diary, very diffrent. Movie is a greeat depiction, but there's always more in the book. Great read, exactly what I was looking for.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fear and Loathing In Toronto July 29 2012
By Pete
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The best book I've ever read, period. It makes the movie look like a brief summary of the events which took place and I would suggest anyone who watched the movie to read the book. The writing style, though at first glance to a reader like me, seems like a dry narrative with barely any talking, but once you start to read it, you see that the entire book is the voice of Hunter S. Thompson, or in this case, Raoul Duke. It's a short read, but an amazing one.

The Quality of the book I received was excellent, and though it slightly used, it just looks old, not torn or destroyed and since this book was published in 1971, I, personally, would rather have something closer to a first edition. All the pages were there and there were no markings.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Classic March 30 1999
Format:Paperback
I became aware of this book from press about the movie. It was what I was looking for. Something different and new, yet written 25 years ago. This book is so hilarious and disturbing at the same time that I didn't want it to end. When I put it down I had to mentally thank Dr. Thompson for putting on paper something that could be enjoyed so much. If you've seen the movie, do yourself a favor and pick up the book. It both compliments and enhances the movie experience. A book you can easily read more than once and find new things each time - a masterpiece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This nonfiction account of Hunter S Thompson's search for the American Dream is a trip you won't soon forget. It is not for the meek or squeamish. The substance abuse is staggering. I imagine there is some degree of exaggeration. Thompson himself had admitted as much in interviews. I must warn that the consumption in this book will be shocking if not scandalous to many.
FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS rocks with an unerring intensity. This book is written like a typewriter tanked on meth. The road trip, the hitchhiker, the booze and the drugs, spending an employers money destroying hotel rooms. It is a full force assault on the senses. It left me dazed and confused. It is hilarious at times but in that guilty way when you know that you really shouldn't be laughing. Raoul Duke is like Jerry Seinfeld in that you know he's a jerk but you can't help liking him.
Thompson was an extreme individual. He was notorious for missing deadlines. Reading this book makes it easy to see why. He was very absorbed in the moment. He seemed more intent on getting hammered than on writing the book. But in the end, his extraordinary talent allowed him to produce an amazing book.
Thompson is able to convey the sensation of being there as all this insanity unfolds. The carefree excitement of youthfulness is captured here. I always feel more alive when I finish this novel.
This book is for readers who like an intense, tumultuous trip into madness. It is shocking and even offensive to some but it is a great ride for those that like a bit of shock value in their entertainment. Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- very much on my mind since I purchased a "used" copy off Amazon is "THE LOSERS CLUB: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an exceptional, manic novel I can't stop thinking about, by an author whose style was very much influenced by Thompson.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Hey Mister Tambourine Man...
Thompson was one funny guy. Some of the anecdotes in "Fear and Loathing" are destructively hilarious. The bible of the drug counter-culture. Worthy of a read, that's for sure.
Published on Dec 14 2007 by Benjamin Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars the gonzoest of them all
The good doctor may have reached the peak of his literary prowess with this book, at least in the sense that here he was willing to be his most funny and fun. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2007 by Paul J. Fitzgerald
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
Hunter is fantastic. Hunter is god. This book turned film shows how a drug binge turns into fantastic reading especially in Hunter descriptive style. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2005 by Corey Joyce
5.0 out of 5 stars Luridly Entertaining and Brilliant! Now and forever!
This nonfiction account of Hunter S Thompson's search for the American Dream is a trip you won't soon forget. It is not for the meek or squeamish. Read more
Published on July 7 2005 by Stafford
5.0 out of 5 stars Luridly Entertaining and Brilliant! Now and forever!
This nonfiction account of Hunter S Thompson's search for the American Dream is a trip you won't soon forget. It is not for the meek or squeamish. Read more
Published on May 18 2005 by Stafford
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pioneer
Hunter S. Thompson was a true pioneer. His FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS paved the way for Jay McInerney (BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY), Rikki Lee Travolta (MY FRACTURED LIFE), Chuck... Read more
Published on March 23 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindblowing at the very least!
This nonfiction account of Hunter S Thompson's search for the American Dream is a trip you won't soon forget. It is not for the meek or squeamish. Read more
Published on July 1 2004
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