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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream Paperback – May 12 1998

4.7 out of 5 stars 314 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 2 edition (May 12 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679785892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679785897
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 314 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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

From the Inside Flap

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. Opens everywhere on May 22, 1998.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
In this book, two men leave California for Las Vegas in search of the American Dream. Dr. Raoul Duke, a journalist, and Dr. Gonzo, his attorney, go to Las Vegas to cover a story on the Mint 500. While they are there, they are taken over by drugs and forget why they even left California. Through the whole novel both characters become so bungled that not even Duke can remember what he is doing. A part of the book has been transcribed from a recording when Duke had a tape recorder strapped to him. It was during this time that Duke appears to have broken down completely and the book traces back to what he does over a period of time.
Even though this book was hard to follow at times, I really liked this book because of the eccentric humor in it. From the start of the novel it's funny to read how the characters hallucinate, for example, when Duke was on the highway heading for Las Vegas he thinks he see bats and he starts swinging at them but he is really swinging at nothing. Also in the beginning of this story they pick up a hitchhiker and tell him some crazy story about why they are going to Vegas. It was funny because they scare him so badly that he jumped out of the car and ran away in a panic.
I also like this novel because of the fact that nothing in the book is ever accomplished by the two characters. Even so you will never get bored of this book. They never finishing covering the Mint 500, the whole purpose for going to Las Vegas. Neither do they finish covering another story on drugs but because of the crazy incidents they go through because of their over indulgence of drugs its makes the story very interesting.
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Format: Paperback
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is definitely a savage journey to the heart of the American dream. But Thompson's (or more specifically, Raoul Duke's, the narrator of this cult novel) search for the dream may be just an excuse to drink a lot of booze and take a multicolored assortment of drugs. The American dream, apparently, lies in Las Vegas, and this is the setting for one of the funniest and most memorable novels of our time.
This Las Vegas is the Las Vegas Thompson/Duke allows us to see. It's an enjoyably loud and discolored city, with loud obnoxious people and bright blinding lights. But beyond all that, the city is a wading pool for all the absurdities present in this society since its birth. We can be the naive hitchhiker just looking for a ride, or the dumb photographer looking for the best action shots, or the cute blonde stuck in an elevator with a drugged-out ape and his quiet baldheaded compadre. These are the faces associated with the society we've bred: the society obsessed with both looking AND feeling good about itself while at the same time trying to hold onto that fabric of Puritanical or Calvinistic (or whatever) moralism that clung to the Mayflower. These are all people who want a slice of that dream.
For Raoul Duke and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo, all they want to do is load themselves up with drugs, get screwed up (in mind and body), destroy motel rooms, etc., all expenses paid. And what better place for all this than Las Vegas? Apparently, Los Angeles just got too boring for our protagonists. The "mission" to cover the Mint 500 race for a sports magazine is just a slight detour in the action.
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Format: Paperback
Those that love to read about people's adventures during the 60's and 70's will love Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This is a story of a journalist who travels to Vegas to cover a race called "The Mint 400". The only problem is he is a doctor of journalism and an event like this has to be covered is all of the correct preportions. To do this he and his attorny get numerous amounts of drugs and alcohol. They arrive at Vegas just in time to cover the story, but that is the last thing that they want to do. The real purpose of their journey is to find the American Dream. They found it alright but when they saw what it really was they said forget it. They go around breaking all kinds of laws and create all sorts of rukkus. It was all in good fun though and nobody really got hurt. Through out this journey they learn many things including never to give a 16 year old girl that you don't know acid. This book is a very deeply descriptive book and it really puts you in the mind of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. I enjoyed this book so much that I have read several other of his books and I have seen the movies.
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