Contains the journalist's classic account of his visit to Las Vegas, and includes three companion pieces
A classic of American journalism from the aftermath of the '60s, Hunter S. Thompson's FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, the chronicle of his life on the road and on drugs, was originally published serially in Rolling Stone in 1971. Dubbing himself a "Gonzo journalist," Thompson devoted his entire career to defining that term as a reporter whose subjectivity is complete and unabashed--the reverse of the traditions of journalism--and who glories in his own savage, rule-breaking nuttiness. In FEAR AND LOATHING, Raoul Duke (Thompson's alter ego) and his lawyer drive to L.A. in a rented red Chevy convertible to cover a motorcycle race. They are actually, Duke tells us, in pursuit of the American Dream. But, from the memorable and oft-quoted opening sentence ("We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold") to the inventory of drugs hidden in the Chevy's trunk (grass, mescaline, blotter acid, ******, "and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers," plus a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls), Thompson's demented travelogue never lets up on the intensity of its criticism of a country where the American Dream is long-gone, the police-state mentality rules, and only drugs and laughter make sense. The whole mad adventure, illustrated with Ralph Steadman's grotesquely hilarious drawings, achieves an unexpected poignancy as an illustration of the book's epigraph, from Samuel Johnson: "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."
- Language + Art + Disciplines, Biography + Autobiography
- Literary, General, Journalism
- May 1, 1998
- May 1, 1998
- Hunter S. Thompson
- Ralph Steadman