Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Other American Stories

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Other American Stories


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First published in Rolling Stone magazine in 1971, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is Hunter S. Thompson's savagely comic account of what happened to this country in the 1960s. It is told through the writer's account of an assignment he undertook with his attorney to visit Las Vegas and "check it out." The book stands as the final word on the highs and lows of that decade, one of the defining works of our time, and a stylistic and journalistic tour de force. As Christopher Lehmann-Haupt wrote in The New York Times, it has "a kind of mad, corrosive prose poetry that picks up where Norman Mailer's An American Dream left off and explores what Tom Wolfe left out."
        This Modern Library edition features Ralph Steadman's original drawings and three companion pieces selected by Dr. Thompson: "Jacket Copy for Fear and Loath-
ing in Las Vegas," "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan," and "The Kentucky Derby Is Deca-
dent and Depraved."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679602989
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/04/1998
Series: Modern Library Series
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 145,185
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Hunter S. Thompson (July 18, 1937 — February 20, 2005) was an American journalist and author. He was known for his flamboyant writing style, most notably deployed in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which blurred the distinctions between writer and subject, fiction and nonfiction.

The best source on Thompson's writing style and personality is Thompson himself. His books include Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga (1966), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (1972), Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (1973); The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (1979); The Curse of Lono (1983); Generation of Swine, Gonzo Papers Vol. 2: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the 80's (1988); and Songs of the Doomed (1990).

Date of Birth:

July 18, 1937

Date of Death:

February 20, 2005

Place of Birth:

Louisville, Kentucky

Place of Death:

Woody Creek, Colorado


U.S. Air Force, honorably discharged in 1957

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Other American Stories 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Dead_Dreamer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Creeping Jesus! This book is fantastic! I can't even remember the last time a book made me laugh so much. I'd seen Terry Gilliam's adaptation, of course, but even that pales by comparison. I'd never read Thompson before; however, his "Gonzo" style of journalistic writing resonated with me immediately. It grabbed me by the lapels and threw me up onto a literary equivalent of a mechanical bull. I held on and rode it out. It was like reading something that's written in the same way my mind works; same logic; same intensity; same madness. We seem to speak the same language -- Bourbonese, I believe it's called.I decided to conduct a literary experiment while reading this book. Knowing that Thompson always wrote while drinking lots of Wild Turkey, I decided to tap the same mental current he was in when he wrote it. So I got real lit on Bourbon and dove in. It worked perfectly, just as I'd expected! I practically felt like I was channeling the shade of the late Gonzo master. His stuff is just brilliant! Of course Thomson and his attorney's hilarious drug-fueled and debauched escapades across Nevada are only surface events in the story. The real story, indeed the very theme of the book, is the search for the "American Dream" -- whatever that is. The social commentary is priceless. It's sort of a snapshot of America circa 1971; still reeling from the various counterculture movements of the late 60s, and starting to come to terms with the fact that America wasn't going to have the bright, utopian, space-age future it was promised in the 50s and early 60s. It seems the nation was going through the equivalent of a societal hangover. Included with the book are fantastic and outrageous illustrations by Ralph Steadman. Great stuff; they enhance the book tremendously. Their collective talents make a great duo. This edition of FEAR AND LOATHING (Modern Library) also contains the works, "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan" and "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved". The former is about the police-killing of Hispanic news reporter Ruben Salazer; the latter is a hysterically funny commentary on Southern lifestyle.
Meggo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't get Hunter S. Thompson. In particular, I don't get a book that chronicles his drug taking and drug-induced psychoses. I never considered myself particularly straight, but I'm obviously too much of a stick in the mud to enjoy this style of writing.
RatSoup on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the most hilarious books I've ever read. I'd recommend it to anyone.Hunter S. Thompson was a genius.
Scrub on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hunter S Thompson's best book. Gonzo writting at it's best. The movie does not do this book justice (of course). You'll take a journey into the real american dream of the 60's and 70's. This might be confusing with all the drugs involved but read between the lines. You'll want to read Fear & Loathing In America after this one, it's a memoir through his letters written during the period he was writting this book.
391 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I started out pretty rough - I couldn't stand the characters, the situation, the narrative. But as I continued reading (thinking, 'hey, everyone seems to love it, what's the big deal?') I fell in love. I'm not sure with what, though - the main character? The era? The life? Something, though, struck me and grabbed me, and having finished it I feel quite content with leaving it it freely mingle on my bookshelf.
Griff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read a very long time ago. A rollicking ride as only Hunter Thompson can provide. I loved his writing for Rolling Stone in the days when Rolling Stone was an excellent source of music information, social commentary and journalism - gonzo or otherwise.
salisb27 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A book about the journey to find "the American dream" amongst madness.This book is so fun to read, but should be restricted in classroom teaching for much older audiences. It can include lessons of madness, counterculture, drug abuse, randomness, and much more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MrVanisawesome More than 1 year ago
Nathan James Mikesell DRUGS! DRUGS! Aparently this book was the American dream in the 60's, I wouldn’t know I’m 18. For a brief description its about two men one a news reporter the other his lawyer. Their journey begins with a road trip to Vegas too cover a news story about a desert race, really nothing to do with the whole story. On the way there and in Vegas they do a countless number of drugs and a abundance amount of alcohol. Its just about how the drugs feel and not being sober for a few weeks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Salem_XIII More than 1 year ago
If you are going to buy this book I would suggestion giving this version I thought. I personally like this one the best because it also includes two other pieces of Thompson's writing. The second one is the first thing I ever read by Thompson. Also, The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved is the first piece of "gonzo" work Thompson ever did. This book overall is a most have for any Thompson fan and a great place to start for readers interested in his writings.
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fattrucker More than 1 year ago
You really had to be there, the seventies I mean. You see, what really made the seventies even possible was drinking and driving. And the drugs. And the fact that the cops hadn't gotten up to speed in terms of enforcement yet. It was a crazy time when outlandish behaviour was tolerated, expected even, and nothing was considered over the line. It's one thing to make that journey into the dark heart of the American dream, it's another thing altogether to come back and tell the tale. Few qualify. No one has done it quite so well. RIP Hunter Thompson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ckcSC More than 1 year ago
Buy the ticket,take the ride.A must read !!!!!!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The story is an account of Thompson and attorney Oscar Zeta Acosta¿s trip to Las Vegas. They are referred to as Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo respectively. Thompson was interviewing Acosta for a story he was working on for Rolling Stone. It was a story on the murder of Ruben Salazar by Los Angeles police during the National Chicano Moratorium March against the Vietnam War. Thompson was also supposed to write photo captions for a race in Las Vegas for Sports Illustrated. Thompson thought that if he got Acosta out of LA he would be more inclined to talk openly for the interview. Thompson was hired to write 250 words for the photo captions, but when he submitted what turned out to be a 2,500 word manuscript, Sports Illustrated ¿aggressively rejected¿ it. He then ended up having it featured in Rolling Stone before it was put out in novel form. This book is one of my favorites of all time not just for its writing style, which I adore, but also for its overall meaning and themes which can get lost in all of the violence, drug use and insanity. This book is not for everyone and definitely not for the faint of heart. It is a screaming roller coaster of insanity that eventually spirals out of control and crashes. It can be very ugly and depressing, but at the same time I still consider it one of the best things I¿ve ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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 story is unique. The story of a magazine writer and his attorney in the search of new life style is the main idea of the story. A life full of excess in a time that would give all that you need to adopt this life style.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hunter S. Thompson's masterpiece, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, is not only a fine work that showcases the beginning stages of Thompson's innovative invention 'pure Gonzo journalism,' it is also a hilarious fast-paced trip through Las Vegas circa 1971, with some fresh mournings on the death of the Swingin' Sixties and the consequences that the flower children and other survivors will need to face to make it through the seventies. This is NOT A BOOK FOR THE QUEASY OR CLOSEMINDED, yet this is a book of several themes that a wide range of people can enjoy, even the more straightlaced. Those interested in history and politics will enjoy the biting social commentary, those interested in journalism and writing might find the action-filled first person intriguing, and those interested in psychology and drug abuse or drug culture will find 'Duke' an interesting study. Above all, however, this book is about FUN. Thompson admits that he immensely enjoyed writing this story (which is rare, for him), and the whole excursion centers around basically just trying to have a great time, and succeeding despite outside influences... for good or bad. This is also a jaded look at the American Dream. I recommend seeing the movie before AND after reading the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr. Thompson gets to the heart of America by tripping all the way. I thoroughly enjoy all of his writing, but this had a certain unique branding to it. Sometimes hard to follow, but always entertaining and actually made you look at what America does stand for.