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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas | [Hunter S. Thompson]

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

In Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, Raoul Duke (Thompson) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo (inspired by a friend of Thompson) are quickly diverted to search for the American dream. Their quest is fueled by nearly every drug imaginable and quickly becomes a surreal experience that blurs the line between reality and fantasy. But there is more to this hilarious tale than reckless behavior, for underneath the hallucinogenic facade is a stinging criticism of American greed and consumerism.
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Publisher's Summary

Maverick author Hunter S. Thompson introduced the world to "gonzo journalism" with this cult classic that shot back up the best seller lists after Thompson's suicide in 2005. No book ever written has more perfectly captured the spirit of the 1960s counterculture. In Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, Raoul Duke (Thompson) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo (inspired by a friend of Thompson) are quickly diverted to search for the American dream. Their quest is fueled by nearly every drug imaginable and quickly becomes a surreal experience that blurs the line between reality and fantasy. But there is more to this hilarious tale than reckless behavior, for underneath the hallucinogenic facade is a stinging criticism of American greed and consumerism.

©1971 Hunter S. Thompson; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"The best book on the dope decade." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1286 )
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4.1 (777 )
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Performance
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  •  
    GanjaPlanta 08-14-14
    GanjaPlanta 08-14-14
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    "HST must read"
    Where does Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    best audio book i have heard yet


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?

    It crept up my spine like first rising vibes of an acid frenzy


    Which character – as performed by Ron McLarty – was your favorite?

    duke


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Well... it'll probably work out. We can keep her loaded and peddle her ass at the drug convention. Yeah. She's perfect for this gig. These cops will go fifty bucks a head to beat her into submission and then gang-fuck her. We can set her up in one of these back street motels, hang pictures of Jesus all over the room, then turn these fucking pigs loose on her. Hell, she's strong, man. She'll hold her own.


    Any additional comments?

    written by a man who never "just said no"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jake Port Hueneme, California, United States 08-09-14
    Jake Port Hueneme, California, United States 08-09-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Didn't get it"

    I didn't live in the 60s so maybe I'm unqualified to judge Thompson's satirical prowess, but the book didn't really seem that effective at satirizing anything. He did a lot of drugs and had a bizarre time in Vegas. The story was weird and interesting but also meandering and seemingly pointless. Perhaps there wasn't supposed to be a "point" but I was waiting for something biting or insightful and it never came. I was still entertained though. People are saying the narrator did an awful job, but I thought his narration was compelling with its tone of impending insanity. The book was very much like an acid trip, except you don't get the fleeting, overwhelming epiphanies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Nepean, Ontario, Canada 07-11-14
    Ryan Nepean, Ontario, Canada 07-11-14 Member Since 2013

    University administrator. Commuter cyclist. Dad, husband. Loves books of course. Aspiring Jedi Knight and Warder.

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    "Was this for real...?"

    I had not seen the movie and only knew a bit about Hunter S. Thompson, so my expectations re: the story and narrator were not set. And every so often, I'll pick up a classic story if only to try and give myself a modicum of coolness in the circles a run in ;-).

    First the story. I had to look up Gozo Journalism half-way through the listen and am glad I did because it helped give important context to the book. While it's a story, it's also an article on the Mint 400 and a Law Enforcement conference in Vegas - seen through the eyes of a degenerate drug fiend and his equally deprived friend. In a way it's genius. It's reporting that tells of events while at the same time intertwining an interesting historical sub-culture of the US and this combination greatly enhances the story that the reporter is trying to put across. And what a sub-culture it is! I thought I was wild as a teenager and young man, but my achievements are but an anthill to Thompson's Everest. The drugs and shenanigans these two guys get into... And the drugs. Wow there's a lot of them.

    For me however, it all became a bit too much. At some point it dawned on me that today there are Hunter S. Thompson's out there right now, acting like jackasses, ruining their lives and the lives of others without a care, only for their own personal gratification. We all run into them from time to time and it's not fun. I'm for having a great time, but I guess I felt it was all a bit too much and it turned me off. Perhaps that makes me old or maybe normal. I'm not sure which.

    In any event, as a piece of journalism, I guess this was and is a pretty cool piece of work, but as book to enjoy, I struggled with it. To be clear there are some really funny parts, but the parts in between made me squeamish and eventually annoyed, so at the end of the day I gave a middle of the road review.

    I did really like the narrator. I thought he nailed the two main characters.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 04-17-14
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 04-17-14 Member Since 2014

    I have a rather eclectic love of books. I know what I like and I tend not to be a severe critic. If I enjoyed it, it gets 4 or 5 stars.

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    "Couldn't finish it."

    This book is just strange. Maybe it is because I have never enjoyed the drug culture, but I just could not finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradie Ormond Utah 04-09-14
    Bradie Ormond Utah 04-09-14 Member Since 2012

    wyswyg

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    "Jerks, Violence, Drugs and Vomit"

    Hunter Thompson is no Jack Kerouac. There's nothing redeeming about a single character in this story. I know there's a huge audience for this type of material, but it is not my drug of choice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer MARSHFIELD, MA, United States 03-27-14
    Amazon Customer MARSHFIELD, MA, United States 03-27-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Will they find the American Dream?"

    Well, I listened to this book and it was only a bit over six hours long. Just as well. Nothing happened. I was about 3 hours in when I realized that the story was not going to be about anything, just a look inside the mind of a completely wasted, paranoid drug addict!

    Now, this does not mean that I hated it! On the contrary, I laughed out loud in many spots! I found the digressive monologues involving what could happen if Raoul Duke is actually apprehended by the police to be very funny - crazy paranoid - but with enough truth to understand the grounds for his insane paranoia!

    I did not know much about Hunter S. Thompson before reading this and had only passively heard of Gonzo Journalism. But now I am interested.

    I also watched the movie with my husband after finishing the book. (one of my favorite things to do in the world!) I must say that I think it was done superbly! So spot on with the book! The dialogue between Mr. Duke and his attorney was taken directly from the book as well as many of the descriptive acid trippy scenes.

    Fear and Loathing is not for everyone. I liked it enough and found Raoul Duke and his attorney's journey to discover their American dream in 1971 amusing. It certainly has me thinking about how I envision my American dream in 2014.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett Charlotte, NC, United States 03-20-14
    Brett Charlotte, NC, United States 03-20-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Buy the ticket, take the ride."

    An irreverent mockery of the American dream in all of its filthy greedy excess. I loved this book. Its hard to believe that a guy so wacked out on drugs could be so observant and acute. This has to be Hunter S. Thompson's magnum opus.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, United States 03-17-14
    Christina FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, United States 03-17-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Pure Gonzo"

    This has got to be one of the most lively and boisterous audio books I have ever listened to. I felt right there with the action as Mr. Duke and Dr. Gonzo made their way through a drug-filled misadventure around Vegas proper and beyond. The narrator did a wonderful job making the reader feel as if they were living the action themselves and I've listened to this recording over and over and over again. I highly recommend this recording to anyone wanting a good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard Jr. Oyster Bay, NY, United States 09-05-11
    Howard Jr. Oyster Bay, NY, United States 09-05-11 Member Since 2009
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    "No Johnny Depp?"
    If you could sum up Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in three words, what would they be?

    The quintessential drug scene of the 70's


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?

    Hunter's reflection of the past five years, beginning with the San Francisco acid trip.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The narrator's voice was flat in the beginning, and then as the story progressed he stressed sentences with the wrong inflection.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    No need to. The movie is a classic.


    Any additional comments?

    The book really needed to be read by Johnny Depp.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy 02-02-11
    Timothy 02-02-11
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    "Loads of Fun"

    It's easy to thin Thompson himself is reading this- there are passages when the narrator delivers with all the amphetamine prose.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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