Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas
Updated: Jul 12, 2018
I ain’t gunna lie to you lovelies, I love books like pigeons love shitting on everything you love. These are my favourite and best books. Books I’ve Alien style hunted down in libraries, books I’ve gone without the sun or toilet breaks for,* books I’ve dreamt about when I should be 'concentrating on the road'.
This week is Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, the novel that launch a thousand drug habits.
*Nothing wrong with a good old chamber pot.
Date of Birth:
11 of November 1971.
Raoul Duke is roaring down the desert highway to Las Vegas with his attorney, the Samoan, to find the dark side of the American Dream. Armed with a drug arsenal of stupendous proportions, the duo engage in a surreal succession of chemically enhanced confrontations with casino operators, police officers and assorted Middle Americans.
Why it’s great:
The surreal novel stumbles from one crazy event to the next as two odd balls abuse their bodies, minds and hotel rooms in 1970’s Las Vegas. About ten pages in, you’ll either give up, or just learn to roll with the eccentric narrative. Those that stick with it are rewarded with a novel that is bat shit crazy (we are in bat country after all) as it is thought provoking. Thompson welds a crow bar and starts prying away at everything you thought you knew about drug culture, the American dream and journalism. A brilliant read that explores both the life and death of Counter-Culture and ponders at the American nation's unknown future. As relevant today as when he wrote it.
Best Place to Read:
In a grits and eggs diner hiding your hangover behind mirror aviators.
Dinner Party Prat Fact:
After Thompson died, his ashes were fired from a cannon, that was placed on top of a tower reaching nearly 50 meters high. Along with fireworks, Bob Dylan’s “Mr Tambourine” was played. The whole funeral was paid for by Thompson's friend Jonny Depp.
It’s called the ‘Wave Speech’, and not only is it my favourite quote of the book, it is one of my all-time favourite pieces of writing. Here’s a small part of it;
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era - the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run ... but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of the world. Whatever it meant.
If you like Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr, you'll like this book.
In a word: