Thursday, 20 June 2013

Review // Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter. S. Thompson

Published - 4th April 2005
Publisher - Harper
Format - Paperback
Synopsis - Hunter S. Thompson is driving to Las Vegas with his attorney, the Samoan, to find the dark side of the American Dream. Roaring down the desert highway from Los Angeles, they realize there’s only way to go about such a perilous task: getting very, very, twisted. Armed with a drug arsenal of stupendous proportions, the duo engage in a maniac surreal tour of the sleaze capital of the world. Their perilous, chemically-enhanced confrontations with casino operators, police officers and assorted Middle Americans have a hallucinatory humor and nightmare terror. Riotously funny, daringly original and dead serious at its core, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a classic statement on the collapsed dream of the American Sixties.

Firstly I should say that I read this book in 2 halves with a year gap in between! I don't think it hindered my reading of the book at all but there may have been things i've missed. Fear and Loathing is one of those books that i'd always heard about but had never had any real interest in reading. Then last year a friend read me his favourite passage and it was so incredibly written that I went hunting for it the next day. 

The writing style is unlike anything I have read before. Its bizarre, fast-paced, and drug fuelled plot and language draws you in immediately. At times it is difficult to really follow what is going on but it fits with the feel of the novel and the subject matter. The book is filled with fast and furious scrambling that is broken up by beautiful and lucid moments. I have no personal experience with drugs but the writing style sets out to disorientate and blur your perception so realistically, that it is easy to get in the right frame of mind.

Fear and Loathing is also really funny! Something that I didn't expect. I don't feel like there is much characterisation in the book as the focus is on the culture of drugs and the crumbling of the American Dream. Fear and Loathing is a rollercoaster of a read. If anyone could recommend another Thompson book, that would be great. Let me know if you've read the book and what you think.

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