Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas—Hunter S. Thompson
Caution: Working lizard bouncing in Las Vegas. Be prepared to let Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo bend, bounce, and bound your fictional reading for a journalistic jolt of an ether experience.
“Did you see the guy running after George Forman with a tennis racket?” said Hunter S. Thompson to George Plimpton, who was in the Hotel Inter-Continental in Zaire, Africa for the Ali vs Foreman fight. Plimpton writes in Shadow Boxer, “When I scanned to see, the lobby was jammed.” His account of this conversation was not bizarre, but business to Hunter S. Thompson, who was in rare form as a participatory, i.e. a “Gonzo” journalist.
Your conscious, in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, is in the form of the hitchhiker. Metaphorically speaking, without mescaline that is, a choice is made when the reader decides to become induced by Thompson’s story, and vicariously stay in the “Red Shark” on its way to Las Vegas…leaving behind all fears in the desert.
In search of the American Dream of the 1960’s, Hunter S. Thompson pulls up the carpet of current events in 1971, to find the ideals of a generation now challenged, if not trying to be controlled; he finds a contraband of contradictions.
The reality of the time, fictionalized in Hunter S. Thompson’s method, is greatly exposed. This is what makes the novel from his perspective so powerful. The Beat Generation, Kerouac, et al., also have documented their journals into fictional novels. Thus, Thompson’s involvement in every exercise of his work is for the reader’s vicarious justice.
Oscar Zeta Acosta: Dr. Gonzo, also known as the “300 pound Samoan attorney” was a real life attorney. He was a lawyer, activist, and author of two books: Revolt of the Cockroach People and Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo.
Ralph Steadman: As an artist and illustrator, his art work is prominent in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Steadman’s contributions are a fantastic compliment to Thompson’s “Gonzo” journalism.
Hunter S. Thompson’s other notable books: Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga and Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail. Also, he wrote for Rolling Stone magazine and various publications. His reporting style for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a combination of comprehensive and, at times, a perfunctory placing of coverage, entails Thompson’s lengthy translation of humanity in the United States of American, year 1971.
He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man—Dr. Johnson