Looking Back at a Cult Classic Book: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Joel Disbrow

               “We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold.” That famous quote was used in the cult classic book named Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas from a Gonzo journalist named Hunter Stockmon Thompson (Hunter S. Thomspon for short or his fake name used mostly during the movie Raoul Duke) with his partner named Oscar Zeta Acosta (nicknamed Dr. Gonzo) going to Las Vegas with their Red Cadillac Eldorado Convertible for The Mint 100 motorcycle race to do a journalism story and finding the American Dream. Hunter and Gonzo also have an alarming amount of drugs on them and as it increases, the more fear is being introduced. Hunter and Gonzo trash their hotels and don’t even pay the bills of anything introduced to them. Gonzo gives Hunter some sunshine acid and by the time Hunter and Gonzo get to the hotel, Hunter is tripping out and seeing things. For example, Hunter sees the floor of the casino in the hotel turn to blood and he exclaims something about needing golf shoes. They trash wreck cars and see more hallucinogenic monsters as well. 

             This book is my favorite book of all time. I often found myself laughing at the wacky drawings (made by Ralph Steadman) and the strange humor used mostly used during the book. I enjoyed reading the book and there was never really a dull part of the book. There was also a movie made by Terry Gilliam which was just as classic and iconic as the book was. The way Hunter S. Thompson writes poetic is a nice cherry on top of this already great book. The book also has ink spilling which is also a nice touch to the book. It makes it look like Hunter was writing the book and accidentally made the ink fall over from doing so much drugs. 


             One complaint about Fear and Loathing is that the plot is kind of out of the place. For example, how did Hunter and Dr. Gonzo never get caught taking drugs? How did Hunter and Gonzo never overdose? Those questions leave a little bit of plot holes in the book, but the book is still effective in keeping me in the book. For example, in the movie Rambo 2 First Blood, the people in the movie fire a thousand bullets at the main character Rambo and he doesn’t manage to get by a single bullet. That makes me out of the moment and that is pretty much the main reason the thing I didn’t like about Rambo 2 and that’s my only complaint about Fear and Loathing. 


          Overall, I give this book along with the movie adaptation a A+ (10/10)