Review: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is one of those books that are perenially referenced and riffed off, not just the movie which I have been recommended but never watched, but also the ideas and imagery are recycled in numerous places; Warren Ellis is clearly influenced by Thompson for a start.

Fear and Loathing isn’t a novel, per se, it’s gonzo journalism, a reporting style without pretensions of objectivity, generally with the reporter included in the narrative. Hence, despite it generally being classed as a novel, there is no characterisation or story structure or plot. Yet this is an important book, a first person narrative with nothing held back. More, it is a great book. Even the chapter that Thompson didn’t write but merely submitted the tapes of is amazing, and rawer for the fact that the madness is delivered unadulterated.

I enjoyed Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas immensely and would re-read it in future. I will probably also finally get around to watching the movie, but before that I want to read Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.

Leave a Reply