Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Just got done reading it earlier today. Brilliant! This book was a joy from beggining to end. I don’t think it really had a point, and the whole thing about the search for the Amercican Dream* seemed sort of tacked on, but I was grinning during at least half of the time I was reading it. And the the first chapter in this book is probably one of the funniest chapters I’ve read in any book**. The illistrations were nice to. Sorta left me wishing more books had them. Oddly enough, I didn’t care for the movie so much even though it was very accurate, and the performances were good…I suppose some of this can be chalked up to seeing this on a old VHS, combined in which the way Johnny Depp spoke as Hunter S Thompson (which he did great), it made the dialogue damn near impossible to hear. Having read this book, seeing bits of the movie for the second time on Bravo, and watching a trailer of it someplace online, has sparked my interest in owning the DVD. However, as usually is the case with me, I prefer owning the best edition of the movie that’s out there, which is the $40 Critereon Collection edition.

Dangerously expensive.

Can anyone tell me wether all the special features make it worth owning? Specialy features are all good and fine, but I’m only going to spend this much on a DVD if there’s some geniuenly entertaining interviews, looks at the creation of the book and movie, artwork, commentaries worth listening to for a change of pace, and good stuff all around.

Anyone here own it? What say you?

Just what is “The American Dream” supposed to mean? In the book, it seems to have been described as the sum of all of the different possibilites in which one could live. Is this nomraly what people mean when they use this phrase?

Clicky clicky Here’s a link to the amazon.com sample of the book. Most of the first chapter can be read here.

Hunter S. Thompson comes somewhere between libertarian and anarchist, with an emphasis on “if man has invented it, I should be allowed to purchase it and misuse it, whatever the hazard to my health or safety. If man has not invented it, I should be allowed to take lots of drugs so that I may imagine how it could be invented.” Pure freedom with little or no responsibility. Cops for preventing murders and as convenient targets for ridicule.

It’s a tempting but ultimately puerile vision, and I can’t help but think that he’s ridiculing it to some extent, or demonstrating, in his twisted back-handed way, that freedom requires responsibility.

That’s just my take on it. I loved the “bat country” bits and the D.A. Convention. Oh, and the Okie hitchhiker.

I noticed this book is labled as nonfiction. Just how much of this is true? Did Hunter Thompson actually do all of this and get away with it. Are there records of one, Raoul Duke, causing havoc in Vegas in the early 70s?

In his book 10 Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed & Other Surprising Movie Lists Richard Roeper rates Where the Buffalo Roam as one of the 40 worst movies he has seen. Here is the entry for it,

I have to agree with that.

I just started reading Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72. Kinda depressing how little things have changed in thirty years.

No. The book is based on a visit by HST and Oscar Acosta to Vegas, which was prompted by a Sports Illustrated engagement to cover the motorcycle race, but the incidents of the book have only the barest resemblance to real life. The idea of Gonzo Journalism, after all, was to get at the truth through wild exaggeration (not to mention more than a little intoxication).

Yeah, but I rate Richard Roeper as one of the worst critics ever born. So there’s that.

Did you like those two movies?

I liked some things about Fear and Loathing; haven’t seen the other one.

Hmmmm. I have a friend who seemed to think it was an ok movie.

The critics at amazon.com are split down the middle, with half giving it one star and the other half giving it five.

Oh, and let me add one vote in favor of Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing movie. Genius. Captures the book perfectly. Hunter S. Thompson himself has one of my all time favorite cameos in it. I’d go ahead and spring for the $40 criterion. It’s worth it.

Rent it. I rented it expecting to like it. What wasn’t to like? Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Depp, and Terry Gilliam are three things I like. I just felt that the pacing was bad and there were parts that bored me, and I don’t remember that happening when I read the book.

Maybe if the book was fresher in my mind I would have like the movie better. Rent it and watch it, if you like it buy it, if not it only costs you a few bucks.

lissner, I don’t think that Roeper is particularly good or bad, but the book is ammusing even if I don’t agree with everything he says. However, I think he nailed the HST thing.

I rented the movie a long time ago – we couldn’t get past the first ten minutes, we were so confused. Now that I’ve read it, I might give the movie another try, but I doubt the movie can match the text. I love Hunter S.'s style of writing and I love Johnny Depp, so I don’t know what to make of the movie.

Have you read Hell’s Angels yet?

I love HST.

Hell’s Angles is another great book you should check out.

Personally I think Fear and Loating LV is absoulty true.
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Fear & Loathing is one of those movies that feeds on raw, visceral feeling, not something you can look at like a side of beef and examine with a microscope. It’s a train-of-thought, stream-of-consciousness piece, done without censor, made to seem like you’re experiencing the drug waves emanating from these people.

There’s definitely a lot of dichotomy in the work; Thompson goes at length about how the idealism of the '60s was a failure, probably for the sole reason that it couldn’t properly defeat reality. I love the monologue about how you can go out and climb a hill in Las Vegas, and look West… and with the right kind of eyes, you can almost see the high water mark… that spot where the wave broke, and rolled back.

And let’s not forget the music. OH, the music in the movie was phenomenal…

“Nothing is as bad as a man in the throws of an Ether binge…”

People forget that Thompson started on the wrong side of the tracks in Kentucky.

Yup. He’s a mean, crazy redneck.

Somebody gave him a copy of The Sun Also Rises, a college degree, some LSD, & a typewriter, & look what happened.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, along with On the Road, is one of those books that is good to re-read once in a while. I only wish I could find the box with my copy in it! I loved the film, too. Johnny Depp did a great Hunter S. Thompson.

On the other hand, Bill Murray only succeeded in doing a fair Bill Murray in Where the Buffalo Roam.

Now I need to reread Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

“We were twenty miles outside of Barstowe on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”

Best first sentence of a book ever.

A big fan of the movie here. If I can give you one piece of advise : safe your money and do NOT buy the Criterion Edition. The extra’s aren’t very good, but worst of all : the picture and sound quality is far inferior to the normal retail version. I can tell because I have both version. :wally