Monday, July 6, 2009

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

Just watched Gonzo over the weekend and while the movie was just so-so (it started out like a made-for-TV job though the quality progressed a bit as the movie went on) it made me want to revisit Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail and Hells Angels and all the rest of HST's classic books that I read years ago.

I first heard of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in an article in Rolling Stone when I was 14 years old. I remember finding it interesting but somehow never thought to track down a copy of the book. It didn't occur to me to do things like that when I was younger. I listened to the same two Sonic Youth albums for years until it dawned on me that they had quite a few more that I might want to check out. But I digress.

It wasn't until after the movie came out and I was reminded of that article I'd read years before that I actually went out and bought the book.

Speaking of which, I cannot put into words how much I hate movie tie-in editions. I understand why publishers do it--I just wish they weren't so ugly. I'd much prefer to see a Ralph Steadman drawing on the cover.

The first edition used some of this image from the book's opening pages. I can't picture this book without Ralph Steadman's art. The two go hand in hand.

"Terrible things were happening all around us. Right next to me a huge reptile was gnawing on a woman's neck, the carpet was a blood-soaked sponge--impossible to walk on it, no footing at all. 'Order some golf shoes,' I whispered."

"The place was full of cops. I saw this at a glance. Most of them were just standing around trying to look casual, all dressed exactly alike in their cut-rate Vegas casuals: plaid bermuda shorts, Arnie Palmer golf shirts and hairless white legs tapering down to rubberized 'beach sandals.'"

I love the random splatters throughout the book.

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