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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

 How did Hunter S. Thompson survive the 1970s.

That's the oft-repeated question that circles around your brain as you read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Thompson's drug-fueled report of the time he and his lawyer spent in Las Vegas in 1971. The trip was ostensibly for journalistic reasons, but it quickly devolved into Thompson and his lawyer streaking down the interstate in a giant Cadillac, pumped full of so many drugs and so much alcohol I have no idea how his organs retained any semblance of performing their sworn functions. 

I spent about two hours in the bar, drinking Bloody Marys for the V-8 nutritional content.

His catalogue of things seen while in his drug-induced insanity is worth reading, if only because if he had to ingest that many mind-altering substances, at least he wrote about it, so others could live vicariously through him while not destroying their bodies. And Thompson can obviously write. I won't begin to speculate on whether he would've been even better without pills, because who knows. Maybe he would've been worse. But his way with words is undeniable:

It was pure smooth hell...all that elegant upholstered weight lashing across the desert was like rolling through midnight on the old California Zephyr.

His writing is almost liquid sometimes, and could be too much for fiction maybe, but is amazing for journalism. His writing style combined with his exploits creates an Undeniably Hunter S. Thompson Experience.

Fear and Loathing is a story of how far you can push your limits. Thompson seems to go past the line time and time again. How he didn't wrap his car around a cactus or pass out in a bathtub full of coke, I have no idea. He ended up killing himself, but in the late late year of 2005 at the age of 67. His ashes were fired from a cannon, accompanied by fireworks. This seems a fitting way for him to have gone.

(x)

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