Maverick author Hunter S. Thompson introduced the world to "gonzo journalism" with this cult classic that shot back up the best-seller lists after Thompson's suicide in 2005. No book ever written has more perfectly captured the spirit of the 1960s counterculture. In Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, Raoul Duke (Thompson) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo (inspired by a friend of Thompson) are quickly diverted to search for the American dream. Their quest is fueled by nearly every drug imaginable and quickly becomes a surreal experience that blurs the line between reality and fantasy. But there is more to this hilarious tale than reckless behavior-for underneath the hallucinogenic facade is a stinging criticism of American greed and consumerism.
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Lost in Translation
There is a cadence to this work that is lost in this recording. It's like Richard Cheese doing his lounge cover of Insane in the Membrane, but without the irony. Seek out the 1996 recording the recording with Jim Jarmusch or anything recorded by the author himself.
Story holds any narrator
Look for the Gem of a version read by Harry Dean Stanton, other than Hunter himself, this is the version you want to hear!
Poignant & inane; funny to the hilt
Every American with a passing interest in understanding the malaise of the counterculture should read this book. I read it in one sitting, a rare feat for me. I couldn't bring myself to let it go, and Thompson's prose burned rubber across my cerebral cortex like it was Fremont Street. I can't speak to the narrative quality since I don't own the audiobook, but allow me to address its detractors. Don't let Terry Gilliam warp your expectations into expecting cinema from a book, but rather read it on an empty stomach and appreciate why a talented director would put so much effort into dramatizing this archetypal boozehound's long night's journey into day. Hunter S. Thompson was a weird and unclassifiable species of national treasure, and this sprawling tale recounts his humor and frustration and subsequent excess as well as any similar book or better. This book recounts the tippy-top talent in an increasingly packed genre of disjointed memoirs as studies-in-perdition.