Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the best chronicle of drug-soaked, addle-brained, rollicking good times ever committed to the printed page. It is also the tale of a long weekend road trip that has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest journeys ever undertaken.Now this cult classic of gonzo journalism is a
's "thumbs-up" review at the time also noted the film successfully captured the book's themes into film, adding "What the film is about and what the book is about is using Las Vegas as a metaphor for – or a location for – the worst of America, the extremes of America, the money obsession, the visual vulgarity of America." But thought the movie was a disgrace. He gave the film one star out of four and said it was "a horrible mess of a movie, without shape, trajectory or purpose--a one joke movie, if it had one joke. The two characters wander witlessly past the bizarre backdrops of Las Vegas (some real, some hallucinated, all interchangeable) while zonked out of their minds. Humor depends on attitude. Beyond a certain point, you don't have an attitude, you simply inhabit a state." He wrapped up his review by saying that Johnny Depp "was once in trouble for trashing a New York hotel room, just like the heroes of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." What was that? Research? After died of an overdose outside Depp's club, you wouldn't think Depp would see much humor in this story—but then, of course, there much humor in this story."
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Standing posthumously somewhere behind Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the figure of Horatio Alger, Jr. A nineteenth century author of rags-to-riches fairy tales, Alger wrote stories describing how the littlest guy, through nothing more than hard work and determination, could succeed and achieve the American Dream. The conclusions to which Thompson takes that initial premise in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas probably go well beyond anything Alger ever possibly conceived.
I think this last quote I will share with you is probably the best summary of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas I could hope to give you. So, here it is: