Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson
It must be admitted that Thompson loved his country and despaired of it – doing so until that despair attained terminal velocity under the catastrophic administration of Bush the Lesser. I remember reading a piece from one of Thompson’s later collections, and tasting that humorless hopelessness permeating the pages. It was clear that the good Doctor was not long for this world that he saw lunging headlong into a shallow grave, a vision that the ascension of our newest (and most dangerous yet) demagogue to power would appear to confirm.
We still have, however, this early and shining testament to the man, his humor and his appetites, his keen insights made even through a drug-addled lens. His was an expansive awareness, which I believe was innate and not dependent upon any of his numerous choices of artificial stimulation. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a rough and tumble read, with something to offend almost everyone. It is, as I said, a Rabelaisian work, and if you get that (or even if you don’t), you can settle in and read it cover to cover multiple times with no diminishment of the sheer gonzo glory of it.