Skip to content

Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the best passage of writing I wished that I had written

March 8, 2015

gonzo1This is my favourite piece of writing in any book I’ve ever read, with the exception of Thompson’s barnstorming obituary of Richard Nixon.

Extract from Chapter 8 of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ‘Genius’ Round the World Stands Hand in Hand, and One Shock of Recognition Runs the Whole Circle ‘Round’’

[…] Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime. Or at least a Main Era- the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run…but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memoires can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant….

History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to an end in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time- and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.

My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights- or very early mornings- when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L.L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder’s jacket… booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change)… but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and as wild as I was: No doubt at all about that.

There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up to Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda… You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning….

And that, I think was the handle, – that sense of the inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting – on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave….

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark- that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

Thompson, Hunter, S., (1993) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, London: Flamingo. pp66-68.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

wholehoggblog

@wholehogg

breakingoutofthetemplesofculture.wordpress.com/

Arts, Health and Wellbeing in the Community

Culture, Space, Technology: A Platial Journal

A 'Platial' perspective on daily life

Record Shop Shots

Looking for a vibe on a cheap fix

Boston College Subpoena News

The Belfast Project, Boston College and a Sealed Subpoena

Bella Caledonia

it's time to get above ourselves

Enda Guinan | Social

Sensible Social Media

two step

two of us in step, most of the time

Voice of the Belly

It's just a blog, not a tablet of stone

Little Sheffield Guitar Studio

Professional Guitar Tuition in the heart of Meersbrook, Sheffield

Tales from inside the age of digital news

An ever-changing journey through digital news media

W[r]ite Noise

Belfast-based arts and culture musings

Shakespeare Couldn't Email

And by and by clean starved for a look...

Irish Election Literature

... what you maybe meant to keep...

The Broken Elbow

A View of the World from New York and Belfast (Public PGP Key: 210D6F47)

%d bloggers like this: