June 2, 2010

Mini Review: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

Okay, the purpose of this mini review is discuss a book I had to read, probably for class, that I didn't have time to sit down and enjoy properly because I was analyzing the shit out of it. By the time I had dissected every possible theme, I wasn't inclined to re-re-read it again, but I did read enough to get a general idea of what I liked and disliked.

Class read for: CRWT 57C Creative Non-Fiction
Summary: A journalist and his lawyer wonder the streets of Vegas in a drugged up stupor.

Likes: My favorite part of this book was the writing. It was so raw and honest and unapologetic. I liked the tone of the book as well. The book seems like nothing more than a drug fueled rant of two doped up guys, but there's something more to it. The impression that I got from reading the parts of the book that were assigned was the disillusion of a nation. The people we are lead to believe are good(i.e. the cops in the story), are actually bad and the people we believe to be bad are actually not as bad as we thought(i.e. Thompson).

I gathered that people had to find their own moral compass in a a world that didn't appear to have any guidance. This book was written during the Vietnam War, which seems to be a period in time when all of America was experiencing cognitive dissonance. Where does Hunter S. Thompson fit into all this chaos? I believe that is what the book was attempting to explore. There's a effing war going on and the news wants him to cover a race and a narcotics convention. What does he do? He says "fuck it, I'm going to write what I want" and followed his own compass by going against the mainstream that says "You write this way and turn it in at this time". My favorite scene in the parts assigned were the moments of clarity that Thompson experienced, those are the parts that gave the story the most depth in my opinion.

Dislikes: Hunter S. Thompson is probably the go to guy if you want to write a story about drugs and "buddy" road trip stories, fiction or non-fiction. That being said, I'm really tired of reading stories about this subject. I liked this particular story, but reading stories inspired by it or using the same trope have watered down the effectiveness. I think this is the quintessential drugged up buddy road trip story, the template in which all road trip stories should be written from. That being said, I don't want to read any more drugged up buddy road trip stories.
Overall: As with most assignments in this class, I'm not sure what the point of it was. What were we supposed to learn from reading this? I'm not exactly sure, but I enjoyed the parts I did read. I'm not sure if I want to read more than what was assigned, because it gets a little monotonous for me (read the dislikes). I loved the style and I loved imitating it, but I don't think this is a style we should automatically go to when writing creative non-fiction. I think it has evolved into contemporary creative non-fiction, where we take on an unapologetic tone and just let the writing speak for itself.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails