hunter thompson: a relatively respectable citizen

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.jpg

Image via Wikipedia

My daughter’s ability to reread books many times amazes me. She’s on her second or maybe third reading of the Harry Potter series. When I read, I rarely go back and relive it. I’m not sure why.

Plinky asked me what book I’d likely reread, I chose 1971’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter Thompson. There are lots of crazy incidents that may or may not have happened (after all, he was strung out on everything from mescaline to ether). Plus he saw bats in Barstow and lizards dressed like people in Vegas.

It’s the voice that grabs me, the stream of consciousness perfected by Tom Wolfe and Jack Kerouac. And there’s some moments of lucidity such as his recount of the newspaper headlines he reads as he’s about to skip out on his hotel bill:

TRIO ARRESTED IN BEAUTY’S DEATH

GI DRUG DEATHS CLAIMED

TORTURE TALES TOLD IN WAR HEARINGS

FIVE WOUNDED NEAR NYC TENEMENT

PHARMACY OWNER ARRESTED IN PROBE

And so he concludes:

“Reading the front page made me feel a lot better. Against that heinous background, my crimes were pale and meaningless. I was a relatively respectable citizen–a multiple felon, perhaps, but certainly not dangerous. And when the Great Scorer came to write against my name, that would surely make a difference.”

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