Hunter S. Thompson has exited stage left The Hard Way or The Easy Way depending on how you see it. The way he died shouldn't come as a surprise if you really think about it -- mix gun obsession and alcohol dependency and diminishing skills (or returns) with a deep Hemingway admiration and things aren't going to end with bingo night at Shady Farms. Hilarious, incisive, heroic, truthful, and joyous, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is all the things that make me fall madly in love with a book. I was head over the heels when I first read Fear and Loathing, I still carry a torch more than ten years later. It's a magnificent red convertible rampaging down the desert highway in the middle of the night at a dangerous speed. Raoul Duke's body has left this earth but his legacy lives on in every drug-fueled road trip, in every loud-mouth outlaw raging against a country's power-mad hypocrites, in every slightly mad artist who has the guts to cut through the bullshit and tell it like it is.
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die."
-- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Tuesday, February 22, 2005