Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is The Catcher in the Rye on speed: the lost weekend of a disaffected loser who tells his story in a mordant style that is addictively appealing to adolescents with a deep and unspecified grudge against life.
Once you understand the target, the thematics make sense. Sexual prowess is part of the Thompson mystique, for example, but the world of his writing is almost entirely male, and sex itself is rarely more than a vague, adult horror; for sex beyond mere bravado is a subject that makes most teenage boys nervous. A vast supply of drugs of every genre and description accompany the Thompson persona and maintain him in a permanent state of dementia; but the drugs have all the verisimilitude of a 14-year-old’s secret spy kit: these grown-ups don’t realize that the person they are talking to is completely out of his mind on dangerous chemicals. The fear and loathing in Thompson’s writing is simply Holden Caulfield’s fear of growing up—a fear that, in Thompson’s case as in Salinger’s, is particularly convincing to younger readers because it so clearly runs from the books straight back to the writer himself.
— Louis Menand, “Life in the Stone Age”
- qui--audet--adipiscitur likes this
- voodoochild3825 reblogged this from haetmonger
- wifflemittons reblogged this from haetmonger and added:
- wifflemittons likes this
- haetmonger posted this