This is a post in my 50 Nifty series, in which I’m reading through 50 books that embody each of the 50 United States. Find out why I’m doing this and which books I’m reading when (so you can read along) by checking out my first 50Nifty post, or else browse all 50Nifty posts by clicking here!
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson
-I was on the beach in southern Michigan yesterday and so could not (okay, did not want to) interrupt my long weekend to post this then. Hope y’all had a great weekend.-
A journalist and his lawyer spend a long weekend in Vegas doing drugs and driving around in expensive rental cars while technically on assignment for work. That’s basically it. Part of the time I was reading this book, I wanted to be doing the drugs and experiencing the crazy hallucinations along with the characters, because reading about it sober was kind of boring in a “you had to be there” kind of way.* Another part of the time I was likening their activities to drunk 20-somethings who can be amusing for awhile but once puke is involved they lose their humor fast. The rest of the time I was just looking for something (anything) of substance to take away from this book.
I found it in the fact that I feel it’s a great pick for the 50Nifty list. Vegas has the reputation of being a place where people go to escape, and I felt like the drug abuse and craziness in this book was the ultimate search for escape. I know there’s more to Nevada than Vegas, but the main character did venture beyond the city limits, at least. So, while I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Fear and Loathing as an awesome book, I think it’s a good choice for the list. (The other book I’d suggest for Nevada would be Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. It gives a completely different picture of Vegas because the characters are residents there for part of the book, and it’s a beautiful and compelling (although long) story.)
*I don’t do drugs, btw.