Today’s a big day for me in Vegas Seven. I’ve got four different pieces in the magazine. Let’s start with the cover, which is some VT-inspired musings on Hunter S. Thompson, influence on Vegas literati:
July 18 would have been Hunter S. Thompson’s 75th birthday. His name is linked with Las Vegas; more specifically, with fear and loathing in it.
The story of his pathbreaking book is about as straightforward as you would expect. Thompson drove up to Las Vegas in March 1970 to cover the Mint 400 off-road race for Sports Illustrated. In place of captions for a photo spread, he delivered a rambling semi-fictional account that ultimately grew into the novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream. The book is a hallmark of gonzo journalism—the gleeful abandonment of objectivity for a disturbingly personal stream-of-consciousness narrative, peppered with tales of recreational drug use and abuse and politico-cultural pronouncements.
Instead of looking at Thompson biographically, or my own thoughts on his writing, I figured I’d look at how he looked at Las Vegas, and how that’s shaped how other writers have looked at it.
The whole idea to write the piece came from Charles S. Monster of VegasTripping, so consider it a response to the several posts on Dr. Gonzo over there.