I Think I’m Getting the Fear

VEGASSSSSS

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Before I flew down for vacation, one of my superiors and I were talking about how much I love going to Vegas. I told her I was heading down to the city that never sleeps for 4 days with a couple of friends from middle school. She responded with a “You like to go to Vegas a lot, huh?”.

Guess what, boss? Guilty. As. Charged.

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We’ve been best friends since we were 11!

This trip was extra, extra special. Not only was it one of the boy’s first time, BUT it was the first Book Nerd vacation I got to take!! And of course, my book adventure for this little jaunt was….

*Drum roll please……*

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, of course!

When I started researching books that are set in Vegas, Fear and Loathing immediately popped up. Mind you, this is one of my sister’s favorite movies, but I ZERO idea it was based on a book. I was a little skeptical. I read some reviews (thanks, Goodreads!) and bought it on the spot.

I was not disappointed. Not in the least. Not even at all.

I hardly know where to begin because this book is completely unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I don’t even know if there is another book in which I can use as a reference point, so I won’t.

I was sold on page 11 with this quote:

“My blood is too thick for California: I have never been able to properly explain myself in this climate”

-Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Guess what narrator man, I have felt these exact same feels while living in California. This place is f***ing hot compared to my home base in Oregon. From that sentence on, I hung on every word.

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I can hardly begin to describe how elated I am to branch out of my go-to genres AND love the book I read!

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty:

I give this quick read 4.5 stars. Just short of 5 stars because the novel felt incredibly disjointed at some points… which is what happens when a narrator is strung out on every stimulant known to man. Even with the occasional disjointedness, it flows so well.

That small caveat aside- I LOVED this book. Easily one of the fastest reads to date. I fell in love after the first page and could hardly put it down.

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If you’ve read Fear and Loathing (and if you haven’t, I hope you soon will), you’ll know that a majority of the book takes place at the Flamingo…. which also happens to be where my friends and I stayed!! On page 106 Thompson dives into a scary accurate description of what staying in the Flamingo is like. A maze, and haze, of booze-filled and smokey hallways.

Reading Fear and Loathing made it easy to attach my personal, and wild, memories of Las Vegas over the years. I mean, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Right?

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We maybe took a nap at 2pm that afternoon.

The book cuts between scenes with such a ferocity that I had a difficult time putting it  down. 50 pages flew by in a second. The imagery of the binges were vibrant. You feel Raoul’s emotions. If he’s nervous, you feel a little bit on edge. Thompson’s ability to drag you in is astounding.

Like I said before: what I love most about this book is how completely out of my element is is. Fear and Loathing is from the early 70’s. It’s basically an auto-biography. Up to this point I’ve avoided that genre like a bad sickness.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. Stepping out of your comfort zone for reading is good (even if I immediately came back from Vegas and started reading another Stephen King book)
  2. Reading a book and then visiting the setting is amazing.
  3. I am ready to read more Thompson.
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Gorgeous and rainy Vegas!

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