I Evoke Brow XXIII: Screw Jordan, this one goes out to Donny Baseball

Hell’s Angels, Hunter S. Thompson

I’ve been meaning to read HST’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for years, as I love the film adaptation, but I’ve never gotten around to it. When this one passed across the circ desk, I snagged it. Two notes: Thompson’s name appears sans middle initial (I wonder when it became commonplace?) and the novel is subtitled “Fear and Loathing in California” though it wasn’t originally released with that title (Vegas came out 5 years later). And another note, for kicks: I dig the sketch on his wikipedia page.

The book is nothing like what I expected–there’s a bit of HST swilling beer and popping pills, but it’s a sideshow to what is a pretty straightforward depiction of the Hell’s Angels. A coworker asked me if it was good writing, given that there are such great lines in the FALILV film (she hasn’t read the original, either.) I didn’t have an answer then and I’m still not sure. I suspect that there may well be nuggets of, if not wisdom, shrewdness or even inspiration, but, if so, they were so incongruous to the straightlaced reporting of the Angels and the community’s perception of the gang that I skimmed right over them.

If anything, the book comes off as amateurish–poorly composed and long winded. But the topic is sufficiently interesting to keep you reading to the end.

I still need to read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

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