Now a major motion picture from Universal, directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1937, Hunter S. Thompson was a consummate journeyman, wandering the globe in search of God knows what. He spent the early part of his career writing about sports.
In fact, his personality can be closely linked to another Louisville product of the same era: Muhammad Ali. Both men, fueled by a certain sense of self-love, spat in the face of authority, decorum and everything else that mid-century America held dear. True to the ethos of Gonzo Journalism, Fear and Loathing is loosely based on two trips (pun intended) Thompson took with an attorney, Oscar Zeta Acosta, to Las Vegas in 1971. Thompson, a professional writer closely associated with some of the country's biggest magazines, was sent by Sports Illustrated to write an elongated picture caption for the Mint 400, one of the world's most lucrative off-road races.
A few months later, Thompson was sent to Las Vegas again to cover a drug conference held by the National District Attorneys. What was supposed to be a couple hundred words about an off-road race turned into a manuscript nearly ten times the size. The work was rejected outright by Sports Illustrated, but accepted by Rolling Stone. Thompson notoriously reluctant to review and revise his own works completed five drafts of the book before its publishing.
Fear and Loathing was met by much critical acclaim. It was thought by Thompson's contemporaries to be one of the best books ever written about the 1960s drug culture.