Timothy Denevi on the 45th Anniversary of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas…

Age changes your perspective in the weirdist ways. When I was in high school I read Kerouac’s On The Road and it was the most romantic, adventuresome, epic journey of all time. I hitchhiked cross-country (south to north) on less than five bucks, from New Orleans to upstate Vermont, to see a girlfriend, inspired by Kerouac and Neal Cassady and the rest of those guys…

Thirty-five years later, I reread OTR while working on my MFA at Southampton College. I was nearly fifty, with a new baby and a new marriage, and desperately trying to finish the degree to hold onto my teaching job.

And all I could think of, as a middle-aged parent, about the characters in On The Road was how depressed and lost they all were. “Get some Prozac and see a shrink,” I kept saying to myself.

Kerouac did, of course, drink himself to death…

First-Edition_FearLoathing-207x300Now, Timothy Denevi (a writer I’ve just discovered) has just published a 45-year retrospective piece on Hunter Thompsons’ Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, another book that blew me away in my early twenties. Thompson’s “savage journey into the heart of the American Dream” made me want to bite off as big a piece of life as I could…

After reading this article, though, and having seen a couple of documentaries on Thompson–who toward the end of his life was a hopeless drunk, an obnoxious jerk, and a parody of himself–I’m glad I stayed away from the ether. As Thompson wrote, nothing was as scary as a man in the depths of an ether binge…

http://americanshortfiction.org/…/hunter-thompson-oscar-ac…/

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