Wednesday, November 4, 2015

REVIEW: Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas by Troy Little (Top Shelf, 2015)

NO SOUNDTRACK could be more appropriate while reading this faithful, rather BRILLIANT adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's classic early 70s tale of drugs, drugs and more drugs (and the attempted discovery of "The American Dream") than Coil's Time Machines (1998). Suitably twisted music to accompany the deranged, partly factual adventures of two twisted souls, Raoul Duke and Dr Gonzo, on their red convertible journey into the Heart of Darkness (aka Las Vegas).
Ostensibly, Duke (in reality, Thompson) is hired to cover an off-road motorcycling event, the 1971 Mint 400. Later, he also gets hired to cover a police anti-drugs convention. 

But booze, recreational drugs (including, but not restricted to, ether and adrenal glands), random violence and general mayhem prevent Duke from writing anything meaningful.
Meanwhile, his attorney, Dr Gonzo (aka 
Oscar Zeta Acosta), comes along for the drugs and good times, metamorphosing from a 250lb Mexican into a 300lb Samoan in the process. At either size, he's fucking mental and very scary. He spends much of the book threatening bodily violence on various people, including Duke and himself.
After many misadventures and close scrapes, the pair eventually escape from Vegas, having destroyed two rental cars and wasted two magazines' expense accounts.
It's all a glorious, glorious mess.
I don't know much about Troy Little but this graphic novel is an artistic triumph.
His adaptation of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas is somewhat straightforward - it's like you're reading Thompson's book with added pictures. But the pictures are so fucking beautiful - and beautifully demented - that they greatly enhance the reader's appreciation of the text to the point that you forgive Little's literalness (say that three times fast!).
This is a loving and worthy tribute to one of the great novels of the 20th century and the unhinged genius who wrote it.
Raoul Duke would have approved.
RATING: 5 twisted stars out of five!

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas by Troy Little is published by Top Shelf and is out now.

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