Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1971 novel by Hunter S. Thomson about the aftermath and failure of the 1960s counterculture movement with themes of hedonism, idealism and disappointment. The story follows reporter Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo, his attorney, as they travel to Las Vegas to report on the Mint 400 motorcycle race. Based on many of Thomson's own experiences, the story chronicles the pair's misadventures and excessive use of psychedelic drugs as they reflect on the lost aspirations of their generation.
The novel lacks a clear narrative and frequently delves into the surreal, never quite distinguishing between what is real and what is only imagined by the characters.
The basic synopsis revolves around journalist Raoul Duke (Hunter S. Thompson) and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo (Oscar Zeta Acosta), as they arrive in 1971 Las Vegas to report on the Mint 400 motorcycle race for an unnamed magazine. However, this job is repeatedly obstructed by their constant use of variety of recreational drugs, including LSD, ether, cocaine, alcohol, mescaline, and cannabis. This leads to a series of bizarre hallucinogenic experiences, during which they destroy hotel rooms, wreck cars, and have visions of anthropomorphic desert animals, all the while ruminating on the decline of both the "American Dream" and the 60s counterculture in a city of greed.