“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”
Okay, so I’ve finally read the book.
Has anyone else out there?
The book tells the story of a journalist and his lawyer who travel to Las Vegas to cover a motor cycle race and a Drug Enforcement Convention. On the way they experiment with drugs, anti-social behaviour and philosophy in equal portions.
I think a lot of this book was lost on me as a South African reader. The second level of narration is a raw portrayal of, and commentary on, the US of the 70s, and their political and social situation.
But for me, the landscape was not as recognisable as that in Steinbeck and Fitzgerald, and this is the point I believe. A picture of the time as it was, but in strong caricature, as seen through the eyes of a biaised social critic who feels at odds with his world, while thriving in it.
As I said, either genius or insanity, probably both.