1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971): This book is considered to be Thompson’s magnum opus and is a semi-autobiographical novel that follows the narrator and his attorney on a drug-induced descent into the heart of the American Dream. It is a wild and often surreal journey that captures the essence of the 1960s counterculture and is a must-read for anyone interested in American culture and literature.
2. Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (1966): This classic non-fiction account of Thompson’s time spent with the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang is an eye-opening look at the wild and often dangerous lifestyle of these outlaws. It is an intimate and sometimes disturbing glimpse into a world that few outsiders are ever allowed to witness.
3. The Rum Diary (1998): This semi-autobiographical novel follows journalist Paul Kemp as he moves to Puerto Rico to take a job at a local newspaper. It is a hilarious and often shocking tale of corruption, excess, and debauchery that captures the spirit of the island and its people.
4. The Curse of Lono (1983): This book is a follow-up to Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and is a unique blend of fiction and non-fiction. It follows the narrator as he travels to Hawaii to cover a football game and gets caught up in the chaos and mysticism of the islands.
5. Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 (1973): This book is a collection of Thompson’s articles and essays written during the 1972 presidential campaign. It is a fascinating and often outrageous look at the inner workings of American politics that captures the chaos and absurdity of the era.