A quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, two dozen amyls … and an overweight Samoan attorney pouring beer on his chest to facilitate the tanning process. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971) traps readers in the terrifying maw of author Hunter S Thompson’s high-speed trip to Las Vegas. His abortive coverage of the fabulous Mint 500 desert motorbike race and National District Attorneys Association’s Conference on Narcotics sparks an epic drug binge that sets Thompson and his attorney on a psychedelic trip to the heart of the American dream. Thompson’s account of the chaos was at the time considered the vanguard of ‘Gonzo’ journalism – a hyperbolic first-person narrative style based on William Faulkner’s notion that fiction is often the best fact. Maybe the whole gig wore him down, or he simply burnt out. In 2005, aged 67 years, Thompson put a gun to his head and blew his brains out.