I know this really doesn’t count as an album. But I figure it doesn’t really fall under the general definition of an audio book either because:
1. Most audio books are at least 5 disks long, and those are usually the abridged versions.
2. Most audio books have just one dude reading the book, and nothing more.
Hunter S Thomson’s Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas: The Spoken Word Version is so much more for the following reasons.
1. It’s only one disk.
2. It has a full dramatic cast portraying all the characters, as well as an incredibly rich sound design that includes sound effects and music.
3. It beats the movie at capturing the book by a long shot. Fo’ realz.
It is for these reasons that I decided it merited a place in the list…that and the fact that it fucking rules.
Every year I am forced to make the five and half hour drive up the central valley of California to see the family. In years past, all I had for entertainment was a stack of CD’s, a bag of road snacks and the odd traveling companion. Until I discovered the joy of audio books.
Nothing else can quite kill off what would normally be five hours of boredom.
With a cast that includes Harry Dean Stanton as the narrator, Jim Jarmusch as Hunter Thomson, and Maury Chaykin as Dr Gonzo this spoken word edition goes beyond the realm of most audio books and weaves an entirely entertaining and immersive tale that will quicken even the longest road trip.
Gone is the single voiced narrator of most recorded tales, replaced with a barrage of sound and music and a chorus of characters and voices that draw the listener in and portray the book in ways that the Terry Gilliam film never even touched on. Yes, above all else, this recording captures (in my humble opinion) the true spirit of the book.
If that doesn’t grab you, then you may be dead. Call 911.
I seldom take a road trip to Vegas without it, as it seems to set the proper tone for the visit and gets my liver amped up for the coming flood.
Amazon… You can listen to the audio samples there!