Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Raoul Duke Character Analysis

The protagonist and narrator of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and author Hunter S. Thompson’s alter ego. Duke is a journalist, and when he is assigned a story in Las Vegas, he figures it is the perfect time to find the American Dream. He loads up his rented car, the Great Red Shark, with a massive bag of “extremely dangerous drugs,” grabs his attorney, Dr. Gonzo, and heads to the desert. Duke takes an insane number of drugs and frequently hallucinates, but in his clearer moments he reminisces fondly about the 1960s in San Francisco. He laments and openly criticizes the countercultural movement’s inability to bring “Peace and Understanding” to American society and examines where they went wrong. He loves Bob Dylan and loathes law enforcement, and he finds “twisted humor” in covering the National District Attorneys’ Conference on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs while “in the grip of a potentially fatal drug episode.” Duke’s desire to take drugs and resist the establishment is “not to prove any final, sociological point,” nor is it “a conscious mockery,” but is “mainly a matter of life-style, a sense of obligation and even duty.” Raoul Duke is the counterculture, and he is determined to carry out their agenda despite the movement’s failure. Duke, and Thompson by extension, adamantly objects to the violence and inequality of the American government and mainstream society. Despite this objection, however, he frequently thinks and hallucinates violence, and he easily accepts and tolerates the violent actions of Dr. Gonzo. Duke even suggests pimping out Lucy for money, but never follows through with it. While Duke may never physically act in a violent way, he sure seems to condone violence, and in this way, Thompson suggests that violence is common in average American citizens. Duke also represents Thompson’s discontent with the state of journalism in America. As a journalist, Duke is “dangerously disorganized” and completely unprofessional, and he is just one of many. Duke claims that “journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits.” Through Raoul Duke, Thompson implies that journalist can do much better, and he argues the need to reinvent the field of journalism for the future.

Raoul Duke Quotes in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

The Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas quotes below are all either spoken by Raoul Duke or refer to Raoul Duke. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
American Culture and Counterculture Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas published in 1998.
Part 1, Chapter 1 Quotes

The sporting editors had also given me $300 in cash, most of which was already spent on extremely dangerous drugs. The trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers . . . and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker), Dr. Gonzo
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 1, Chapter 2 Quotes

“You Samoans are all the same,” I told him. “You have no faith in the essential decency of the white man’s culture. Jesus, just one hour ago we were sitting over there in that stinking baiginio, stone broke and paralyzed for the weekend, when a call comes through from some total stranger in New York, telling me to go to Las Vegas and expenses be damned—and then he sends me over to some office in Beverly Hills where another total stranger gives me $300 raw cash for no reason at all . . . I tell you, my man, this is the American Dream in action! We’d be fools not to ride this strange torpedo all the way out to the end.”

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker), Dr. Gonzo
Page Number: 11
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Part 1, Chapter 6 Quotes

The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing on Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war. This is the Sixth Reich. The ground floor is full of gambling tables, like all the other casinos . . . but the place is about four stories high, in the style of a circus tent, and all manner of strange County-Fair/Polish Carnival madness is going on up in this space.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker)
Page Number: 46
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Part 1, Chapter 8 Quotes

Ignore that nightmare in the bathroom. Just another ugly refugee from the Love Generation, some doom-struck gimp who couldn’t handle the pressure. My attorney has never been able to accept the notion—often espoused by reformed drug abusers and especially popular among those on probation— that you can get a lot higher without drugs than with them.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker), Dr. Gonzo
Page Number: 63
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Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. . .

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker)
Page Number: 66-7
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And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . .

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker)
Page Number: 68
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Part 1, Chapter 9 Quotes

Reading the front page made me feel a lot better. Against that heinous background, my crimes were pale and meaningless. I was a relatively respectable citizen—a multiple felon, perhaps, but certainly not dangerous. And when the Great Scorer came to write against my name, that would surely make a difference.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker)
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 1, Chapter 12 Quotes

Yes, I would go back to Vegas. Slip the Kid and confound the CHP by moving East again, instead of West. This would be the shrewdest move of my life. Back to Vegas and sign up for the Drugs and Narcotics conference; me and a thousand pigs. Why not? Move confidently into their midst. Register at the Flamingo and have the White Caddy sent over at once. Do it right; remember Horatio Alger. . .

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker), The Hitchhiker
Related Symbols: The White Whale
Page Number: 95
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Part 2, Chapter 2 Quotes

They called up the white Coupe de Ville at once. Everything was automatic. I could sit in the red-leather driver’s seat and make every inch of the car jump, by touching the proper buttons. It was a wonderful machine: Ten grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced Special Effects. The rear windows leaped up with a touch, like frogs in a dynamite pond. The white canvas top ran up and down like a rollercoaster. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights & dials & meters that I would never understand—but there was no doubt in my mind that I was into a superior machine.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker)
Related Symbols: The White Whale
Page Number: 104-5
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 2, Chapter 3 Quotes

We would be attending the conference under false pretenses and dealing, from the start, with a crowd that was convened for the stated purpose of putting people like us in jail. We were the Menace—not in disguise, but stone-obvious drug abusers, with a flagrantly cranked-up act that we intended to push all the way to the limit . . . not to prove any final, sociological point, and not even as a conscious mockery: It was mainly a matter of life-style, a sense of obligation and even duty. If the Pigs were gathering in Vegas for a top-level Drug Conference, we felt the drug culture should be represented.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker), Dr. Gonzo
Page Number: 109-10
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Part 2, Chapter 7 Quotes

The first session—the opening remarks—lasted most of the afternoon. We sat patiently through the first two hours, although it was clear from the start that we weren’t going to Learn anything and it was equally clear that we’d be crazy to try any Teaching. It was easy enough to sit there with a head full of mescaline and listen to hour after hour of irrelevant gibberish. . .. There was certainly no risk involved. These poor bastards didn’t know mescaline from macaroni.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker), Dr. Gonzo
Page Number: 143
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“Hell, in Malibu alone, these goddamn Satan-worshippers kill six or eight people every day.” He paused to sip his drink. “And all they want is the blood,” he continued. “They’ll take people right off the street if they have to.” He nodded. “Hell, yes. Just the other day we had a case where they grabbed a girl right out of a McDonald’s hamburger stand. She was a waitress. About sixteen years old . . . with a lot of people watching, too!” “What happened?” said our friend. “What did they do to her?” He seemed very agitated by what he was hearing. "Do?" said my attorney. “Jesus Christ man. They chopped her goddamn head off right there in the parking lot! Then they cut all kinds of holes in her and sucked out the blood.”

Related Characters: Dr. Gonzo (speaker), Raoul Duke, The Georgia Cop
Page Number: 146
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Part 2, Chapter 8 Quotes

This is Nevada’s answer to East St. Louis—a slum and a graveyard, last stop before permanent exile to Ely or Winnemucca. North Vegas is where you go if you’re a hooker turning forty and the syndicate men on the Strip decide you’re no longer much good for business out there with the high rollers . . . or if you’re a pimp with bad credit at the Sands . . . or what they still call, in Vegas, “a hophead.” This can mean almost anything from a mean drunk to a junkie, but in terms of commercial acceptability, it means you’re finished in all the right places.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker)
Page Number: 155
Explanation and Analysis:
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The “high side” of Vegas is probably the most closed society west of Sicily—and it makes no difference, in terms of the day to day life-style of the place, whether the Man at the Top is Lucky Luciano or Howard Hughes. In an economy where Tom Jones can make $75,000 a week for two shows a night at Caesar’s, the palace guard is indispensable, and they don’t care who signs their paychecks. A gold mine like Vegas breeds its own army, like any other gold mine. Hired muscle tends to accumulate in fast layers around money/power poles . . . and big money, in Vegas, is synonymous with the Power to protect it.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker)
Page Number: 155-6
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Part 2, Chapter 11 Quotes

But what is sane? Especially here in “our own country”—in this doomstruck era of Nixon. We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled the Sixties. Uppers are going out of style. This was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary’s trip. He crashed around America selling “consciousness expansion” without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all the people who took him too seriously.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker)
Page Number: Book Page 178
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Not that they didn’t deserve it: No doubt they all Got What Was Coming To Them. All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours, too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped to create . . . a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody—or at least some force—is tending that Light at the end of the tunnel.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker)
Page Number: Book Page 178-9
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Sonny Barger never quite got the hang of it, but he’ll never know how close he was to a king-hell breakthrough. The Angels blew it in 1965, at the Oakland-Berkeley line, when they acted on Barger’s hardhat, con-boss instincts and attacked the front ranks of an anti-war march. This proved to be an historic schism in the then Rising Tide of the Youth Movement of the Sixties. It was the first open break between the Greasers and the Longhairs, and the importance of that break can be read in the history of SDS, which eventually destroyed itself in the doomed effort to reconcile the interests of the lower/working class biker/dropout types and the upper/middle, Berkeley/student activists.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker)
Page Number: Book Page 179
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Nobody involved in that scene, at the time, could possibly have foreseen the Implications of the Ginsberg/Kesey failure to persuade the Hell’s Angels to join forces with the radical Left from Berkeley. The final split came at Altamont, four years later, but by that time it had long been clear to everybody except a handful of rock industry dopers and the national press. The orgy of violence at Altamont merely dramatized the problem. The realities were already fixed; the illness was understood to be terminal, and the energies of The Movement were long since aggressively dissipated by the rush to self-preservation.

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker)
Page Number: Book Page 179-80
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 2, Chapter 12 Quotes

“You found the American Dream?” he said. “In this town?” I nodded. “We’re sitting on the main nerve right now,” I said. “You remember that story the manager told us about the owner of this place? How he always wanted to run away and join the circus when he was a kid?” Bruce ordered two more beers. He looked over the casino for a moment, then shrugged. “Yeah, I see what you mean,” he said. “Now the bastard has his own circus, and a license to steal, too.” He nodded. “You’re right—he’s the model.” “Absolutely,” I said. “It’s pure Horatio Alger, all the way down to his attitude.”

Related Characters: Raoul Duke (speaker), Bruce Innes (speaker)
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:
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Raoul Duke Character Timeline in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

The timeline below shows where the character Raoul Duke appears in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part One, Chapter 1
American Culture and Counterculture Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Drugs and American Society  Theme Icon
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Journalist Raoul Duke and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo, are near Barstow on their way to Las Vegas “when... (full context)
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A “fashionable sporting magazine in New York” has already reserved Duke a hotel room in Vegas and rented him the Great Red Shark. They have also... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
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“Not that we needed all that for the trip,” Duke says, “but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to... (full context)
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Drugs and American Society  Theme Icon
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...kid jumps in and they take off down the road. “How long can we maintain?” Duke wonders in a panic. The hitchhiker is sure to realize that they are high on... (full context)
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“If so—well, we’ll just have to cut [the hitchhiker’s] head off and bury him somewhere,” Duke says. “Jesus! Did I say that?” he wonders. “Or just think it? Was I talking?... (full context)
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Duke explains to the hitchhiker that Dr. Gonzo is his attorney. “He’s not just some dingbat... (full context)
Part One, Chapter 2: The Seizure of $300 from a Pig Woman in Beverly Hills
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In preparation for the trip, Duke had called the magazine in New York and asked for a Vincent Black Shadow, a... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
...Dr. Gonzo said in response to their meager funds. “You Samoans are all the same,” Duke replied. “You have no faith in the essential decency of the white man’s culture.” After... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
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Duke and Gonzo agreed and decided that they needed a car and cocaine, a tape recorder,... (full context)
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...late and most electronics stores were closed, but one did offer to stay open if Duke and Gonzo hurried. They were waylaid after a Stingray “killed a pedestrian on Sunset Boulevard,”... (full context)
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The man at the car rental agency was equally suspicious. Duke had backed the Great Red Shark over a two-foot concrete abutment going forty-five in reverse... (full context)
Part One, Chapter 3: Strange Medicine on the Desert…a Crisis of Confidence
American Culture and Counterculture Theme Icon
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Duke is “vaguely haunted” by the fact that the hitchhiker has never been in a convertible... (full context)
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...but only for those with “true grit,” and “we are chock full of that,” claims Duke. Dr. Gonzo understands this, Duke says, “despite his racial handicap,” but it is much harder... (full context)
Drugs and American Society  Theme Icon
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...says, “we’re going to Vegas to croak a scag baron named Savage Henry.” Gonzo and Duke begin to laugh hysterically. They tell the hitchhiker that Savage Henry has “ripped them off,”... (full context)
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Duke and Gonzo decide it is time to eat some blotter acid, and then Gonzo takes... (full context)
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Duke and Gonzo finally get to the hotel, but Gonzo is “unable to cope artfully with... (full context)
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Duke and Gonzo go to the hotel bar to wait. “Who’s Lacerda?” Gonzo asks after opening... (full context)
Part One, Chapter 4: Hideous Music and the Sound of Many Shotguns…Rude Vibes on a Saturday Evening in Vegas
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Duke and Gonzo finally get to their room, and Gonzo calls room service and orders some... (full context)
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...Gonzo passes out behind the wheel and runs a red light on Main Street, but Duke takes over driving and manages to get things under control. Behind the wheel, Duke turns... (full context)
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As Duke drives towards the Mint Gun Club, he begins to hear bike engines and the sound... (full context)
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Duke parks and heads to the registration table. “What’s the entry fee?” he asks. “Two fifty,”... (full context)
Part One, Chapter 5: Covering the Story…A Glimpse of the Press in Action…Ugliness & Failure
News and Journalism Theme Icon
The Mint 400 is scheduled to start at nine in the morning, and Duke and Gonzo spend all night out in the casinos. By seven, the bar at the... (full context)
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...begins to “claw feverishly” at the Life man, but he pays little attention to her. Duke turns away, disgusted. “We are, after all, the absolute cream of the national sporting press,”... (full context)
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Just as the race is about to start, Duke realizes they are “dangerously disorganized.” The first ten bikes line up at the starting point... (full context)
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Duke takes a ride in the “press Bronco” and doesn’t see anyone, except for “two dune-buggies... (full context)
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Duke decides it is time “get grounded—to ponder this rotten assignment and figure out how to... (full context)
Part One, Chapter 6: A Night on the Town…Confrontation at the Desert Inn…Drug Frenzy at the Circus-Circus
The American Dream Theme Icon
Many years ago, Duke lived in Big Sur near Lionel Olay, a rich friend who frequently gambled in Reno.... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Violence Theme Icon
...his debt, Lionel “got stomped” and was forced to take out a personal loan. “Gambling,” Duke says, “is a very heavy business—and Las Vegas makes Reno seem like your friendly neighborhood... (full context)
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Duke and Gonzo decide to go to the Desert Inn to see the Debbie Reynolds/Harry James... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Drugs and American Society  Theme Icon
Inside the Desert Inn, it isn’t long before Duke and Gonzo “lose control” and are kicked out by security. Back on the Strip, they... (full context)
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The American Dream Theme Icon
“Circus-Circus,” according to Duke, “is what the whole hep world would be doing on Saturday night if the Nazis... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
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Circus-Circus even has a bar on a Merry-Go-Round, and as Duke and Gonzo sit and have a drink, the mescaline begins to hit them. “I hate... (full context)
Part One, Chapter 7: Paranoid Terror…and the Awful Specter of Sodomy…A Flashing of Knives and Green Water
The American Dream Theme Icon
By the time Duke and Gonzo park the Great Red Shark in front of their hotel, they are both... (full context)
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After Duke parks the car, he returns to the room to find Gonzo soaking in the bathtub,... (full context)
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Gonzo wants Duke to play “White Rabbit” as loud as it will go and then throw the radio... (full context)
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Gonzo comes out of the bathroom waving a knife, and Duke quickly reaches for a can of mace. “You want this?” he asks, waving the can... (full context)
Part One, Chapter 8: “Genius ‘Round the World Stands Hand in Hand, and One Shock of Recognition Runs the Whole Circle ‘Round”—Art Linkletter
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Duke once lived down the road from a doctor, a famous “acid guru,” who had “made... (full context)
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...the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of,” Duke says. “Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run,” but for nearly five... (full context)
Part One, Chapter 9: No Sympathy for the Devil…Newsmen Tortured? … Flight into Madness
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In the meantime, Duke and Gonzo have run up an insanely high room service bill. Over the course of... (full context)
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After Duke drives Gonzo to the airport, he is left alone, “completely twisted on drugs, no attorney,... (full context)
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“How would Horatio Alger handle this,” Duke wonders and begins to “panic.” He packs everything, including the soap, into the Great Red... (full context)
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As Duke waits for the perfect time to “slip the noose,” he tries to act casual and... (full context)
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Reading the paper makes Duke “feel a lot better.” By comparison, his “crimes are pale and meaningless.” Duke claims that... (full context)
Part One, Chapter 10: Western Union Intervenes: A Warning from Mr. Heem…New Assignment from the Sports Desk and a Savage Invitation from the Police
The American Dream Theme Icon
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Duke begins to “lose control” and walks out to the car to flee. “MISTER DUKE!” someone... (full context)
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...is confused because the telegram came under the name Thompson but says “care of Raoul Duke,” and it appears to have come from Gonzo, who they believe is still in the... (full context)
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Duke considers his options as he drives. He knows he should just leave town, but there... (full context)
Part One, Chapter 11: Aaawww, Mama, Can This Really Be the End?... Down and out in Vegas, with Amphetamine Psychosis Again?
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Duke sits alone in a bar on the outskirts of Vegas and thinks about his situation.... (full context)
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“Jesus Creeping God!” Duke yells. “Is there a priest in this tavern? I want to confess! I’m a fucking... (full context)
Part One, Chapter 12: Hellish Speed…Grappling with the California Highway Patrol…Mana a Mana on Highway 81
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Duke is driving through Baker on his way to L.A. when the California Highway Patrol pulls... (full context)
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“They’ve nailed me!” Duke screams in the phone to Gonzo. “I’m trapped in some stinking desert crossroads called Baker.... (full context)
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Duke “relaxes” and hangs up the phone. Going back to Vegas is exactly what he will... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 1
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Duke pulls the car over twenty miles east of Baker. It is hot and he feels... (full context)
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Duke stops at a drug store and buys some tequila and Chivas, along with a pint... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 2: Another Day, Another Convertible…& Another Hotel Full of Cops
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Hours later, Duke arrives in Vegas and goes to the airport to get rid of the Great Red... (full context)
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...touch of a button, and the dashboard is covered with “esoteric lights and dials” that Duke doesn’t understand. “There is no doubt in [his] mind” that the Cadillac is “a superior... (full context)
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When Duke arrives at the Flamingo, the place is crawling with cops. He gets in line at... (full context)
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“Say,” Duke says to the hotel desk clerk. “I hate to interrupt, but I have a reservation... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 3: Savage Lucy…‘Teeth Like Baseballs, Eyes Like Jellied Fire’
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Duke is eager to get to his room. He wants to rest, smoke his “last big... (full context)
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As Duke opens the door to his room, he hits a human figure on the other side.... (full context)
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Gonzo explains to Lucy that Duke is his client and friend, and she starts to calm down. Duke looks around and... (full context)
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“Well…” Duke says to Gonzo outside. “What are your plans?” Gonzo explains that he met Lucy on... (full context)
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...the room to try to talk some sense into Lucy. She can’t stay with them, Duke says. It is entirely possible that in a few hours she will “work herself into... (full context)
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Duke and Gonzo tell Lucy it is time to “go meet Barbara,” and after packing up... (full context)
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Gonzo tells Duke that he paid a cab driver to take Lucy over to the Americana and see... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 4: No Refuge for Degenerates…Reflections on a Murderous Junkie
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When Duke and Gonzo get back to their room, the light on the phone is blinking, and... (full context)
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Gonzo is in the bathroom “doing the Big Spit, again,” and Duke goes on the balcony for some fresh air. Gonzo appears, wiping vomit from his face.... (full context)
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Duke answers the phone. “Hello, Mister Duke. I’m sorry we were cut off a moment ago…”... (full context)
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“Look,” Duke says, “you want to be gentle with that woman if she ever calls again.” The... (full context)
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Duke immediately begins to put his shoes on and get his bags together. “Jesus, you’re not... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 5: A Terrible Experience with Extremely Dangerous Drugs
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...leave me alone in this snake pit!” Gonzo cries. “This room is in my name.” Duke continues to pack and Gonzo quickly agrees to call Lucy and sort everything out. “Hi... (full context)
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“Where’s the opium?” Gonzo asks. Duke hands him the drug bag, which is nearly empty. “As your attorney,” Gonzo says, “I... (full context)
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The adrenochrome hits Duke almost immediately, and he can he can “feel [his] eyeballs swelling, about to pop out... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 6: Getting Down to Business…Opening Day at the Drug Convention
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The next day, Duke and Gonzo head off to the Dunes Hotel for the Drug Conference and find 1,500... (full context)
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Gonzo becomes visibly uncomfortable and tense, and Duke “tries to console him.” As Gonzo looks around the room at all the Midwestern cops,... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 7: If You Don’t Know, Come to Learn…If You Know, Come to Teach
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Duke and Gonzo sit quietly through the morning listening to the convention. Sitting there with a... (full context)
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Duke follows Gonzo out, pretending that he is going to be sick. The crowd quickly parts... (full context)
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...just lock ourselves in the house and be prisoners!” he says. Of course not, says Duke. That’s why we “cut their goddamn heads off” in California. Gonzo confirms. “It’s all on... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 8: Back Door Beauty…& Finally a Bit of Serious Drag Racing on the Strip
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...of the night, and by midnight, he decides he wants coffee. Driving down the Strip, Duke pulls the White Whale up next to a Ford with Oklahoma plates. “Hey there!” Gonzo... (full context)
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Duke and Gonzo head for a diner in “North Las Vegas,” a “mean/scag ghetto” on the... (full context)
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Inside the North Star Coffee Lounge, Duke and Gonzo are the only customers, which is a good thing since they have just... (full context)
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...orders some lemon meringue pie. She brings the pie and the men stand to leave. Duke can see that Gonzo has “triggered bad memories” in the waitress. As they walk out,... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 9: Breakdown on Paradise Blvd.
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...chapter begins with a “Editor’s Note” that is written entirely in italics. Around this time, Duke has “broken down completely,” and after his original manuscript is destroyed, the editor at the... (full context)
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...the dopers hang out.” There is “twenty-four-hour-a-day violence” there, but the owner is “completely remodeling.” Duke and Gonzo finish their food and quietly leave. (full context)
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The chapter ends with another “Editor’s Note” that explains Duke and Gonzo’s search for the Old Psychiatrist’s Club. They find it—“a huge slab of cracked... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 10: Heavy Duty at the Airport…Ugly Peruvian Flashback…‘No! It’s Too Late! Don’t Try It!’
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By dawn, Duke drives Gonzo to the airport to catch a plane back to L.A., only Duke can’t... (full context)
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Duke heads back to the hotel to “take stock.” He drives near the campus of the... (full context)
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Duke remembers an old friend, a hippie and “out-front drifter” who wandered the country like “an... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 11: Fraud? Larceny? Rape?... A Brutal Connection with the Alice from Linen Service
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Duke is thinking about his drifter friend as he drives back to the hotel. The drifter’s... (full context)
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It all seems so crazy, “but what is sane,” Duke wonders, especially in this “doomstruck era of Nixon.” People are “all wired into a survival... (full context)
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“No doubt they all Got What Was Coming To Them,” Duke says. Leary led “pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding... (full context)
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The “old-mystic fallacy” is the same “paradoxically benevolent bullshit” peddled by the Catholic Church, Duke says. This assumption and “blind faith” occurred during a “crucial moment” in the Sixties when... (full context)
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Sonny Barger “never quite got the hang of it,” Duke says, and he “blew it in 1965” when the Angels “attacked the front ranks of... (full context)
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The final break came at Altamont, Duke says, but that “orgy of violence” only “dramatized the problem.” The “reality” is that “the... (full context)
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Back in his room at the Flamingo, Duke feels “dangerously out of phase,” like “something ugly is about to happen.” He looks around... (full context)
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On Tuesday, Duke and Gonzo had forgotten to hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign, and Alice had wandered... (full context)
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“You’re under arrest!” Duke suddenly yelled. “No!” cried Alice. “I just wanted to clean up!” Duke asked Alice if... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 12: Return to the Circus-Circus…Looking for the Ape…to Hell with the American Dream
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When Duke arrives at Circus-Circus, an old man is being loaded into an ambulance. He approaches Bruce... (full context)
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Bruce asks Duke when he is leaving town. “As soon as possible,” Duke answers. “You found the American... (full context)
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Duke is eager to get out of Vegas. “A little bit of this town goes a... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 13: End of the Road…Death of the Whale…Soaking Sweats in the Airport
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Duke tries to play baccarat at Circus-Circus, but the bouncers kick him out. “You don’t belong... (full context)
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Duke drives the White Whale back to the Flamingo to get his luggage, and then he... (full context)
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Duke arrives at the airport VIP parking lot and turns the White Whale over to a... (full context)
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Duke checks all his bags except for his bag of drugs and the .357 Magnum. He... (full context)
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Duke finds a morning newspaper and begins to read. He finds a story in which a... (full context)
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Duke throws down the paper. He doesn’t even want to read the news anymore if this... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 14: Farewell to Vegas…‘God’s Mercy on You Swine!’
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As Duke walks around the airport, he realizes that he is still wearing his police badge from... (full context)
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“The big market, these days,” Duke says, “is in Downers.” Today, what sells is “whatever Fucks You Up—whatever short circuits your... (full context)
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Duke boards his plane and enjoys a pleasant flight, but when he lands, he notices the... (full context)
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Duke nods and walks away, snorting an amyl. He passes a couple of Marines near the... (full context)