I am freqently enraged by the number of people who cite 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' as a point of literary interest because "they take so much drugs and its sooo cool".
Yes, appreciation of literature is subjective and you are entitled to your own opinion. However, if your opinion corresponds with the above, you are, quite frankly, an imbecile.
Yes it is better than the film, but not because the film is poor (indeed it is fantastic). But rather because Thompson managed to construct something totally new, some breathtaking hybrid of epic proportions.
As cliched as it may sound, the 'wave speech' is pure opiate for the soul. Expression verging on poetry which can be seen to sum up the end of an era, this is the passage that was most often quoted by Thompson when asked to read from his book.
A big screen version of his lost novel 'The Rum Diary' is currently being made, with Johnny Depp returning for the role of Kemp/Thompson. While not as intense as 'Fear and Loathing', it is a beautifully painted account of an earlier period in Thompson's life, with the inevitable dash of 'pure gonzo' thrown in.
Read them, watch them, enjoy.