Nevada is largely a desert state and is famous for the aridity of its Great Basin and Mojave Desert. Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains offer a counterpoint to this parched terrain, with lush forests and jagged snow-capped peaks. The bright lights of the city of sin, Las Vegas, offer a further contrast and have been the setting for tales of corruption, sleaze and depravity for decades.
Nevada has produced a wealth of different styles of literature. From gonzo journalism; such as Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which a records a road trip to Las Vegas complete with copious drug consumption and absolute deviance from authority, to American classics such as Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
The Collected Works of Billy the Kid by novelist and poet Michael Ondaatje records the life and times of a famous Nevada outlaw, Billy the Kid, who rampaged across the state in the late 19th century when it was dotted with lawless frontier towns.
Nevada’s film base is also extensive; The Ox-Bow Incident dramatizes the time when Nevada was part of the ‘Wild West’ whereas Arthur Miller’s The Misfits is a classic romantic comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Age. The Shootist is one of the canonical Westerns starring the man most consider emblematic of the genre, John Wayne.
Nevada is probably most famous for country music which glorifies cowboy culture; there are festivals such as Cowboy Music Gathering, which are dedicated to this genre of music. Nevada also boasts a range of world renowned country stars such as Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire.