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In fact, Thompson was only 22 when he wrote The Rum Diary, but his fear of winding up like Moberg was well founded. What saved him was the fantastic conflagration of the 1960s, a fiery wind on which the reptilian wings of his prose style could catch and soar to the cackling heights of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Puerto Rico in 1959 doesn't have bad craziness enough to offer Thompson--just a routine drunken-reporter stomping by local cops and a riot over Kemp's friend's temptress girlfriend, a scantily imagined Smith College alumna who likes to strip nude on beaches and in nightclubs to taunt men.
Thompson's prose style only intermittently takes tentative flight--compare the stomping scenes in this book with his breakthrough, Hell's Angels--but it's interesting to see him so nakedly reveal his sensitive innards, before the celebrated clownish carapace grew in. It's also interesting to see how he improved this full version of the novel from the more raw (and racist) excerpts found in the 1990 collection Songs of the Doomed (available on audiocassette, partly narrated by Thompson). --Tim Appelo --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The Rum Diary is, perhaps, the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's most underappreciated work.
I read this book in no time, I actually had to stop myself because I wanted to savor it, I kept noticing how quick I was reading it and I never wanted it to end!
With that in mind, the writing style, sensitivity to detail, and compelling storytelling are quite amazing!
It took me a long time to visit this book, longer than I wanted. I watched the Johnny Depp film and I was mildly impressed by it, but I still wanted to read the novel. Read morePublished 12 days ago by B. Adducchio
An early novel by Hunter S. Thompson, it is a bit slower read than, and lacks the total disregard for social norms in, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Read morePublished 14 days ago by JMd
Hunter S. Thompson is just such an amazing, kooky writer. He brings such a cool voice to everything he touches. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christopher Ogle