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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!
One of those pivotal reads of my life, Hunter S. Thompson did well to depict the perpetual struggle for meaning amid the chaos of life. Read morePublished 5 hours ago by Eugene Montgomery
This book is for my son. Hunter Thompson is someone who has been a favorite of his. It opens the door to more interest in his life.Published 4 days ago by Connie S. Riddle
Narrated by its main character, Paul Kemp, The Rum Diary is an interesting and skillfully written book about a particular time and place. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Michael G.
I rate this the best Island novel ever written probably edges Hemingway.Published 2 months ago by J. Binns
I enjoyed this book while flying in severe turbulence. The characters are quite believable and the paragraphs are thoroughly entertaining, so much so that I almost forgot I was on... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kevin D. Ronkko
Hunter S. Thompson's first novel is drier than the kind of material he would later become famous for, but it is still a fun read and a view into the world of Hunter's life in his... Read morePublished 3 months ago by GonzoSniffer
Hunter S. Thompson was an off-the-wall writer, and this is one of his more enjoyable books (recently made into a movie). Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mother of 9