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Publisher's Summary

Begun in 1959 by a 22-year-old Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary is a brilliantly tangled love story of jealousy, treachery, and violent alcoholic lust in the Caribbean boomtown that was San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the late 1950s. The narrator, freelance journalist Paul Kemp, irresistibly drawn to a sexy, mysterious woman, is soon thrust into a world where corruption and get-rich-quick schemes rule and anything (including murder) is permissible. Exuberant and mad, youthful and energetic, this dazzling comedic romp provides a fictional excursion as riveting and outrageous as Thompson's Fear and Loathing books.
©1999 Hunter S. Thompson (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
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Critic Reviews

“Crackling, twisted, searing, paced to a deft prose rhythm.... A shot of Gonzo with a rum chaser.” ( San Francisco Chronicle)
“Enough booze to float a yacht and enough fear and loathing to sink it.” ( New York Daily News)
“A great and an unexpected joy.... Reveals a young Hunter Thompson brimming with talent.” ( The Philadelphia Inquirer)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Peter on 03-26-13

i own this paperback..

..but it is lost in a milk crate under a pile of un-requited exercise equipment down the back of a shed.. so i listen instead.. so glad i did.. made me realise what retarded thing they did with the movie screenplay.. amalgamating key characters, locations & plot points.. sorry, forget the film, with it's fine actors.. but do the book

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Darwin8u on 10-01-15

Either a Priest or a Fool

'"Happy," I muttered, trying to pin the word down. But it is on of those words, like Love, that I have never quite understood. Most people who deal in words don't have much fait in them and I am no exception -- especially the big ones like Happy and Love and Honest and Strong. They are too elusive and far too relative when you compare them to sharp, mean little words like Punk and Cheap and Phony. I feel at home with these, because they're scrawny and easy to pin, but the big ones are tough and it takes either a priest or a fool to use them with any confidence.' - Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary

At once a slice of Lowry's 'Under the Volcano' and every other writer (Faulkner, Hemingway, Kerouac, et al) who drinks too much on an island with a girl. It is easy to drive too fast down the roads of this book and miss the fantastic prose. Even early Thompson had the sweaty, sharp, twisted prose that hits you in the head like a hammer. One would think rum, women, sand and hamburgers might be heaven, but it also might be the next step to death. Thompson finds that awkward, brief shadow between paradise and hell and soaks it in and leaves us trails of grace out of that hot, heavy mess.

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12 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Radost on 12-29-11

Sounds very amateur

The person who is narrating the story sounds very amateur. I have listened to the recordings from Dracula from Livrebox and one of the voices sounds very familiar. The difference between audible and livrebox website is that here I am paying. I am paying because the first few books I got were with extraordinary quality, one such book is Vanity fair, amazing narrator. I thought that all the recordings were of high standard, Unfortunately, I must admit that my expectations with this particular book (as well as the Republic, Plato) have not been met.
Some of the interpretations/impressions had even a crippling effect on me due to the tone of the voice, not very theatrical; it was like nails scratching on a board! I was getting nervous when listening to it and it made me, initially, not like the book. I did reread the book and I must say it was very good, witty and clever little writing. Although, the author of the book is famous for his quirky talent, the recording does not match the writing style at all.
I am very disappointed.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Gustav on 12-24-15

Interesting...

really good however it takes some time to get started. Well worth a read though

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Lee on 01-16-17

written so well it's poetry

A story written so well it's gritty poetry from start to finish. Th narrator did the book justice too

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5 out of 5 stars
By matt on 05-18-15

Excellent story

Fantastic story. Read impeccably. I hung on every word and felt involved in the characters. It makes having a drinking problem sound positively entertaining.

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