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The Rum Diary | [Hunter S. Thompson]

The Rum Diary

The Rum Diary was begun in 1959 by a then-22-year-old Hunter S. Thompson. It was his first novel and he told his friend, the author William Kennedy, that The Rum Diary would "in a twisted way...do for San Juan what Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises did for Paris."
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Publisher's Summary

The Rum Diary was begun in 1959 by a then-22-year-old Hunter S. Thompson. It was his first novel and he told his friend, the author William Kennedy, that The Rum Diary would "in a twisted way...do for San Juan what Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises did for Paris." In Paul Kemp, the novel's hero, there are echoes of the young Thompson, who was himself honing his wildly musical writing style as one of the "ill-tempered wandering rabble" on staff at the San Juan Daily News at the time.

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. "It was a gold rush," says the author. "There were naked people everywhere and we all had credit."

© Hunter S. Thompson; (P)2004 Simon & Schuster, Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"His style is less hallucinatory and exclamatory than it later became, but the groundwork is there." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (181 )
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3.8 (79 )
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3.7 (76 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Caroline Memphis, TN, USA 05-26-09
    Caroline Memphis, TN, USA 05-26-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Rum Diary"

    I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, became a devotee of Hunter S. Thompson, really enjoyed it but the pages came to life in The Rum Diary, while listening to it on Audible. The characters are engaging and Mr. Scott did an excellent job reading this novel. Enjoyed this audiobook more than any other I have listened to.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Brooklyn, NY, United States 04-06-11
    Daniel Brooklyn, NY, United States 04-06-11
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    "Fantastic story, wonderfully narrated."

    Easily my favorite audiobook. I only wish it wasn't abridged, because it's a great story. Campbell Scott also has a great voice and nails the voices and accents. I'll look for more of his narrations.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay 05-23-15
    Jay 05-23-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    15
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    "Superbly written"

    Thompson's analogies are just flawless and flow effortlessly. Brilliant writer.

    Look up 'rubber sack' passage.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Muse 03-25-15
    Ryan Muse 03-25-15 Member Since 2011

    I love books on History, Exploration, Survival and the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse. (and some Monsters)

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    27
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    "Not Bad"
    Where does The Rum Diary rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Definitely not one of my favorites. I really enjoy Mr. Thompson's writing, I guess the main part for me was the narration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david 03-15-15
    david 03-15-15 Member Since 2015
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    "I the book is far better than the movie"

    excellent

    I wished they would I follow the book more closely in the movie ghh

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    German Hippie 03-09-15 Member Since 2013
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    8
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    "Reminds me of Kerouac"

    in a pleasantly vulgar kind of way. The descriptive decadent lifestyle is repulsive and attractive all at the same time. A bit of loathsome peppered with hints of wanting to belong with the normal people peaking out through the alcohol brings out the humanity and makes Jack Kemp likable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mikael Ulricehamn, Sweden 05-14-12
    Mikael Ulricehamn, Sweden 05-14-12

    Audiobooks makes my 10+hour commutes every week alot more bearable. :)

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    5
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    "Reader ruined it"
    Any additional comments?

    The book is one of my favorites, but after ten minutes i couldnt listen any more, the guy reading is totally oblivious to the atmosphere of the story. Sorry, but not worth downloading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Santa Cruz, CA, United States 03-26-12
    Amy Santa Cruz, CA, United States 03-26-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Really enjoyed it"

    Great narration and story. It was a little hard to remember which character was which and not get the names mixed up because there were a lot of characters introduced all at once, but it worked. The only bummer for me is that I didn't realize it is the abridged version. I would definitely rather read the unabridged.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica BERWICK, PA, United States 02-14-12
    Jessica BERWICK, PA, United States 02-14-12 Member Since 2013
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    "huge fan"

    I am a huge fan of HST and was thrilled when the audio book became available. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Mr. Thompson's work!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JanBreesmom MIRA LOMA, CA, United States 01-11-12
    JanBreesmom MIRA LOMA, CA, United States 01-11-12 Member Since 2012

    Breesmom

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Valueable Lesson Learned in Puerto Rico"
    If you could sum up The Rum Diary in three words, what would they be?

    Seedy, Humidity, newspaper


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It ended pretty much as I thought it would. There were a few surprises.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I liked the scene where he first sees the newsroom and meets the people there. I could just picture it. Seemed very true-to-life.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    There's more to Puerto Rico besides sand and surf.


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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