The Rum Diary

A Novel
Narrated by: Christopher Lane
Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (580 ratings)

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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

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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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

5 people found this helpful

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My favorite book

With the old timer talk and the setting of the late 1950s Thompson captured a piece of that decade, and gave it life with real characters going through the crualty and benefits of life.

1 person found this helpful

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Great read!!!

Only complaint is how short it was... I wanted to keep reading and reading it!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

awesome

Amazing book written supposedly by a younger H.S.T that man should have never worried about finding his voice he probably could have wrote in any style he wanted. Genius. the movies ending was more romantic than the books ending though

1 person found this helpful

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A rare bit of fiction from a Gonzo master.

A must read for fans of Hunter S. Thompson. Sorry Colonel Depp,the book was better!

1 person found this helpful

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discovering Hunter S Thompson

excellent storyline.... can't wait to watch the movie... will definitely read other books by this author.

1 person found this helpful

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Not the trip you expect but the the book you need

I love this story because it's not as crazy as fear and loathing but it has a lot to say for itself. It's definitely one of those things you walk away from feeling like you found something quite beautifully unexpected in yourself.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story

Loved the story, some great laughs
R.I.P. Hunter S Thompson
Awesome job narrator, enjoyed your accents

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful story

Great book with a great narrative. Nice story to relax and listen to. I would recommend this book to a friend that wanted an easy read with a good story.

1 person found this helpful

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Another great by hunter s Thompson

loved it. hunter s Thompson has a writing style that never disappoints. I wish he had written more novels

1 person found this helpful

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  • Radost
  • 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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Gustav
  • 12-24-15

Interesting...

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

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  • ReadingWild
  • 02-26-15

Much underrated

A fine first novel and so fine novel on any account, the pre Gonzo hunter bug it's there lurking unnamed in the shadows and the empty glasses.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-17-18

Drunk in the Sun<br />

Thompson's work always has a hostile tone to me. His characters are seldom dignified nor easy to like. They are anti-heroes. Irresponsible, impulsive, indulgent. They are cursed with hubris, drinking themselves into oblivion and constantly making bad decisions. They are cynical about government and other forms of authority. They are intellectual rebels that are pretentious and sexist at parties. But their lives are so wild, unpredictable and exhilarating because of their reckless behaviour, that it makes for a gripping read.

This book chronicles the drunken adventures of Paul Kemp during his time writing as a journalist in Puerto Rico. He has sex with beautiful women, drinks, writes and complains about a boss that won't publish anything interesting. He analyses the culture of Puerto Rico as only a privileged white man could. During a brief stay in a stinky, crowded Puerto Rican jail cell, he becomes regretfully aware of his privilege and how it will bite him in the ass at trial.

The narrator's performance was dazzingly. He made bold and nuanced character choices. Each voice was distinct.

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  • Lee
  • 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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • matt
  • 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.