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The Rum Diary

A Novel
Written by: Hunter S. Thompson
Narrated by: Christopher Lane
Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 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

What the critics say

“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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Loved it

Hunter's writing delivered by the narrator was a perfect way to be introduced to Hunter.

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worthwhile purchase. <br />

loved it. the narrator's performance was exceptional and of course this is my favorite of Hunter S. Thompson's works, so if you're not familiar with this novel. purchase this. you will not be disappointed.

I listened to the entire reading with headphones in one sitting.

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  • Peter
  • Sydney, Australia
  • 2013-03-26

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

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 2015-10-01

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.

13 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Gypsy Wife
  • Back on Boogie Street
  • 2012-08-31

A pleasant haze with depth

I read this because I watched the movie and figured the book would be deeper and better. Love Thompson's liquid descriptions. This book is thickly atmospheric, full of sights, sounds, rich aromas, heat and emotion. If you read (listen to) the book first, you won't like the movie too much, which combines a couple of key characters into one creating a decent movie which of course has little depth. A good read with compelling characters making decisions and choices, sometimes for the wrong reasons with the wrong results.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Casey and Jess
  • 2019-06-16

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

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  • Gary
  • 2019-02-06

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!

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  • Heather & Owen
  • 2019-01-27

discovering Hunter S Thompson

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

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  • Sparrow Lovett
  • California
  • 2018-10-25

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.

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  • Christopher Sanchez
  • 2018-10-23

Great story

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

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  • D Eichholz
  • 2018-10-17

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.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-07-09

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