Customer Reviews for

The Rum Diary

Average Rating 4
( 108 )
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5 Star

(44)

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(18)

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(13)

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(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

LOVE IT!!!!!

When I read any of his books I hear Hunters voice.. RIP.. I LOVE YOU

posted by IVPAGE on October 4, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Sorry - Didn't care for it

I was a little bored right from the beginning. Paul moves to San Juan, drinks a lot of rum, eats a lot of hamburgers and works at a crappy newspaper. ok...... now what? I kept reading hoping something big would happen, but it never did. I guess HST's writing made me lon...
I was a little bored right from the beginning. Paul moves to San Juan, drinks a lot of rum, eats a lot of hamburgers and works at a crappy newspaper. ok...... now what? I kept reading hoping something big would happen, but it never did. I guess HST's writing made me long for a drink and a beach, but I don't get the hype.. And it's going to be a movie? Really?

posted by 10654155 on January 4, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

    Excellent Rainy Day Reading

    Love HST's island descriptions. Very entertaining HST style!

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Summer Reading

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It took me back to a simpler time and made me want to take a vacation... somewhere tropical spending the entire time sitting on the beach.

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  • Posted February 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fear and Loathing...with RUM!

    This was the first Thompson novel I read...even before Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Even though the Vegas adventure is my ultimate and all time favorite read, this novel is yet another wonderfully written balls out comedy that portrays a young Hunter Thompson, before he coined "Gonzo Journalism." This novel is very much in the style of Gonzo, with Thompson's thoughts, actions, and overall deamenor being recorded. This is a novel and not necessarilly a true account, but the way Thompson writes, he makes the story seem very real. Now finally after years and years of haults on the production of the book into a film, starring Johhny Depp, we'll be able to see this story in a visualistic way. It seems that years ago, Benicio Del Toro was penned to write/direct this novel and star Depp along with Del Toro, but Benicio got side tracked with the epic "CHE," which is understandable to anybody that any Latin American actors dream would be to play the Cuban Revolutionary. So then director Bruce Robinson of "Withnail and I," was chosen to direct, which in my mind is the perfect choice and to those of you who've seen the film, know what I mean, since it's about two guys getting ridiculously drunk and wasted in the countryside...a very Hunter S. Thompson style feature for the English. Ralph Steadman even helped out with that film, so he does have the credentials for this film. He was even asked to direct "Fear and Loathing" by Depp, but Gilliam got that role of course which turned out to be perfect. After years of production being haulted from Depps busy schedule with the Pirate trilogy and Heath Ledger's death, which Gilliam got Depp to step into the role Ledger was playing before his death. The Rum Diary seemed to be on the shelf, but now the castlist has been released, along with Depp as Paul Kemp (Thompson), Arron Ekhart and Richard Jenkins are the other characters filling the top spots. I'm glad this is getting underway, since Paul Kemp is in his early 20s and even though Depp is one of those ageless types, he's not getting any younger and to start this film would be as soon as possible. So as always, read the novel before the film, it's chalkfull of comedy and Gonzo antics and is perfect for any Thompson fan...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2006

    Righteous energy

    Captured me from begining to end. This was the first book of HST that I've read. Some reviews on the book have been poor in comparison with his latter works of art. I thought this book was very good and am now very curious, intrigued, and anxious to start another.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2005

    Great book!

    Only a handful of books have made it to the shelf relegated for ¿third and fourth-time¿ reads. THE RUM DIARY is one such book. Boyle¿s WATER MUSIC is another gem, and the hilarious and bizarre KATZENJAMMER by the reclusive and oddball Jackson McCrae is another. But of the three, RUM DIARY wins, hands down. Here¿s why: Hunter Thompson arrives in San Juan Puerto Rico as a thirty-something journalist on an English-language newspaper rapidly heading for the skids. For fans of Thompson, this is a pre-drug dive into the nascent miasma of gonzo. A must-add to the collection. For anyone who wants to get the feel of a neo-colonial society on the brink of waterfront hotels and land barons, this book hits the spot. From the moment he staggers out of a New York City bar and takes the cab to the airport, Paul Kemp fuels his post-adolescent lusts with cheap rum, disdainful detachment and occasional guilt. Taking cast-off apartments, cast-off assignments, and finally a cast-off beauty, Kemp reels from pillar to post. Moonlighting writing promotional materials for a piggish land developer, Kemp experiences more guilt than as moonlit lover of the abused Chenault. Watching the raging paper owner's paranoid descent into bankruptcy, shady mafia financing and death is but a sidelight. As he goes down, Lotterman's ravings about his 'drunks, bums perverts thieves and wineheads' presages Thompson's classic socially scabrous syllogisms. Moberg the reporter coming in drunk and pissing on the teletype machine might be the only lighthearted moment. This is writing like nothing else and it¿s no wonder the ¿establishment¿ is terrified of this guy! Also must recommend HAM ON RYE by Bukowski¿another great American who tells it like it is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2000

    Another piece in the puzzle called Hunter

    For the idealist and the cynic alike, Thompson's Rum Diary materializes everything that is hellbent and grim about a journalist on the move. Drunken and disassociated, he finds himself swimming in the wake of a string of equally delinquent writers. The rum is served warm and the plot served raw, as Hunter unravels one more turn in the ugly and decadent saga that is his life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2000

    80 Proof

    I moved to San Juan from the mid-west and have been here for more than five years. Puerto Rico is nothing like anywhere else. Thompson captured the scenic descriptions perfectly. The people in The Rum Diary exist in Puerto Rico. I have known each of the characters. In fifty years, some things are better here, some things are worse and some things are exactly the same. There are places like Al's where the same people go to get loaded every day. There are mainland Americans who talk incessantly about where they are going and what they are going to do when they leave here. But, they stay and stay and stay. I have seen idealists become alcoholics. The stray dogs exist. The dirt roads exist. People still throw their cars at you. People still get relieved of wrong doing because of who they know. It may not be as common but it exists. There are 'lunatics¿ and ¿wine heads.¿ There are still mainland Americans that come here and treat the locals bad and in general act like ¿ugly Americans.¿ A press pass can still take one far. The sun and the mimis can be unbearable. There are thieves. People still ride horseback through towns. The beautiful beaches described in Condado, Pinones, and Loiza exist. One can still pull a lobster off the reef. Vieques exists and is still charming, irrespective of the military presence. Tourism is booming. Opportunity is plentiful. There are direct flights to New York. Good tennis exists. The coffee is great. The food is excellent. There are Steel bands and festivals in the street. Rum is cheap and it flows. La Princessa is gone. There is a bridge over the Loiza river. Thompson¿s book made me remember so many things. Every page took me on a journey.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2000

    A curious lost tome

    Hunter Thompson's 'The Rum Diary' is a fine, well written and highly enjoyable novel. I loved the Hemingwayesque atmosphere:transient American writers in a tropical setting living precarious lives. Lots of drinking, womanizing and agonizing over the uncertain future. Kemp, the book's protagonist, is a well-drawn and interesting narrator who keeps the scant action flowing. As a writer once in similar circumstances, I sympathized with him in many respects. However, I take great exception with the book's overall portral of the story's Puerto Ricans as a bunch of lazy, conniving, violent, non-white foreigners who disdain the United States and take every opportunity available to exploit visitors, in particular mainland Americans. Indeed, there isn't a single positive Puerto Rican character in the book. As a person born on the island I feel very incense at this pernicious portrayal. I happen to have been living in Puerto Rico in the winter of 1958 and I never heard anyone, friends, neighbors or relatives, refer to mainland Americans as 'gringos'. Perhaps Mr. Thompson mistook Puerto Rico for a Latin American outpost populated with genuine radicals who truly despise everything this great country stands for. I understand the author wrote this lost first novel in the late fifties, but he is still alive and a bit of re-writing would not have hurt the novel's overall integrity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2000

    Hunter S. Thompson does it again

    This is by far one of the most interesting and fun books I have ever read. This book is perefect if your just loking for a fun time. The book is very easy reading and is just plain fun.

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