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The Rum Diary

Narrated by: Campbell Scott
Length: 3 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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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."

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

Critic reviews

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

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Caroline
  • Caroline
  • 26-05-09

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.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Jay
  • 23-05-15

Superbly written

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

Look up 'rubber sack' passage.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ryan Muse
  • 25-03-15

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • david
  • 15-03-15

I the book is far better than the movie

excellent

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • German Hippie
  • 09-03-15

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.

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  • Mikael
  • 14-05-12

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.

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  • Amy
  • 26-03-12

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.

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  • JanBreesmom
  • 11-01-12

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D.H.
  • 06-04-11

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.

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  • Jessica
  • 14-02-12

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!