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Extended Audio Sample The RUM DIARY: A Novel Audiobook, by Hunter S. Thompson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (23,289 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hunter S. Thompson Narrator: Campbell Scott Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 1998 ISBN: 9780743548496
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Soon to be a major motion picture starring Johnny Depp, The Rum Diary—Hunter S. Thompson’s brilliant love story of jealousy, treachery, and violent lust in the Caribbean is now available on audio for only $14.99.

Hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as “laugh-out-loud funny” and “a great and an unexpected joy,” The Rum Diary “reveals a young Hunter S. Thompson brimming with talent.” Based on Thompson’s own experiences as a reporter in Puerto Rico for The Nation, the National Journal, and the San Juan Star in the late fifties and early sixties, The Rum Diary is a tangled love story in a Caribbean boomtown. The narrator, Paul Kemp, irresistibly drawn to a sexy, mysterious woman, is thrust into a world where corruption and get-rich-quick schemes rule, and anything (including murder) is permissible. In his signature tongue-in-cheek style, Thompson presents a dazzling, comedic romp, a fictional excursion as riveting and outrageous as his popular Fear and Loathing books. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Throughout The Rum Diary, Thompson flashes signs of the vitriol that would later be turned loose on society.” 

    USA Today

  • “Enough booze to float a yacht and enough fear and loathing to sink it.” 

    New York Daily News

  • “At the core of this hard-drinking, hard-talking, hard-living man is a moralist, Puritan, even an innocent. The Rum Diary gives us this side of him without apology…with a kind of pride.” 

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Crackling, twisted, searing, paced to a deft prose rhythm…a shot of Gonzo with a rum chaser.” 

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A great and unexpected joy…reveals a young Hunter Thompson brimming with talent.” 

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “A remarkably full and mature first novel…a languid and lovingly executed book that reveals its emotional depths slowly.” 

    Salon

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 1998 New York Times Notable Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Derick Lugo | 2/3/2014

    " Wow, I didn't know Puerto Rico was so wild! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Phil | 1/27/2014

    " Hunter S. Thompson does his best Ernest Hemmingway impersonation, but falls well short of the mark. The protagonist is thoroughly unlikeable and the plot is thin at best. Lots of drinking though, makes me feel like a teetotaler in comparison. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 JoYo | 1/24/2014

    " Great, quick read. A splash of Gonzo, which is absent entirely in Hell's Angels. Very different from the movie, which surprised me. Perfect Gonzo introduction to HST. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Blank_postcard | 1/13/2014

    " Loved it -- paints a distorted, gorgeous picture of San Juan similar to the depiction of Paris by Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jer | 1/11/2014

    " The beginning of Gonzo. 1960 San Juan, Puerto Rico. Our reporter Kemp (Thompson) arrives at a failing English-language newspaer that is full of degenerates, thieves, drunks, con-men, wheelers and dealers, and thieves. Of course, written in Thompson's quirky, funny style. There are some similarities to the movie that was released but definitely doesn't do the book full justice. And yes, there is a lot of rum-related debauchery in this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ingrid | 1/10/2014

    " Scandalous! Makes me slightly more appreciative of the relative calm (and sobriety) of the Herald newsroom. Don't think I could keep up with the incredible quantities of rum consumed in this book. I liked the characters for the most part. They were more than your average one-dimensional, predictable characters, though mostly they were pretty tragic. Overall, an entertaining read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe Brunory | 1/10/2014

    " Really enjoyed this raucous romp through San Juan. I read it with going to watch the new movie in mind and it was very easy to visualize Johnny Depp playing Paul Kemp's character, almost like it was written for him. Short and painless, entertaining book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 12/30/2013

    " Awesome book, have read it twice. Read this with Johhny Depp's voice in your head as narration, it totally makes it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samanthaacquisto | 12/30/2013

    " Winding and crazy and lazy and bored. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Addie | 11/8/2013

    " Lots of perfect quotes for Americans experiencing life in Latin America...particularly the Peace Corps? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anton Roe | 10/24/2013

    " A great read. Captivating throughout. Reminded me of a F Scott Fitzgerald novel "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maire1975 | 10/18/2013

    " Smart and quick. Can't wait to see what they do with the movie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Capiz | 10/1/2013

    " Frenetic and edgy. There's a beauty in the desperation and sheer absurdity of it. A good, quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stuart Estell | 10/1/2013

    " Most enjoyable - especially for what's almost a piece of juvenilia. Much better than I was expecting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carla Pasquale | 6/20/2013

    " I really wasn't crazy about this book... Is it just me? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Corrine | 4/5/2013

    " Good small read. More interesting because of its foundation in reality. End surprised me a bit. Recommend "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 2/20/2013

    " Interesting read. This is the first Hunter S. Thompson book I've read and I am not sure if I am a fan of his style. Having already seen the movie, the book was kind of spoiled for me already. However, the book was a much more enjoyable experience than the movie, in my opinion! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 andy orin | 8/16/2012

    " This is not a solid novel. But it is fun to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Taylor Berschet | 8/15/2012

    " Did my research paper on this guy, he's wild and on the verge of insanity, but i cant get enough of his books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie Shain | 6/20/2012

    " I thought the writing was very engaging. But it was a little to brutal for me. And I adore Puerto Rico, so was put off by the constant berating of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine Kuchinsky | 4/22/2012

    " It's Hunter. What's not to like? As always, take it with a grain of salt, but Hunter's experiences and observations are always entertaining. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott Thompson | 3/11/2012

    " This is a good read. I recommend it for a summer trip when you're not looking for anything too heavy, but still sort of fun. Someone told me reading this made them feel like they were hungover, and it does, so if you don't like books where the characters stay drunk you won't like this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Timday | 2/8/2012

    " good yarn - why am i disappointed when i stray from speculative fiction ? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 FrumpBurger | 2/6/2012

    " I don't like rum and I didn't like this novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 11/13/2011

    " This is a good one :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carmen Branson | 8/18/2011

    " I don't how to describe my experience reading this except I felt like I was waiting the whole time. Waiting for the big climax, the height of the story, the big turning point and it just wasn't there. I certainly picked up on the chaos and the wild energy of San Juan and his job but I expected more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Blum | 8/17/2011

    " This is my fav hunter book and you don't have to be completely high to follow this one ;) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 andy | 5/14/2011

    " This is not a solid novel. But it is fun to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carl | 5/14/2011

    " A great story of good times, told by the man himself, hunter s. Thompson RIP brother. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 5/13/2011

    " Just finished this and loved it a lot more than I expected to...not as fun a romp as Fear and Loathing, but totally Gonzo nonetheless! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 5/7/2011

    " Really great novel, really inspiring just to get down to the carribean and huff it as a journalist. Love Thompson's writing style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ida | 5/1/2011

    " Amazing! One of my favorite books "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cameron | 4/28/2011

    " Short book follows around a depressed alchoholic with no purpose in life. If I wanted a close hand look at the life, I could just as easily go to one of my neighborhood dives and save myself the time it took to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Todd | 4/28/2011

    " He wrote it when he was 22, his first real novel besides prince jellyfish, and It's my favorite novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tarina | 4/27/2011

    " A book definitely written by a man for men. An interesting perspective. Especially interesting for me since I read it while vacationing in the Caribbean where the book takes place. A very raw and visceral view of humanity inside and out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 4/18/2011

    " Very much the same premise as Kerouac's "On the Road," but a much easier read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 4/15/2011

    " the perfect book to read while vacationing in the caribbean "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie | 4/13/2011

    " Very different. I liked it and it was easy to keep reading because it kept me wondering. I was glad to read something different and out of my "comfort" zone. I will definitely try another Hunter S. Thompson book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Esteban | 4/12/2011

    " two pages in and already loving it
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dfarmer93 | 4/11/2011

    " One of my favorite books from Hunter S. Thompson. I was completely absorbed into his world of the journalist in Puerto Rico. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 4/9/2011

    " Story moves really quickly which I liked a lot. Kind of ends abruptly but then again I'm not sure what I was expecting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian | 4/7/2011

    " An entertaining "beat" novel from the father of Gonzo journalism. Not Thompson's best work, but as his only novel, it's an interesting and heartfelt tale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean | 4/1/2011

    " A morality cocktail shaken and stirred in whims of nostalgia with an understated exaltation of spontaneity at its core. Fantastic novel! "

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About the Author
Author Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson (1937–2005) was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. His books on politics and society were regarded as groundbreaking among journalists, and he was celebrated as one of the early practitioners of an outraged, irreverent form of highly subjective journalism that became known as gonzo journalism. His numerous articles for Rolling Stone and books like Hell’s Angels and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas brought him wide recognition and cultlike status.

About the Narrator

Campbell Scott has, in addition to his numerous stage and film credits, narrated more than forty audiobooks, including This Boy’s Life and Into Thin Air, and won seven AudioFile Earphones Awards.