The Rum Diary.

Goodreads Review.

 

A book which shows some roots of Mr. Thompson’s fear & loathing. The narration begins with Mr. Kemp, a U.S. soul lost from the clutches of religion, free of grasping politics, flying to Puerto Rico after high times on foreign shores. A journalist by profession, arriving to serve a new employer, unable to reach contentment, Mr. Kemp aims for a wade through a quagmire of rum & little else besides. At times nigh-identical with the travel brochure Mr. Kemp is hired to write late in the novel, and at others, (I believe) surprisingly consistent with the articles he writes earlier in the pages (which remain imaginary). Vivid descriptions of a dissipating Caribbean lifestyle are dispersed throughout the short novel, so to are shocking descriptions of local culture. Garish contrasts between the tourists and locals are described more often perhaps than the tropical idyll, and the resulting blend is a satisfactory cosmetic for the journey of a disenfranchised young man.

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