Paul Kemp has moved from New York to the steamy heat of Puerto Rico to work at the Daily News. He starts hanging out at Al's Backyard, a local den ...Show synopsisPaul Kemp has moved from New York to the steamy heat of Puerto Rico to work at the Daily News. He starts hanging out at Al's Backyard, a local den selling booze and hamburgers to vagrant journalists who are mostly crazy drunks on the verge of quitting. Then he meets Yeamon, whose delectable girlfriend has Kemp stewing in his own lust. But the idle tension that builds up in places where men sweat twenty-four hours a day is reaching a violent breaking point.Hide synopsis
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Everyone who has ever thought of being a journalist must read some Hunter Thompson. I can't say his experiences as a reporter mirror mine in any way, but I can definitely see where he got his inspiration. The man was one of the finest and most unique literary journalists who has ever lived, and The Rum Diary is a short but poignant work. Keep in mind he wrote this when he was only 22.
This book was such a delightful surprise! I have long been a fan of H.S.T.'s more main stream titles, most notably the works of Fear and Loathing, but this prolific little novel is something else entirely. Though it is is certainly marked by the usual savagery of Thompson's view of the world, there is a different element of hope and beauty that has a much harder time shining through in his later pieces.
Set in the florid background of Costa Rica, the story tells of vagrant journalists and their survival skills, primarily heavy and consistent drinking. This book is certainly not for everyone, keep the kids away until they can handle graphic material, and keep yourself away if you are a big fan of propriety and order. To the rest of you, I readily and wholeheartedly recomend this incredibly cheap vacation of hot, sweaty madness.
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