The Maverick, the Method, the Madness. The Rum Diary by Hunter Thompson on Verses Inked. All in – One Love
Hope has seldom been better explained, as understood in the cracking open of a bottle of rum.
Welcome to the world of verses inked, verses explained through ink. Better never, fashionably late, statutory – tending to ambling, as is the piece in discussion. Delightfully laid down, as often was during counter culture era, as also at Verses Inked, we present to the dear readers, this category they should be interested about. Verses Thread. We dive in first, here and how. Hunter S Thompson-The Rum Diaries.
The absolute artificer of Gonzo Journalism, you may rest your spine assure that if Hunter Thompson explains a situation, he would have had, in most accounts gone through it. There is then this iffy relationship which the writer shares with the keyboard. A chemistry which churns out the content. The perceptions in between the known and the unknown.
The Diary is in vein autobiographical. A dedication , as print suggests to Heidi Opheim, Mary Sue Rued and Dana Kennedy.
The following quote precedes the written text:-
My rider of the bright eyes,
What happened to you yesterday.?
I thought you in my heart,
When I bought your fine clothes,
A man the world could not slay.
-Dark Eileen O’Connell 1773.
Hunter Thompson, was a life long aficionado of alcohol, substance and mistake not, fire arms. The author was once a sports journalist at San Juan in Puerto Rico.
The narration of the plot hashes out a plethora of situation, which with overt gestures reflects the author’s time at the island. It remains a matter of more than mere chance that the characters stringing together the circumstances, in this case often radical, also draw inspiration from real life.
There is the all conquering, scrambling through, somehow protagonist, Paul Kemp, who throughout the narration, like almost everybody, almost always, in a drunken stupor, holds his own, as situations come hurling in, swell out of proportion towards the greater conclusion, leaving the reader in a state of wishful trance.
Paul Kemp’s romantic interest, from the very beginning, in fact, since his fateful flight to Puerto Rico, had been this petite blonde girl,Chenault. The situations in between the two always have a tensed, along the fringes of outrageous, knack about them.
There is then The Daily News, headed by an uncertain Ed Lotterman, and run by an entourage of staff. Sala the freelance photographer and a dear confidant to the protagonist; Yeamon, a close friend, also a reporter at the news, as well Chenault’s romantic interest during the former part of the story,until the carnival. The ever resourceful PR guy, Hal Sanderson, hell-raiser Moberg, the sports editor Bill Donovan, of prim and proper disposition, yet all in comparison and according to the situation. There is also a certain Mr. Zimburger, an acquaintance of Sanderson, a former captain at the Corps, still proud,more obsessed, a mean to an end.
The story is set against the back drop of fleeting communist references, the dwindling fortunes of the Daily News, and the influence of rum, which individually is the all encompassing throttle driving the narration ahead.
Al’s kitchen serving up its indigenous hamburgers and rum, plays host to a number of scenes. There is also the News office, and the sights sounds of Puerto-Rico which puts the novel together. The description of the Carnival at St Thomas, and the immediate events which ensued, is of notable importance to the flow of the time-line. Random watering holes, filled with writers, sailors and compulsive merry makers, that borrowed dilapidated car, that scooter in worse condition, a quiet beach somewhere, angry mobs, police stations, cab drivers, spill overs among innumerable Rum refills and the ever pressing tropical air. That is what makes the book, the odd two hundred pages of substance that it is.
The story concludes in a melting pot of emotions, which is somehow made mellow by the mere mention of Rum, albeit over and over again. The overarching daze seeps into the imagination of the avid reader,with conviction. The newspaper eventually shuts down, the staff are busy, getting the far flung fractals of their lives together. Their belligerence lead to a chaotic, yet successful attempt of assassination at Lotterman. Paul Kemp, has no part to play in the homicide. Yet he could not totally not feel a sense of empathy towards the conspirators. Chenault, armed with a surprise waits for him in New York. More rum and hamburgers, every time served at Al’s by this negro named Sweep.
Protocol, or perhaps belief, that it takes a hundred strikes and more to fashion gold, whereas in case of iron, it takes only a numbered few. So is Thompson’s narration. Perhaps his body of work, to some sentimental, judgmental mind is like the strike of a hammer on iron,one blow at a time. The narration lacks the close knit, yet it all holds together, perhaps as always.
It is not for nothing that the cinematic rendition of the novel has a number of alterations in the screenplay, when compared to the original text. The freakish flamboyance of Yeamon and the drive of Hal Sanderson is moulded into one character, as Sanderson. Besides the whole business deal with Mr Zimburger acts as a prequel to the carnival, and is of little importance after, in the novel. Whereas in the movie, the whole affair draws considerable breadth, and leads to the helter skelter at the conclusion
The film was a brainchild of Bruce Robinson, brought to life by the only Jhonny Depp. It was in fact, Depp’s industry and prolonged acquaintance with the author, that the original text, written in the sixties, was brought to print fourty years later. What more, Thompson calls his house, Owl Farm.