I was not a fan of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, to put it mildly. While I have a mild degree of interest in gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, I have little patience for his drug-addled experiences—even with Johnny Depp as the writer’s fictionalized alter ego. Perhaps that’s why I responded better to The Rum Diary: based on another autobiographical Thompson novel, about his younger days, it’s Fear and Loathing-Lite, fueled more by alcohol than narcotics.
The setting is San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1960, where Depp shows up for a job on a local newspaper a day late, getting off on the wrong foot with ill-tempered editor Richard Jenkins. He agrees to room with fellow reporter Michael Rispoli and falls into a drink-sodden mist, occasionally fired up by the actions and musings of crazed—
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