Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hunter S. Thompson's Rum Diaires

It seems more than a coincidence (or perhaps it's exactly that, just a coincidence) but I was talking with a colleague about The Rum Diaries and how much I'd enjoyed the book - I read it back in 1998, I think, at that time I had no inkling to become a writer of any kind - it honestly wasn't a consideration - I simply hadn't thought of it.

But The Run Diaries was a lot of fun to read - I didn't write down a lot of quotes back then, but I remember I did write this one down, from the beginning of the book:
"Like most of the others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent, and at times a stupid hell-raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that my instincts were right. I shared a vagrant optimism that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top.

At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles - a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other - that kept me going."
Always there's a push an pull in us between hope and despair - that what you're working toward could be great, or fall flat. The epitaph sort of sets the tone for the book, but at the same time has a poetic way of drawing its reader in, because everyone should feel this way at some point in their life.

It isn't John Keats, but it definitely tackles the journey to aspire to idealism, it alludes to the cyclops we all have to stake in the eye to return home to our ideals.

I would be remiss to not mention that the Rum Diaries is being made into a film - I would prefer to have found that this film was made years ago, to watch it with the lanky, un-hollywood actors of the 80s in washed out colour with tacky and out-of-date soundtracks following the protagonist's journey - but a 2011 release with (synonymous with Hunter S. Thompson) Johnny Depp in HD 3D (if only) might be worth it, too.

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