Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Rum Diary - Hunter. S. Thompson

Here are some amazing quotes from The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson. If these do not make you want to pick up a book and read then not much will.

  • Not so much of what he said was original. What made him unique was the fact that he had no sense of detachment at all. He was like the fanatical football fan who runs onto the field and tackles a player. He saw life as the Big Game, and the whole of making was divided into two teams- Sala’s Boys, and the others. The stakes were fantastic and every play was vital – and although he watched with a nearly obsessive interest, he was very much the fan, shouting unheard advice in a crowd of unheard advisors and knowing all the while that nobody was paying any attention to him because he was not running the team and never would be. And like all fans he was frustrated by the knowledge that the best he could do, even in a pinch, would be to run onto the field and cause some kind of illegal trouble, then he be hauled off by guards while the crowd laughed
  • “Happy,” I muttered, trying to pin the word down. But it is one of those words like Love, that I never quite understood. Most people who deal in words don’t have much faith in them and I am no exception—especially the big ones like Happy and Love and Honest and Strong. They are too elusive and far too relative when you compare them to sharp, mean little words like Punk and Cheap and Phony. I feel at home with these, because they’re scrawny and easy to pin, but the big ones are tough and it takes either a priest of a fool to use them with any confidence.
  • Yeah, they all ended up like Puerto Ricans. They fled and they couldn’t say why, but they damn well wanted out and they didn’t care if he newspapers understood or not. Somehow they got the idea that by getting the hell away from where they were they could find something better. They heard the word, the rotten devilish word that makes people incoherent with desire to move o – not everybody in the world lives in tin shacks with no toilets and no money at all and no food but rice and beans’ not everybody cuts sugarcane for a dollar a day, or hauls a load of coconuts into town to sell for two sense each – the cheap, hot, hungry, world of their fathers and their grandfathers and all their brothers and sisters was not the whole story, because if a man could muster the guts or even the desperation to move a few thousand miles there was a pretty good chance that he’d have money in his pocked and meat in his belly and one hell of a romping good time.
  • On the way down the hill we walked three abreast in the cobblestone street, drunk and laughing and talking like men who knew they would separate at dawn and travel to the far corners of the earth.
  • They were eerie days, and my fatalistic view of Yeamon was not so much conviction as necessity, because if I granted him even the slightest optimism I would have to admit a lot of unhappy things about myself.
  • He was just another noisy little punk in the great legion of punks who march between the banners of bigger and better men. Freedom, Truth, Honor – you could rattle off a hundred such words and behind every one of them would gather a thousand punks, pompous little farts, waving the banner with one hand and reaching under the table with the other.
  • Those were good mornings, when the sun was hot and the air was quick and promising, when the Real Business seemed right on the verge of happening and I felt that If I went just a little faster I might overtake that bright and fleeting thing that was always just ahead of me.
  • Then came noon, and morning withered like a lost dream. The sweat was torture and the rest of the day was littered with the dead remains of all those things that might have happened, but couldn’t stand the heat. When the sun got hot enough it burned away all the illusions and I saw the place as it was—cheap, sullen, and garish – nothing good was going to happen here.
  • Voices rose and fell in the house next door and the raucous sound of a jukebox came from a bar down the street. Sounds of a San Jean night, drifting across the city through layers of humid air; sounds of life and movement, people getting ready and people giving up, the sound of hope and the sound of hanging on and behind them all, the quiet, deadly ticking of a thousand hungry clocks, the lonely sound of time passing in long Caribbean night.


  1. Just discovered your quotes page, and enjoyed it. Some of those Thompson quotes are quite Hemingwayesque aren't they?

  2. Not a football fan I take it, Gary? Thompson was never amiss to aknowledge that his literary prose is definately modeled after Hemingway and more so, Fitzgerald.

  3. My favourite book of all time!


  4. Awesome book!
    Great little collection.
    Thanks. :)

  5. Thanks you for the quotes, I'm gonna use on of them for my blog. I have a correction to make, it's "San Juan", not "San Jean".
    Thanks for taking the time and choosing this book for it's quotes. Awesome. Golden.

  6. Thank you for posting these!

    I lost my copy of this book a year ago and have been trying to find it ever since....

    Hopefully when I was drunk I payed to book forward to case scenario:)

  7. payed THE* book forward....haha