I love a book that's built like Thompson pieces together his Rum Diary. Each chapter feels almost as if it is a little vignette, a story in its own right but really part of a larger whole that eventually brings to life an entire plot you never knew you were reading. His character descriptions make me feel nostalgic, like I'm remembering the character he's describing instead of listening to him form a picture of that character in my head.
I'll admit I'm still apprehensive to read his other works, Fear and Loathing in Vegas being one of them. But the reasons for my trepidation are different now. Before I'd read any of his stuff I'd known him really by reputation only, and later the aforementioned movie made from his work. Based on that, I thought reading Thompson wouldn't be worth my time. It seemed too off kilter to relate. Now, though, I don't know that I want to read his other stuff because I'm loving this earlier* work so much that I don't want his later writings to diminish the admiration I'm presently feeling for him as an author.
Strange, I know, but there it is. And if you're wondering what brought me to reading Thompson now? Well, if you must know, I'm a sucker for catchy titles and good rum.
(*Just FYI, though The Rum Diary was published in '98, Thompson originally conceived it in the late 1950s.)