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A TRADITIONAL NOVEL, PERHAPS

You have never been down this road before with Hunter S. Thompson. Or maybe you have.

Long revered as the inventor and king of crazed "gonzo" journalism -- writing too impossibly vivid and wild for pure reality and too astute for pure fiction -- Thompson has now published "The Rum Diary," his first traditional novel.

Rumors of the novel's existence have circulated for years among Thompson fans, and now that journalism's longest-running cocktail hour is riding high and hard again on a wave of renewed interest in his work, it has been "found."

Last year's successful publication of a letters collection, "The Proud Highway," and release of the Hollywood film of his acid-tabbed classic, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," drew new attention to Thompson as an eyewitness and literary provocateur of the American underground from the 1960s through the politically treacherous Nixon era and beyond.

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