ON DRINK by Kingsley Amis


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Amis disclaims all responsibility for dipsomaniacs (a special case) but this should be everyone else's indispensable guide to alcoholic bliss. Amis feels that the smallest detail is worth bothering with; infinite pains must be taken. In a tone that goes from reverential hush to lecture-podium pomp he unfolds his "treatise," footnoted with commentaries from Isaiah, Shakespeare, Byron and others who've held strong opinions -- "Freedom and Whisky gang thegither!" (Robert Burns). Equipment, stock on hand, recipes, etiquette, etc. are discussed at some length with Amis making no effort to repress his prejudices ("The Wine-Resenter's Short Handy Guide" -- wine unlike hard booze is just too damn much trouble and there's no snob like a wine snob). As for the morning-after ravages: "A few writers can be taken as metaphorically illuminating the world of the hangover while ostensibly dealing with something else. Parts of Dostoevsky can be read in this way." But he tenders advice on "countermeasures" bravely, both for the P.H. (Physical Hangover) and the "incomparably more dreadful" M.H. (Metaphysical Hangover). All in all, a great comfort. Cheers! Mr. Amis.
Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1973
ISBN: 0151689954
Page count: 109pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1973


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