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Red Likker Hardcover – January 1, 1929


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Cosmopolitan; First Edition edition (1929)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OLACTY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,510,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fenrix on July 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Irvin S. Cobb was an outspoken advocate for the end of prohibition. This book was published in 1929 as part of his campaign to help bring about the end of this ill-advised experiment. This message is clear and distinct, and I found it compelling; however, I am the choir to which he is preaching.

The novel is set in western Kentucky and follows the Bird family from their pioneer beginnings, through the family business of the Old Blockhouse Distillery, and ending with Prohibition. The novel's climax is apparently based on some events that occurred during Prohibition at the distillery at Forks of Elkhorn in Frankfort, KY. I'm pretty sure this is currently the site of the Buffalo Trace distillery, and matches a story I recall from the tour I went on there a while back. Several of the details I've been able to dig up link the sites through the O.F.C. Distillery. I will just have to make a return visit to confirm a few details (and drop by the office for another taste).

What this book does effectively (other than demonize prohibition) is paint a picture of historical Kentucky. There are some fantastic slices of life in this novel, some glorious descriptions, and some effective oratory. The presentation is also relatively balanced, and at minimum makes a valiant attempt at to provide more than on perspective on an issue (except for maybe prohibition). It's an easy read and this glimpse into a perspective on a gentleman's Kentucky of a century or more ago is a worthwhile commitment of time.

Modern readers may have problems with a few things in this novel. One is the style in which it was written. There are a fair number of interludes among the primary narrative, and there is no singular protagonist for the entire novel.
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