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Alcoholica Esoterica: A Collection of Useful and Useless Information As It Relates to the History andC onsumption of All Manner of Booze Paperback – September 27, 2005
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About the Author
Ian Lendler is the author of An Undone Fairy Tale and coauthor of Chelsea Clinton’s Freshman Notebook. The former humor editor for IndiePlanet.com, in 2000 he co-founded the humor Web site Freedonian.com, which was featured in Time Out New York, Gear Magazine, and on CNN.com.
Top Customer Reviews
His book is loaded with bar-bet-ready snippets of infotainment. Did you know, for instance, that folks back in the day boozed so often because water was fetid and alcohol killed the germs? Or that Johnny Appleseed was traipsing through the 18th-century wilderness planting apple trees to be "used for one reason and one reason only -- to make hard cider"? These tidbits are habit-forming. One is too many and a dozen aren't enough."
In this wry book of alcoholic anecdotes, Lendler covers significant ground in the Land of Booze. One moment he tenders a neat little bar trick-drop a raisin in a glass of champagne and it will circulate in perpetual motion from the bottom of the glass to the top and back again-then delivers, still in a jazzy tone, a compact history of fortified wines. There are vest-pocket profiles of giants he would carve on Mount Lushmore-W.C. Fields, Humphrey Bogart, Dean Martin, Dorothy Parker, Winston Churchill-and scads of useless information to while away happy hour: how many berries, herbs, roots and flowers are required for making vermouth; the origin of the word "binge"; why Oktoberfest is called Oktoberfest even though it's celebrated in September; and some profoundly disturbing hangover-cure hokum, such as ground swallow's beaks in myrrh (ancient Assyria) and rubbing half a lemon in the pit of your drinking arm (Puerto Rico).
Raise a glass to Lendler, then grab the nearest person you can find and reel off a few tidbits from this collection of gloriously mirthful arcana. "
i totally recomend this.
But do take his advice seriously, drink while you read it so that you won't notice the typos (e.g. "There are a number of theories explaining why we clink glasses with our companions before taking the first sip but there are a number of theories." pg 11). Also, if you are looking for something that will actually inform you about the history of alcohol then look elsewhere. This book got a few facts wrong in the very first pages and continued to do so throughout. Finally, the ink was printed very thin on several pages making it difficult to read at times.
In short: a fun, light book. Buy it on sale.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Educational,informative and funny all at the same time.
Two As out of two As from me.
When I received it I read the first page, and then finished the entire book.Read more