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Hemingway & Bailey's Bartending Guide to Great American Writers Hardcover – October 13, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"You'll be convinced that a writer's soul resides not in the heart or mind, but in the liver."
Dallas Morning News

Review

"Hemingway and Bailey's Bartending Guide to Great American Writers is a bracing cocktail of wit, anecdote, and practical knowledge. All your favorite literary drinkers are here along with their favorite drinks. I'm keeping one copy by the bed and one by the bar. Read responsibly—no more than three or at most four pages a night." —Jay McInerney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books (October 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565124820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565124820
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #500,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jesse Kornbluth on November 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Christmas. Greenwich Village. Mark Bailey was sitting at a bar with his friend Edward Hemingway, an artist, illustrator and grandson of the hard-drinking writer. They were sipping beers. The writers standing around them were nursing club sodas.

This seemed wrong. America has many traditions, but few it actually honors. One is the tradition of drinking among American writers --- and drinking to extreme, at that. As Truman Capote once said (astutely quoting Brendan Behan), "We are drinkers with writing problems."

Bailey and Hemingway could have dealt with their distress as many of us do --- strap on their Nikes, fire up their iPods, and rush off to the gym to pound down a few miles on the elliptical trainer. But one of then bore a great name, the other a large thirst.

In short, they had a...duty.

So they set out on a patriotic quest.

Their mission: make the case for classic cocktails by sharing great drink recipes and outlandish literary anecdotes of the kind generated whenever men and women of talent knock back two or three too many. And, just for good measure, they found excerpts from each writer's fiction that deals with the results of liquor.

If you are firmly seated on a bar stool and promise not to chug your Perrier, I will share some of their findings.

"Don't you know that drinking is slow death?" F. Scott Fitzgerald asked. Robert Benchley took a sip and replied: "So who's in a hurry?"

Charles Bukowski could drink 30 beers at one sitting.

Raymond Carver invited friends to a party, but failed to attend as he got drunk in another city.

Unable to pay a bar bill in Paris, Hart Crane started a brawl so he could get arrested.

Lillian Hellman was in New York.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful addition to any library, whether you're teetotaller or someone who likes to tipple more than occasionally. It features wonderful bios of some of America's greatest writers, and the authors don't hide the warts.

Each two-page tribute features a caricature, a brief bio and a memorable quote from each author, along with a list of important works, an excerpt from a signature work, and - very important for a "bartending guide" - a recipe for each author's favorite cocktail.

Author Mark Bailey and illustrator Edward Hemingway (yes, Papa's grandson!) do a great job putting together this guide.

A must-have addition for your library, whether you consider yourself a fan of great literature, or just someone who would like to hoist a few with any of the writers featured in this tome.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It might be said that behind every great author there is a great bottle. My guess is that in most cases the bottle is empty. This little book takes a look at how great american writers have produced so many empty bottles.

For each author you will find: a drinking story, a drink recipe, and a paragraph or two from a representative work. The stories are fun. The drink recipes are spot on, simple and well done. I've mixed several and never had a complaint.

I have about 10 of these sitting on top of the wine rack in the dining room. It's nice to hand one out to someone who's drinkin' what you're mixin'.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read the Kindle version of the book and thought it was a great combination of famous writers and the drinks they would of partaken of.

There were several drinks I had heard of numerous times, but never knew the ingredients for.

They also include some history of each of the authors and a tidbit of their writing.

4/5 stars due to price on Kindle which seems sort of steep for a short book. BUT -- if you are a Kindle Unlimited member read it for FREE!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has a lot of interesting stories and great drink recipes. Rather than putting it away I keep it on the coffee table. When we have guest over they like flipping through it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm not sure what I expected but this didn't impress me. I like short stories but this didn't fit the bill. I guess it is okay if you wanted to know what each celebrity's favorite drink was and how to mix it.
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By Papa on January 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you've ever had a drink, or read anything about any of these writers, this is a great, fun read/conversational piece. The art work is fantastic and comical and i really loved this!
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Format: Hardcover
Combine one shot of booze, four ounces of Great American Writers, and garnish heavily with several tales of drunken exploits. What you get is a tidy little book that'll knock your socks off.

This isn't exactly a cocktail recipe book. It's not really a literature anthology, either. I'm not entirely sure what it is, but I do know that it's one of the most enjoyable books I've bought in the past year or two.

In a nutshell, Bailey and Hemingway were sitting in a bar one night, remembering the good old days when authors found their ideas at the bottom of a bottle. So as a tribute to the great author-drinkers 20th Century, they mixed up this book. They picked out about 70 writers and paired them each with a real, no-fooling-around kind of drink. Then they selected a short excerpt from each author's work, and to round it out (and here's where the book gets really entertaining), there's a story of some drunken feat.

As far as the drink recipes in this book go, I like every one of them that I've tried. No, it's not nearly a complete compilation of cocktails, but there's something for everybody here, whether you're a fan of the quick and harsh Boilermaker or the dainty French 75, the sophisticated Gimlet, or the casual Planter's Punch. Bottoms up!
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