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The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto Hardcover – May 25, 2010
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"DeVoto insists in delightfully snooty language that there are only two cocktails, the slug of whisky and the perfectly-measured martini." The New Yorker Book Bench blog
"In terms of the cult of happy hour, this may be the best tome ever written, and if you like to shake and stir at all, it is an essential volume to keep on your bar cart."The Daily Beast
"[The Hour] is a celebration of good plain bourbon and rye, and of the martini, America's gifts to the world."The Boston Globe
"Witty and chattily informative. . . "The Baltimore Sun
"Bernard DeVoto's The Hour, first published in 1948, is a paean to the restorative powers of a quiet drink at the end of the working day. . . it is almost a cocktail in itself, being at once soothing and refreshing."
Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
". . .immensely quotable, curmudgeonly but smartthink Dorothy Parker's stern eye mixed with the sass of Mark Twain, and a jigger of Christopher Hitchens thrown in for good, boozy measure."Rachel Brown, The Atlantic
"An impassioned, funny, and timeless celebration of the best things that can be found in a bottle." The New Yorker's Book Bench
"DeVoto was never less than eloquent, but he toed pure poetry with his description of 6 pm."
The Austin Chronicle
Bernard DeVoto’s book is delightful for the language alone.”
Kansas City Star
"DeVoto's wit has aged like a slug of the Finest bonded bourbon."
"With spirit and wit, the book educates us in drinking etiquette and reminds us of the glories of gin, whiskey and the iconic martini. The Hour teaches us how to drink like ladies and gentlemen. Read, learn and savor, as you should!" Zink magazine
"The Hour dwells on cocktail principles and DeVoto is a cocktail purist."BlogCritics.org
"Filled with sly, snide with as dry as a classic martini."AuthorMagazine.org
"A quirky classic. . . a thoroughly amusing polemic about that magical hour when day turns into night, work ends, and the best meal of the day is on the horizon."Tablehopper.com
"The Hour is not simply a piece of humorous cultural patriotism either. It is a manual of witchcraft, a book of spells and observances." Wallace Stegner, author of Angle of Repose
"If in the well and truly made martini DeVoto finds "water of life" and the blessing to the spirit, so also DeVoto's The Hour brings to its readers the breath of life and a vision of themselves made generous, indomitable and wise." Lewis Lapham
In an age when all that was old seems to be new again, Bernard DeVoto’s The Hour couldn’t have made a more timely reappearance. This book reminds me of one of the joys of being an adultcocktail hour!” Graydon Carter
"Witty a great weekend host gift.”Liquor.com
"Pride of place goes to a reissue of The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto, righteously written by the critic, Twain scholar, and eminent historian Bernard DeVoto. First published in 1948, The hour is meant to be savored in one wing-chair sitting."Slate.com
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
A Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner, Mark Twain expert, writer for many years for Harper's Magazine, and a curmudgeon to the core, Devoto has crafted an elegant paean to "the violet hour," "an hour of diminishing, of slowing down, of quieting" to sip a gin martini - one of only two cocktails he countenances (the other a slug of whiskey.) Discussing his favorites, Devoto is truly rhapsodic - "art's sunburst of imagined delight becoming real" - and offers suggestions for the place ("a martini is a city dweller, a metropolitan") as well as what to hum as one mixes the first batch ("neither barbershop nor jazz, between the choir and the glee club.")
Equally quotable is his skewering of his dislikes: "Nothing can be done with people who put olives in martinis, presumably because in some desolate childhood hour someone refused them a pickle;" "Hot drinks are for people who have had skiing accidents, though it is an open question whether anyone who skis is worth giving liquor to or his life worth saving;" or on the topic of Daiquiris -"Mainly it is drunk as all sweet liquors are, in a regressive fantasy, a sad hope of regaining childhood's joy at the soda fountain."
Some question the extent to which this is satire. Bernard Devoto's wife, Avis, was a good friend of Julia Child.Read more ›
As bracing as a bourbon straight up with a tall glass of ice water on the side after a long day, this is a most enjoyable read.
Superbly written little book without any fuss or fat. Bernard makes the cocktail hour a seemingly epic experience for the heroic man of the mid-20th century.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
witty and charming book. makes a very good gift as small token when visiting people's homesPublished 11 months ago by Zelig
Ironic, contemptuous and dry. The best book ever written about cocktails. A great gift.Published 13 months ago by JM
DeVoto, one of my all-time favorite authors, should have left this tedious, rambling, repetitious screed in the pile of manuscripts to be re-worked at some later date. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Peter Limburg
What it there to do with people who put olives in martinis. They must have been deprived of pickles as a child.Published on May 23, 2013 by Devon