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Customer Review

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In defense of drink., May 28, 2013
This review is from: The Wet and the Dry: A Drinker's Journey (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Lawrence Osborne is erudite, a fine writer, and an alcoholic, capable of writing sentences that make the reader stop to reread and admire. One example, the first taste of a gin and tonic:"The drink comes with a dim music of ice cubes and a perfume that touches the nose like a smell of warmed grass. Ease returns. It is like cold steel in liquid form." He loves drinking, by himself, in a good bar, or enjoying the comradeship of jolly companions. In defense of alcohol, he traces its ancient history and the idea of new life springing from decay through the process of fermentation.He is aware of the damage that alcohol causes and seems to feel the benefit of enforced periods of abstinence. In fact, when he is asked why he is visiting Muslim countries where drinking is prohibited, he replies that he wants to "dry out." He goes back to drinking as soon as he can, but there is a hint of regret about it: " I sank the vodka into my throat and sang a silent hallelujah....And yet there was a thread of sadness in this return , a nostalgia. That word in Greek simply means, the pain of returning."

So, why does he keep drinking? He drinks because it is part of him, because he likes it, and because he has the freedom to do it. Will he quit? He has no desire or intention to do so. He ends the book by describing how he feels in the morning when he wakes, anticipating his next drink and his own demise: " I was alone ... waiting for a clock somewhere to strike six yet again, as it would every day until the final call of all."
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