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WET AND THE DRY: A Drinker's Journey
Bibliophile price: £2.00
"I am taking a few months off to travel and wander, drinking my way across the Islamic world to see whether I can dry myself out, cure myself of a bout of alcoholic excess. It is a personal crisis, a private curiosity...I am curious to see how non-drinkers live. Perhaps they have something to teach me." Booze is mankind's premier drug of choice, the most popular mind-altering substance ever devised, celebrated in nearly every culture on earth. Lawrence Osborne explores the culture of permission, and the opposing culture of prohibition, notably in the Islamic East. His globe-trotting odyssey takes him from the luxurious bars of Milan to the vineyards of Lebanon, threatened by Hezbollah, from the drinking dens of Soho to the dangerous brothels on the Malaysian border, from the boutique scotch produced on Islay to the liquor destroying native American reservations, and from the only brewery in the dry country of Pakistan to the search for a bottle of New Years champagne in Oman. All the while his own Irish family history of terrifying alcoholism fails to deter him from seeking out a drink wherever he can. A book teeming with knowing luminosity much like the tarnished world it describes. A beautiful book to savour. 242pp in paperback.

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