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The Wet and the Dry: A Drinker's Journey

by

The Wet and the Dry: A Drinker's Journey Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Selected as a Top Ten Book of the Year by Dwight Garner, New York Times

A “stylish and engaging…fearlessly honest account” (Financial Times) of man’s love of drink, and an insightful meditation on the meaning of alcohol consumption across cultures worldwide

 

Drinking alcohol: a beloved tradition, a dangerous addiction, even “a sickness of the soul” (as once described by a group of young Muslim men in Bali). In his wide-ranging travels, Lawrence Osborne—a veritable connoisseur himself—has witnessed opposing views of alcohol across cultures worldwide, compelling him to wonder: is drinking alcohol a sign of civilization and sanity, or the very reverse? Where do societies and their treatment of alcohol fall on the spectrum between indulgence and restraint? 

 

These questions launch the author on an audacious journey, from the Middle East, where drinking is prohibited, to the West, where it is an important—yet perhaps very often a ruinous—part of everyday life. Beginning in the bar of a luxury hotel in Milan, Osborne then ventures to the Hezbollah-threatened vineyards of Lebanon; a landmark pub in London; the dangerous drinking dens on the Malaysian border; the only brewery in the alcohol-hostile country of Pakistan; and Oman, where he faces the absurd challenge of finding a bottle of champagne on New Year’s Eve.  Amid his travels, Osborne unravels the stories of alcoholism in his own family, and reflects on ramifications of alcohol consumption in his own life. 

 

An immersing, controversial, and often irreverent travel narrative, The Wet and the Dry offers provocative, sometimes unsettling insights into the deeply embedded conflicts between East and West, and the surprising influence of drinking on the contemporary world today.

Review:

"The British-born peripatetic novelist and travel writer Osborne has proved himself spectacularly adventurous in previous works (The Forgiven; Bangkok Days; etc.); in his latest outing, he similarly unfurls serious adventures through righteous Muslim lands in search of a drink. Osborne scorns facile observations, especially about himself: he is a connoisseur of self-knowledge, in particular regarding his states of solitary drinking and altered moods. He is also a practiced traveler, and heads to the desiccated Arab lands as a kind of perverse punishment — for example, when he tries (and fails) to score a bottle of champagne on New Year's Eve in Muscat, Oman, with his Italian lover. Bars are geared to Westerners ('the unclean') in places like Saudi Arabia and Malaysia only because it was good business, while often, curious Muslims are intercepted upon entering these bars and even punished by caning or thrashing. Osborne elicits some profound and harrowing reflections along the way about the wet and the dry cultures, falling rather cleanly along ideological lines — namely, that being able to drink and enjoy public gathering spaces spells freedom, while being restricted from drinking alcohol, as suggested rather than dictated by the Koran, means being immured in private cells. From Dubai to Beirut, Islamabad to Brooklyn, Osborne's meditations on fermentation and distillation induce a host of refreshing, taut, timeless unmoorings. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

US

About the Author

A celebrated novelist and journalist, LAWRENCE OSBORNE is the author of six travel narratives and a recent novel, The Forgiven. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal Magazine, the New Yorker, Forbes, Harper's, and several other publications. He lives in New York City and Bangkok.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

 

Gin and Tonic

A Glass of Arak in Beirut

Fear and Loathing in the Bekaa

Lunch with Walid Jumblatt

The Ally Pally

England, Your England

The Pure Light of High Summer

New Year’s in Muscat

The Little Water

My Sweet Islamabad

Bars in a Man’s Life

Getting a Drink in a Civil War

Usquebaugh

East into West

Twilight at the Windsor Hotel

Product Details

ISBN:
9780770436889
Author:
Osborne, Lawrence
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Travel Writing-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20130731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.53 x 5.64 x 0.9 in 0.75 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Bartending and Liquor
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Wine » General
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Wine » Wines of the World
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Wines and Beer
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
Travel » Travel Writing » General

The Wet and the Dry: A Drinker's Journey New Hardcover
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$25.00 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Crown Publishing Group (NY) - English 9780770436889 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The British-born peripatetic novelist and travel writer Osborne has proved himself spectacularly adventurous in previous works (The Forgiven; Bangkok Days; etc.); in his latest outing, he similarly unfurls serious adventures through righteous Muslim lands in search of a drink. Osborne scorns facile observations, especially about himself: he is a connoisseur of self-knowledge, in particular regarding his states of solitary drinking and altered moods. He is also a practiced traveler, and heads to the desiccated Arab lands as a kind of perverse punishment — for example, when he tries (and fails) to score a bottle of champagne on New Year's Eve in Muscat, Oman, with his Italian lover. Bars are geared to Westerners ('the unclean') in places like Saudi Arabia and Malaysia only because it was good business, while often, curious Muslims are intercepted upon entering these bars and even punished by caning or thrashing. Osborne elicits some profound and harrowing reflections along the way about the wet and the dry cultures, falling rather cleanly along ideological lines — namely, that being able to drink and enjoy public gathering spaces spells freedom, while being restricted from drinking alcohol, as suggested rather than dictated by the Koran, means being immured in private cells. From Dubai to Beirut, Islamabad to Brooklyn, Osborne's meditations on fermentation and distillation induce a host of refreshing, taut, timeless unmoorings. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , US
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