Curling Up

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Curling Up

The Modern Drunkard: A Handbook for Drinking in the 21st Century

by Frank Kelly Rich

Riverhead, 205 pp., $14 (paper)

Frank Kelly Rich isn't interested in supplying readers with a few drink recipes or drinking games; he wants to restore the honor and respect that his heroes – the Rat Pack, Charles Bukowski, Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill, Modern Drunkard favorite Jackie Gleason – and society in general held for this sometimes maligned but still-treasured friend of all mankind: alcohol. Aside from the obvious (drunken driving), Rich wants his fellow drinkers to feel no shame and have no regrets for the booze-fueled tomfoolery in which they engage, but to revel in a life spent pursuing one own's heartfelt interests. Namely, drinking. Did you know that drinking alone is a truly enlightening pursuit? The chapter on how to drink at work and not get caught very well could save the reader a long wait in the unemployment line. Other integral aspects of imbibing covered here are the "86 Rules for Drinking," getting to "Know Your Bartender," "Party-Crashing Strategies," and "365 Excuses to Get Loaded" (if there need be a reason). Kelly's writing is imbued with a comic zeal that'll have you snorting up your gin and tonic before you can say, "Another round for all my friends."

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