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."