this book is hysterical. first of all the graphic design is very cool—appropriately antiquated in appearance. the illustrations are superbly cross-hatched renderings of various bar utensils. there’s a pair of goats on the cover, which is enough to make me buy it right there! as a recipe book, “HOW TO BOOZE” offers a well-stocked assortment of prohibition-era tipples, and a smattering of more modern day delights. each spirit category is also briefly explained, further legitimizing it as a bar book.
but the real meat of this manuscript lies in the author’s intimate narrative. according to mr. kaye and mr. altier, each libation has an appropriate situation in which to imbibe it. the glorious writing style outlining these specific events is witty, dark and just wrong.
EXAMPLE CHAPTER ONE: “you will regret this, you already regret this… it can be grim work, bedding down the homely. but the truly unattractive do have the right to sex. and sometimes, it’s just your turn to turn to give it to them. others shirk their duty; you are worthier than that. where lesser folk yawn and slip out the door, you buy two more rounds and bravely step up to the challenge. verbal overtures are cast and received. trembling hands are placed on frightening thighs. the direction is ominous, but it’s clear. and every time you raise your eyes from the bar, you suffer a crisis of confidence—masked, it’s true, as a spasm of disgust. christ. will i really do that? less a rhetorical question than an admission of illness.”
need i say more? this book is raunchy, politically incorrect and and makes more sense than i care to admit. get it for the less sensitive souls on your list… HARPER COLLINS $15