Friday, June 6, 2008

I got two of the best birthday gifts imaginable a couple of years ago when my friend Mallory bought used copies of Kingsley Amis' Every Day Drinking and On Drink for me. The trouble is, gifts they've remained. After chuckling at Amis' offhand, rather surly advice ("Champagne is only half a drink"; "Dealing with wine in a restaurant used to be quite a nervous business, and the chief generator of nervousness was, of course, the wine waiter himself"), I put them away and ignored his sagacity regarding hangover, which, as any of my readers over thirty know, get more severe.

Now you can get Amis' slim, edifying texts in one collected edition called Everyday Drinking: The Distilled Kingsley Amis, complete with introduction by fellow hard tippler Christopher Hitchens. For your father you can't purchase much better.

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