The Wet and the Dry

A Drinker's Journey

By Lawrence Osborne
(Crown Publishing Group (NY), Hardcover, 9780770436889, 226pp.)

Publication Date: July 23, 2013

List Price: $25.00*
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Description

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.




About the Author
Lawrence Osborne has written for "The New York Times Magazine", "The New Yorker", and other publications, and is the author of books including "The Naked Tourist". Born in England, he lives in New York.
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