Book Review: The Wet and the Dry

The Wet and the Dry
A Drinker's Journey
By Lawrence Osborne

Selected as a top ten book of the year in 2013 by Dwight Garner, New York Times.
Drinking alcohol: a beloved tradition, a dangerous addiction and 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 fall on the spectrum between indulgence and restraint? An immersing, controversial, and often irreverent travel narrative, The Wet and the Dry offers proactive sometimes unsettling insights into the deeply embedded conflicts between East and West and the enduring influence of drinking on the contemporary world. 

Lawrence Osborne is the author of six travel narratives and two novels. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal Magazine, The New Yorker, Harper's and several other publications. He lives in New York City and Bangkok. 

Right now the big focus seems to be on legalizing pot in states, so it's interesting to take a look at alcohol. To Western society, drinking it (even before you're legally allowed) seems like a natural right, and unless you personally know someone who struggles with it, drinking seems like a harmless pastime. The Wet and the Dry takes you out of your normal comfort zone, and helps you to experience the thoughts and life of other societies, who aren't so found of drinking. This is a great read for anyone interested in the history of alcohol, or other cultures. If you liked Ex-Muslim  or A Nice Little Place on the North Side, this is a book to check out. 

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