Writers have always claimed that there is no better creative inspiration than a stiff drink, and if you need “proof”, look no further than A Sidecar Named Desire. Written by award-winning editor/art director Monte Beauchamp and celebrated illustrator Greg Clarke, readers are treated to a look into the lives (and glasses) of famous authors.
The fabulously illustrated trip down literary lane is broken into eight chapters, each dedicated to a specific alcoholic beverage and the writers who enjoyed each. This lively narrative includes historical tidbits, trivia and literary-themed cocktail recipes, as well as some amusing, alcohol-related quotes like this one from author Stephen King…
“Writers who drink constantly don’t last long, but a writer who drinks carefully is probably a better writer.”
In the chapter highlighting beer as a favorite libation, we learn that Jane Austen was not only a beer drinker, but also a brewer. Her mother taught her how to brew beer when she was just a teen. Accomplished journalist and author Jack London found it difficult to write sans suds later in his career, while Norman Mailer, best known for his writing style, New Journalism, which combined the imagination of fiction with qualities of reporting, claimed to “need” a beer every afternoon. And Moby Dick author Herman Melville & Nathaniel Hawthorne, who wrote The Scarlett Letter, shared a bond over their love of stouts according to their journal entries from the mid-1800s.
Readers are also reminded that Charles Dickens’ novels were flooded with references to beer, pubs and breweries. Several of the London pubs discussed in his books, which he is believed to have frequented, are still in existence today! And James Joyce, author of Ulysses, published in 1922, said that Guinness is “the wine of the country”. In his work, he made many references to the Guinness family and Ireland’s most popular stout.
A Sidecar Named Desire reminds us that there is no greater pleasure than a good book paired with a great drink. Purchase this highly entertaining, graphic volume on amazon.com.