Speaking of St. Patrick's Day (see previous post) and a certain activity often associated with it, at least in this country, a writer named Brian McDonald recently posted a clever article in "Proof" a New York Times blog dealing with alcohol. Titled, "Under the Literary Influence" McDonald's piece is written in the style of an addiction confession, and talks about how he fell under the thrall of alcoholic writers when a friend of his handed him a Raymond Chandler novel. Soon he was guzzling not only Chandler but Hammett, Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Bukowski. Eventually he spiraled out of control, not only reading books by these writers but books about them as well. Then, a clerk at Barnes & Noble (the killjoy!) handed him a copy of Pete Hamill's memoir, The Drinking Life, and McDonald's life was changed. He left his alcoholic writers behind and started reading recovery memoirs instead.
Frankly, I think his pre-reform reading sounds like a lot more fun.
McDonald's article can be found here.