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Ask The Paris Review

Drinking with Carp

April 6, 2012 | by

My dear Editors,
This weekend is slated for sun. I would like to celebrate out on my fire escape, with a cocktail and a mean read. For the optimistic lush, what combination is best?


I mean, if you want drinking without considering consequences—which is to say, not The Lost Weekend or Under the Volcano—I guess you can't top the beats: Big Sur, On the Road, any Bukowski. If you want your whiskey straight up, try The Long Goodbye. How can you go wrong with a novel that begins, “The first time I laid eyes on Terry Lennox, he was drunk.” That said, the only story I can think of that deals specifically with a warm-weather drink is Roald Dahl's Pimm's-featuring “Georgy Porgy,” which no one could call soothing.

How is one to live in a post-Revel world?

Why, with the stacks of past Paris Review and New York Review of Books issues the event celebrated, of course! (A few vitamin C tablets and gallons of water never hurt, either.)

What should I give my seven-year-old daughter to read for Passover?

The Carp in the Bathtub. But NB: she will never eat gefilte fish again.

Have a question for the editors of The Paris Review? E-mail us.



  1. Jenny | April 7, 2012 at 11:51 am

  2. tsb | April 8, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Re Carp:

    Give her the anthology Central Park, forthcoming from Bloomsbury, with its excellent essay by David Michaelis, “Carp in the Park.”

  3. Josh L. | April 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    How can you go wrong with a novel that begins, “When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.” (“The Last Good Kiss” by James Crumley.)

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