There are, I suppose, various possible things I might do after failing to reconcile with an estranged wife because of my refusal to give up alcohol. Becoming a drink columnist for a national newspaper is not one of them. Then I’m not Kingsley Amis. Then again, Elizabeth Jane Howard soon ceased to be Mrs. Kingsley Amis. Oh well. Some or all of those columns later re-appeared, clean-shaven, refreshed, and tidied-up as Every Day Drinking (“Being paid twice for the same basic work is always agreeable”), the second of three books (the other two are On Drink and How’s Your Glass?) that differ from much of Amis’s oeuvre in that they are specifically about drink rather than being merely drink-sodden.

Don’t misunderstand that “merely.” An immense torrent of alcohol surged through much of Amis’s work, sweeping his novels and their protagonists on their bleary, boozy,...


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