Before the notion of "political correctness" encroached on the ways people spoke, wrote, and conducted themselves in public and private, some of America's best writers embraced unsafe sex, excessive alcohol, and a good cigar. From the classically libidinous Henry Miller to the hilariously contemporary Fran Lebowitz, Drinking, Smoking and Screwing includes novel excerpts, essays, poems, and short stories in a bawdy and thoroughly entertaining anthology with no warnings -- and no apologies.
This collection of 24 poems, essays, short stories, and excerpts from novels written between 1917 and 1986 has been put together to show readers that there was a time when Americans enjoyed drinking, smoking, and screwing rather than worrying, as do many writers in the 1990s, about how these activities threaten their health. However, though many selections are amusing, most stress the problems and frustrations that result from these activities rather than the joy. Authors include Dorothy Parker, Erica Jong, Mary McCarthy, Vladimir Nabokov, J.P. Donleavy, and Henry Miller, and most of what is collected here is well known. Nothing in the organization of the material or in the introduction provides insight into either familiar or unfamiliar writings. Not recommended.-Judy Mimken, Boise, Id.