cover image Of All the Gin Joints: Stumbling Through Hollywood History

Of All the Gin Joints: Stumbling Through Hollywood History

Mark Bailey. Algonquin, $21.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-56512-593-3

Unique cocktail recipes (orange wine, anyone?) accompany this collection of amusing Hollywood anecdotes about celebrities, from the days of William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald to Elizabeth Taylor and Natalie Wood. Emmy-nominated screenwriter Bailey distills and arranges these literary snapshots and entertaining stories and trivia by historical period, focusing on a wide range of actors, writers, producers, personalities, and places. The stories center on drunken exploits and each celebrity is peppered with funny quotes: "I often sit back and think, I wish I'd done that, and then find out later that I already have," says actor Richard Harris, while Robert Mitchum claims "The only way to get rid of people is to out-drink them." Among the most absorbing are Preston Sturges' tradition of applejack-spiked afternoon tea, John Ford's tummy troubles due to his favorite "torpedo juice"%E2%80%94grain alcohol and pineapple juice mixed in a bathtub, and Elizabeth Taylor downing bottles of champagne for breakfast. Whether the Bourbon Old-Fashioned from The Players Club or the famed Trader Vic's Mai Tai, cocktail aficionados will find something to add to their mixology repertoire in this booze-fueled romp through the lives and domains of the rich and famous. (Aug.)