• A Short History of Drunkenness

  • How, Why, Where, and When Humankind Has Gotten Merry from the Stone Age to the Present
  • By: Mark Forsyth
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 5 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (143 ratings)

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A Short History of Drunkenness

By: Mark Forsyth
Narrated by: Simon Vance
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Publisher's Summary

From the internationally best-selling author of The Etymologicon, a lively and fascinating exploration of how, throughout history, each civilization has found a way to celebrate, or to control, the eternal human drive to get sloshed  

Almost every culture on Earth has drink, and where there's drink there's drunkenness. But in every age and in every place drunkenness is a little bit different. It can be religious, it can be sexual, it can be the duty of kings or the relief of peasants. It can be an offering to the ancestors, or a way of marking the end of a day's work. It can send you to sleep, or send you into battle.  

Making stops all over the world, A Short History of Drunkenness traces humankind's love affair with booze from our primate ancestors through to the 20th century, answering every possible question along the way: What did people drink? How much? Who did the drinking? Of the many possible reasons, why? On the way, learn about the Neolithic Shamans, who drank to communicate with the spirit world (no pun intended), marvel at how Greeks got giddy and Sumerians got sauced, and find out how bars in the Wild West were never quite like in the movies.  

This is a history of the world at its inebriated best.

©2017 Mark Forsyth (P)2018 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about A Short History of Drunkenness

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Wow!!

Mixing this material and humor with Simon Vance’s narration is better than a well-made Manhattan!

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Fun, informative & interesting

This book was a lot of fun! Fascinatingly educational with lots of humor sprinkled in. Perfect for a history buff with a taste for a good cocktail.

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Informative and fun

It was informative and fun.
I love culture difference and similarities, and this highlights some of those.
the narrative was also very expressive

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in the 'spirt' of this novel It made me want to dr

I read this novel over a period of 2 day, so for my college I currently had to take a general educations credit so I chose to take the course regarding the archeology of beer. as someone who now has an extensive knowledge of the antient pasts of beer I found that I had a lot of respect for this authors attempt to write such an extensive history in such a short form novel. however I also found that a bit more information on actual methods used to brew some of the first beer or alcohols would have supplied the reader with some genuinely interesting information and would have been a much welcomed addition.... Now for the bad, there are so many joke in this novel, I was hoping to have a semi serious novel on the topic of alchols history, but after the 20th joke regarding "ohh drunk people forget because their drunk" it really wears you down. I think it definitely can leave the reader exhausted if it is read over a short period of time, and is definitely a book which should be read over a month not over a few days. Second bad part. Honestly I think this novel may win the award for worst ISIS name drop. Why did the author feel the need to drop an ISIS joke that completely draws the reader out, while also being in horrible taste. Watch out for that' joke' in the Egypt section, even the narrator lowers his voice and barley speaks the joke its so bad. Besides my gripe with the absolute magnitude of jokes and 1 horrible joke it was a good read and I may recommend it to someone who finds drunk and debauchery hilarious

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Double Whammy!

Awesome author, Awesome narrator, Awesome content...
Win, win!
Listen to this audiobook. Highly recommend this to anyone looking for a humorous, honest and lighthearted listen.

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Another triumph by Mark Forsyth!

Following the amazingly wonderful "Entymologicon", Forsyth's "A Short History of Drunkeness" is a witty and deliciously entertaining and informative romp through the history of Drinking and the role of drinking throughout history! Simon Vance's velvety narration is spot-on for the material. While perfect in it's length, the reader cannot but lament coming to the end of the fun. The good news is that this audiobook holds up remarkably well for repeated listenings. A must for any audiobook library.

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Great history, brilliant narrator!

I loved this book! The history is not in depth, but that’s not the point. The writing is lively and hilarious, and Simon Vance absolutely nails the narration.

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Absolutely hilarious. Smart and funny.

Thoroughly amusing and well researched book. Loved it. Recommend it widely. The narrator does an excellent job delivering the humor, too.

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  • MW
  • 11-13-19

Forsyth never disappoints

I have all of his books and will buy anything he writes! worth a listen

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Humorous and interesting!

I'm a fan of Forsyth's other books, and A Short History of Drunkenness does not disappoint!