The Book of Absinthe: A Cultural History
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Book of Absinthe: A Cultural History

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  113 ratings  ·  13 reviews
La Fee Verte (or "The Green Fairy") has intoxicated artists, poets, and writers ever since the late eighteenth century. Stories abound of absinthe's druglike sensations of mood lift and inspiration due to the presence of wormwood, its infamous "special" ingredient, which ultimately leads to delirium, homicidal mania, and death. Opening with the sensational 1905 Absinthe Mu...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Grove Press
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Book of Absinthe, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Book of Absinthe

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 199)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
P.J. Kelley
A good tangential review of French poets and poetry, pretty well referenced. This isn't a money grab, snippets of Google research. Absinthe itself is for poseurs now, but was probably better back when it was a stronger drink. According to the book, the absinthe now is much weaker.

With Flowers and With Woman
Charles Cros

With Flowers, and with Women,
With Absinthe, and with this Fire,
We can divert ourselves a while,
Act out our part in some drama.

Absinthe, on a winter evening,
Lights up in gree...more
Nancy Oakes
Every time I go to my favorite liquor store I eye the beautiful green bottle of absinthe sitting near the counter, but have never given in. I still probably won't give in, but I can tell you that while reading this I kept thinking about trying it.

Baker's book explores the fascination and lure of absinthe among influential artists, poets and authors since the 1800s, as well as on the public at large. Many of the names are familiar: Van Gogh, Lautrec, Wilde, Rimbaud; the accounts of these celebra...more
Bogdan
развлекательно-популярная книга о жизни и страданиях «зеленой феи» вполне исполняет свою функцию: это увлекательное и в меру глубокое исследование странной роли напитка, создающего и распространяющего вокруг себя отравляющую дурманную - «порочную» - то ли атмосферу, то ли мифологию. пить или не пить как вот в чем вопрос здесь практически не стоит, потому что с выбором в пользу «пить» уже давно определились несмотря на многочисленные запреты. знание о «проклятых поэтах» и примыкающей к ним шушере...more
Trina
Not a very smooth read, this one's more of a survey of where absinthe is referenced in art and literature. It jumps around from the late 19th century to the late 20th and briefly touches on references/cultural significance, historical provenance, the resurgence of absinthe in the contemporary U.S. and the U.K., the science of absinthe and its effects, and includes a neat little section reviewing a handful of current brands. There's also an appendix of writings from the late 19th century that fea...more
Tony
Pretty entertaining. If you know the art and literature/poetry of the times, then you definetly need to check this out. The book humanizes these artists that have gotten away with becoming quasi-martyrs. Many of their lives were filled with psycoactive drugs and young boys. If this was bohemian culture, I find it hard to belive that they were the only segment of French and British society that was caught up in their selfish exploration of "self".
There are connections between this countreculture...more
Nick Black
It actually doesn't deserve more than two stars, but absinthe is so fucking fantastic that I gave it one more just for exquisite taste in subject matter. The fourth star is because Marcus Kwok, the best person in the world, gave it to me; it is thus full of love.

As opposed to reading this admittedly overrated claptrap about absinthe, just go drink it until you're blind in a gutter. Two weeks later, you won't remember either experience anyway.
Sarah
I’d never even heard of absinthe when I first read this book, but that was quickly remedied by this quirky, informative and well-written book. Stock full of mind-boggling facts (especially about the tragic and talented absinthe addicts) and interesting anecdotes, Baker creates an all-encompassing narrative of the cultural effects that this seemingly innocuous, yet highly addictive and dangerous, beverage.
Steph
This book examines the history and culture behind the mystery of the quintessential "green fairy," and explains the stigma behind the wonderful concoction. It makes me want to grab my glass, sugar cube, and slotted spoon right now!
Aaron the Pink Donut
A nice wittily written 300+ page book about Absinthe. Covers the historical and cultural aspects of the drink in great detail. A great read.
Eric Himes
Oscar Wilde said absinthe "...creates genius where it previously wasn't, and destroys it were it once was..."
Mark Spivak
An examination of the relationship between absinthe and the poets and painters who drank it.
Ashley Reiner
Quite an interesting history of the green fairy
Melissa
the green monster!
Dk
Dk is currently reading it
Aug 23, 2014
Jeph
Jeph marked it as to-read
Jun 03, 2014
Allison
Allison marked it as to-read
May 05, 2014
Lauren Coyle
Lauren Coyle marked it as to-read
Mar 31, 2014
HerodotusMao
HerodotusMao marked it as to-read
May 08, 2014
Afruz Bakar
Afruz Bakar marked it as to-read
Feb 09, 2014
Andrew
Andrew marked it as to-read
Jan 31, 2014
Diana
Diana marked it as to-read
Jan 19, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist The Dedalus Book Of Absinthe (Dedalus Concept Books) From Concept to Consumer: How to Turn Ideas Into Money William S. Burroughs The Devil Is a Gentleman: The Life and Times of Dennis Wheatley

Share This Book