This was a very interesting book about an alcoholic. There is no other way to say it. He has been dry at times, but mostly he is drinking constantly. He is, however, a wealth of knowledge on drinking and drinks and their origins. If you want to know where they make the best gin, ask this author. Or where to get the best wine in Cairo. If you want to know where the wet places are in say, Islamic places like Islamabad and the Bekaa, Cairo, southern Thailand, and Muscat just to name a few places, he knows where they are. And, with each of these places, he knows the safe bars to go to and the unsafe ones. Yes he has been to bars that have been later bombed.
And then sometimes he gets into religious talk not to preach, but to tell you why sometimes he is looked at the way he is by Muslims when he buys liquor from their stores. The ones that own undergrounds stores.
But he also knows, even in the driest of places where the best bars and best woman are. He talks a lot about a many bars and a lot of liquor stores.
He also talks about how liquor is marketed, even in the areas where it would be criminal to drink.
There is a lot of interesting facts in the book, it is a great piece of literature on booze. But I think what it comes down to is a man who has a wanderlust. And who lost his mother, also a drinker, and just does the same thing day after day. And he is no spring chicken anymore but a gentleman he is as we read about his certain woman companions. He is English so he still loves his tea, and loves himself a bar bar...meaning no women, a dart board on the wall, and a jukebox in the corner.
I would recommend it just for the facts about liquor. And some of the religious opinions on drinking. Osborne did a very good job.