’Tis a strange serpent – 10 of the most entertaining drinking bouts in literature

From Viking magical mead poetry to Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall, here’s how writers have encapsulated an eternal boozy truth

There have been drunken poets and poetic drunkards ever since the dawn of time, or, to put it more properly, since the sun first rose over the yardarm of history. The Vikings believed that all poetry came from some magical mead that Odin had stolen from a giant, downed, and then regurgitated in Asgard. They even believed this of bad poetry because, according to them, Odin had regurgitated most of it, but, in the heat of the moment, some of it had leaked out of his arse.

That is the reason that some great literary drinking bouts are better than others. Some stories sum up an eternal boozy truth, some pinpoint perfectly how one particular culture saw their alcohol. Here are 10 of the best.

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