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OP: Intoxication Made Easy

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by Elliot Paul and Luis Quintanilla

Modern Age Books, 1941. Hardcover. Good Plus, missing jacket. First printing.

Intoxication Made Easy (1941) is a lively, irreverent jaunt through the world of food and cooking from the minds of American writer Elliot Paul (1891–1958) and Spanish artist Luis Quintanilla (1893–1978). 

While the authors begin and end on the theme of Spanish rice, the path between meanders from the natural histories of mollusks to various painters’ interpretations of the Last Supper. Quintanilla’s humorous—though sometimes insensitive—line illustrations add to the cheeky tone. 

Like many other early- to mid-century food writers, the two are more concerned with spinning a good tale than an accurate one, but with quips like, “A pea-crab omelette with plover’s eggs is really a dish for a queen, so be honest with yourself before partaking of one,” we are happily along for the ride.

Our copy, lacking the jacket, would be described as Very Good, save for the fraying and moderate soiling found along the spine and the splitting of the front hinge where the free endpaper has been torn out. The interior, however, is clean and unmarked, soundly bound. The front pastedown bears the bookplate of ACLU lawyer Osmond Kessler Fraenkel (1888–1983).

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