COCKTAILS & CAPERS by Keith Allison is a nonfiction book that weaves together cinematic, cocktail, crime, and pop culture history, paired with a selection of classic cocktails and occasional listening recommendations to help readers set the mood. It is irreverent but respectful researched but freewheeling. Think of it as sitting up late with a group of tipsy friends interested in the esoterica of entertainment history, entertainment as history, and history as entertainment.
Paperback, 365 pages, English
Teleport City Press via CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 21, 2018)
Individuals: US$15.99 through Amazon. Also available through international Amazon sites in local currency.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Keith Allison is a writer and pop culture historian living in Brooklyn, New York. Keith grew up in Oldham County, Kentucky, went to school in Gainesville, Florida, and relocated to city of New York in the balmy month of February, 1998, after a few months spent living in Charlotte, North Carolina didn’t work out. His interest in film and adventure started at an early age, when he was left to his own devices in the wee small hours and discovered the Universal monsters, Godzilla, and Matinee at the Bijou. As time passed, he became interested in the tangled way in which history and film intertwined as well as the lifestyles portrayed in cinema. Pulling them all together and writing about has been a hobby, obsession, and profession since the early 1990s.
Apart from Cocktails & Capers, his work has appeared in the books The New Single Malt Whiskey (Clay Risen, 2016) and Sex and Zen and a Bullet in the Head (Stefan Hammond and Mike Wilkins, 1996 ) and the magazines Route 66, City, and Toyfare. He has also been a contributor for the websites The Cultural Gutter and Alcohol Professor, as well as running his own cult entertainment websites since 1998 (Teleport City, 1998-2017, and Mezzanotte, 2017-present).
01. I LOVE THIS DIRTY TOWN
Using the lens of the 1960 entertainment noir Sweet Smell of Success, we take a tour of what used to be called Swing Street. Raise a glass at Toots Shor’s with Jackie Gleason and Joe DiMaggio, sit in stunned silence listening to Billie Holiday, raise hell with Frank Sinatra at Jilly’s Saloon, and rub elbows with celebrities at 21 Club.
02. GENTLEMEN AND PLAYERS
The daring exploits and adventures, in print and film, of A.J. Raffles, gentleman thief.
03. MYTHS OF THE MARTINI
A look at the muddled history of one of the world’s iconic cocktails, from a hotel in the 1800s to the hand of James Bond.
04. IL FAIT PEUR!
The evolution of the silent adventure serial and the wild world of Louis Feuillade’s surreal thrillers Fantomas and Les Vampires.
05. DEEP DEEP DOWN
The wild world of fumetti cinema, Diabolik, Kriminal, and the skeleton suit-clad maniac from Turkey, Kilink.
06. LEGEND OF THE MASK
How masked Mexican wrestlers came to be, and how El Santo and Blue Demon came to be a team.
07. HOTEL AMARO
A twisting tale that begins with James Bond sipping an Americano and somehow includes the birth of cocktails, the history of Campari and the Negroni, and that time Ian Fleming and Lucky Luciano helped engineer the Allied invasion of Sicily during WWII.
08. THEIR PLACE IN THE SUN
A sordid story about spies, mobsters, politics, drunkenness, sex, murder, Matt Helm, and a group of crooners in the desert. They didn’t call themselves anything, but the world called them the Rat Pack, and their story is utterly, totally cuckoo.