bookspacePhoto of readermy comments
 home > bookspace > my comments > comment: the devil's cup : coffee, the driving force in history /
Subscribe via RSS 
The devil's cup : coffee, the driving force in history
Allen, Stewart Lee.
Adult Nonfiction TX415 .A45 1999

Comments  Summary  Contents  Excerpt  Reviews

From Publishers' Weekly:

In this appealingly offbeat "coffeecentric history of humanity," Allen brews up a highly personal tribute to everyone's favorite legal recreational drug. Made of equal parts inspired travel writing and savvy cultural criticism, the book describes Allen's pilgrimages to coffee's major sites of interest. From the drink's origins in Harrar, Ethiopia, to its arguable demise at a place called Adrien's Coffeeshop somewhere along Route 66, Allen's espresso-powered peregrinations offer a lively study of coffee's role in world history. By turns worshiped and scorned for its psychoactive effects, the beverage has spawned legends almost as fabulous and seductive as the drink itself. It inspired the Islamic Whirling Dervishes, who slurped the stuff as a prelude to their bouts of religious ecstasy, and is thought to have precipitated the French Revolution, when citizens stormed the Bastille in part to liberate a coffee-deprived Marquis de Sade. To his credit, Allen, who claims he can tell in a sip that the coffee in a particular Ethiopian town is adulterated with smuggled Zairian Robusta beans, wisely avoids the overworked topic of Starbucks and its bid for a global latte empire. Mark Prendergast's social history, Uncommon Grounds (Forecasts, May 17), is more of an omnibus survey of the bean, but Allen's quirky insights more than make up for any scholarly shortcomings. Call it gonzo gastronomy: the work strikes just the right balance between the frenetic praise of a bug-eyed caffeine freak and the informed observations of a true connoisseur. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Be the first to add a comment! Share your thoughts about this title. Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

Question about returns, requests or other account details?
 Add a Comment
Submission Guidelines

Find this title in the Library Catalog
Find this title in the Library Catalog

more titles about

recent comments
hcl mobile app
Facebook Twitter Tumblr YouTube Vimeo Flickr Federal Depository Library Federal
Hennepin County Government Hennepin
© 2014  Hennepin County Library12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305 Comments and Feedback    |    RSS