A Pairing Menu for Works of Postmodern Literature and Appropriate Beverages, by Michael A. Ferro

booze
The paranoia-inducing The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon is best paired with a room temperature watermelon wine cooler, which should be preceded by licking two hits of LSD off an official United States Post Office stamp (or a Trystero stamp, if you can find one).

Don DeLillo’s breakout novel White Noise goes down quite well with a glass of warm moderately filtered sewer water served in a German pilsner glass (preferably of WWII-era and made in Nazi Germany for Hitler’s private use).

A vigorous reading of David Foster Wallace’s lengthy and athletic tome Infinite Jest will almost certainly require roughly 10 gallons of lemon Gatorade, which should be served ice cold and in a large sideline Igloo water cooler garnished with floating tennis balls to be dumped over your head upon completion of the novel.

Roberto Bolaño’s magnum opus 2666 is best enjoyed with a piping hot horchata served in either a wooden tankard or an elegant French champagne flute. This drink should also be sprinkled liberally with grains from the desert sands of Santa Teresa (where applicable).

The cautionary dystopia of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale goes quite well (whether you like it or not) with a moderate serving of Sacramental wine, preferably served forcefully to you by grail under the scornful eye of The Commander.

It is best if after reading a copy of William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch that it is then dropped into a blender along with black tar heroin, rotten grapefruit, and crushed ice, blended thoroughly, poured into twenty jiggers, then each one drunk in quick succession while shouting “factualist bitch!” after each drink.

Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle pairs perfectly with a cold bottle of Asahi beer while sitting at the kitchen table and listening to jazz music, though it might be noted that you should probably share a little of the drink with your cat, lest it disappear…

The controversial classic Lolita, written by Vladimir Nabokov, calls for a Hi-C Fruit Punch juice box and no questions asked as to why, thank you very much.

Salman Rushdie’s disputatious The Satanic Verses should be paired with a glass of tepid water and probably not ever with a bottle of scotch in Azadi square in Tehran.

The satirical and non-linear Slaughterhouse-Five, written by Kurt Vonnegut, is best complimented by a chilled, well-mixed screwdriver while reading the book as a young adult, then a warm bottle of breast milk when you are born, then a cup of Metamucil just before you die, and, finally, a Diet Cherry Coke when you are middle-aged.

Michael A. Ferro is the author of TITLE 13: A Novel (Harvard Square Editions, 2018). Additional publications and hooey can be found at www.michaelaferro.com.

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