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The Best Description Of A Hangover In Literature

Take it away, Lucky Jim. 

Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of the morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth has been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by a secret police. He felt bad.

How brilliant is that?

The description of his mouth might be my favorite part. But I also love the close. “He felt bad.” Just a perfect, perfect description.

Lucky Jim is taking me longer than I’d like, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the novel. I’m enjoying it. This season is a little busier so I’m just not getting as much reading done as I want to.

Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan.

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13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brandon #

    Haha, wow. I felt that. What a great passage.

    Like

    November 20, 2014
  2. Ah, the hangover. Seems somebody did write an ode to it. Goes like this.
    “How do I love thee, let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height…”

    Like

    November 20, 2014
  3. Reblogged this on .

    Like

    November 20, 2014
  4. What a grand description. I’ve always thought of hangover as the death ones own hope of accomplishment, however, this passage more eloquently encapsulates the horror of the feeling.

    Like

    November 20, 2014
  5. That is a great description. I won’t get to Lucky Jim for a while yet, but this definitely makes me look forward to it.

    Like

    November 20, 2014
  6. Hahaha! What a cool passage. Thanks for highlighting it! Also, I just found your blog and am absolutely loving it. Already can’t wait for more posts.

    Like

    November 20, 2014
  7. Nice.

    Like

    November 21, 2014
  8. I love how it’s all descriptive and then…he felt bad. Haha!

    Like

    November 21, 2014
  9. Thanks for sharing, really great description. Additionally, just found your blog, love it! Read on, blig on!

    Like

    November 24, 2014
  10. I just bought this book 😀 Thank you 🙂

    Like

    November 26, 2014
  11. Ashmazing #

    this was clearly not written while in said hangover!

    Like

    December 28, 2014

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  1. Book #76: Lucky Jim | 101 Books

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