In the Sweet Dry and Dry

Cover image for


Co-author: Bart Haley
Published: 1919
Language: English
Wordcount: 26,763 / 85 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 71.1
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,550 3168

As far as this book is concerned, the public may Take It, or the public may Let It Alone. But the authors feel it their duty to say that no deductions as to their own private habits are to be made from the story here offered. With its composition they have beguiled the moments of the valley of the shadow.

Show Excerpt

he center of the local-room, under a furious cone of electric light. It was six o'clock of a warm summer afternoon: he was filling his pipe and turning over the pages of the Final edition of the paper, which had just come up from the press-room. After the turmoil of the day the room had quieted, most of the reporters had left, and the shaded lamps shone upon empty tables and a floor strewn ankle-deep with papers. Nearby sat the city editor, checking over the list of assignments for the next morning. From an adjoining kennel issued occasional deep groans and a strong whiff of savage shag tobacco, blown outward by the droning gust of an electric fan. These proved that the cartoonist (a man whose sprightly drawings were born to an obbligato of vehement blasphemy) was at work within.

Mr. Bleak was just beginning to recuperate from the incessant vigilance of the day's work. There was an unconscious pathos in his lean, desiccated figure as he rose and crossed the room to the green glass drinking-fountain. Af


Average Rating of 2.8 from 5 reviews: ***

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An anti-prohibition satire exemplifying the stifling effect of government laws which restrict noninvasive human behavior for the “betterment of society”. It wasn’t one of Christopher Morley’s best stories in my opinion, but hopefully it inspires people to take a stance against repression.


This is an excellent read! I'm a big fan of Christopher Morley and I believe this was the funniest work of his that I've yet read.

It's a rather scathing satire on Prohibition. The story develops into a humorous satire on government control of individual rights and legislating morality, which definitely hits home even today

Highly recommended!

Leah A. Zeldes

In this pun-filled fantasy, written at the outset of Prohibition, the Pan-Antis, who are against everything, have so far extended the Volstead Act as to ban all fruit and vegetables capable of fermenting, and have anyone suspected of even thinking about having a drink hauled off to an inebriates' asylum. Against this grim forced abstinence, the Corporation for Perpetual Happiness leads an underground revolt, dropping home winemaking recipes from biplanes and conducting seances to psychically contact dear, departed alcoholic spirits.

Hilariously absurd, but with oddly apt parallels to present-day political affairs.

Unfortunately, this release is badly formatted, with blank lines in the middle of sentences.

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