The Drinking of Spirits


The Drinking of Spirits

Tom Abrams



Belize’s tropics, Ohio’s lazy 50’s suburbs, Florida’s down-and-out Ybor City, Madrid’s narrow streets and late tapa bar nights-what Tom Abrams does with all these locales is almost as luxurious as what he does with the characters inhabiting them. Readers familiar with A Bad Piece of Luck will once more appreciate the down-and-dirty realism Abrams employs, but will find an added element . . . kismet? Well, that implies love, and while dime store romance is as absent as the Dow Jones Index, there is love in these stories, a love of life and love of humanity-no matter how mired it may at times become. So yes, kismet.

176 pages

ISBN 0-942979-69-9, hardbound, $23.00        Sale $11.50

ISBN 0-942979-70-2, quality paper, $11.00     Sale $5.50

About the Author: 

Tom Abrams lives in Florida. This is his second novel. His story collection, The Drinking of Spirits was reviewed favorably in Publishers Weekly.

 Excerpt from the Book:

      Back one Sunday in 1923, a man by the name of Fritz Friebel, who lived in San Antonio, Florida, skipped church that morning and caught a 20 pound 2 ounce large mouth bass. He was fishing with two of his buddies. They were taller than him, because he was a squat man, but to give you some idea how big this bass was, it stretched from his waist to the top of his boots.
    Far as anyone knows, this is the second largest bass ever caught in the world. No one in Florida ever got close to it since. It’s still on the books—one of the few things in the state which hasn’t changed during that time.
    Fritz was wading that day. Them ole boys fishing with him said he kind of liked to get up to his neck in it. He wasn’t a fly fisherman, but neither was he a live-bait man. He caught his bass on a Creek Chub Bait Company Straight Pikie Minnow. I’ve always admired the name of that plug.
    He caught it in one of the many lakes around San Antonio. He never said exactly which one. And after showing it off in downtown Tampa for several days in a block of ice, he returned to San Ann and did what they still do there with fish—he and his family ate it.
    I was discussing this one afternoon with Pat Rosh. Now Miss Pat is a bartender at the local Knife and Gun Club in San Ann and, as such, one of the leading historians of tall tales in the area.
    “My husband had a theory on it,” she said. “That we all been tryin’ to catch up with Fritz ever since, an’ the only way we can do it is to lie like hell.”
    A sort of contemplative mood made camp right then and there at the bar as Pat continued: