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Brian Flanagan is one of today’s culture heroes – a sophisticated journeyman bartender who can seduce a waitress while mixing a perfect martini, and simultaneously regale his patrons with his acerbic view of the world. So why is he unemployed, broke and alone? Brian’s odyssey takes him from Manhattan’s fashionable East Side celebrity bars to Fire Island hot spots, from Caribbean resorts to the latest Tribeca in-place, always looking for true love or a hustle, whichever comes first, and usually winding up with neither. The action comes fast, and the repartee comes faster, crackling with the bitter wit of a frustrated romantic. As refreshing as an ice cold beer in a dark saloon, as powerful as a kamikaze cocktail on an empty stomach, Cocktail is a colorful caravan of people engaged in a frantic search for happiness, recorded by a cynical observer – Brian Flanagan – who against his better judgment repeatedly enters the fray and takes his place as one of modern fiction’s most memorable characters.

“I don’t know how many of those Village bartenders really were writers, but I know Heywood Gould is.”

“Cocktail offers “a tour-de-force two-page history of (New York’s) Upper West Side’s gentrification-as seen through drinking habits…Even more impressive: Gould’s authoritative, back-room view of the saloon trade- the atmosphere, the stealing, the drugs, the hype, the demographics…grimly amusing entertainment”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Cocktail showcases Gould’s knack for invective and wit, a combination eminently suited to his topic.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Gould is the author of ”Fort Apache, the Bronx,” and, as in that book, his street-wise, smart-aleck commentary sets the right tone. It also carries this picaresque novel along at a fast clip.”
—New York Times

“Cocktail” is “pure Gould, very raunchy, very funny, very sad. Tom Jones gone cynical, set down in the Manhattan rat race.”
—Gregory Peck, Actor