'Living Loaded,' Dan Dunn

'Professional drinker' sounds like a great gig. Until you get sloppy-drunk and maudlin.

Dan Dunn is living the dream. He drinks for free, travels the world and parties with women whose names often involve some combination of “Miss” plus a state or a month.

Then he scribbles some notes. And that’s his job. As booze writer for Playboy.com — an occupation which ranks just below “bikini model oiler” in its ability to elicit high-fives from awesome bros — he suffers the bleary-eyed nights and into-the-next-evening hangovers so we don’t have to.

He’s as helpful as can be. With 16 lists, Living Loaded is a how-to book for anyone who needs in-depth advice on drinking while flying, surviving bars in the Deep South, hanging out with porn stars or being a lush and not screwing up your life.

Useful stuff. But clearly, the format was influenced by the Internet, where lists rule. Indeed, a good chunk of the book is a copy-and-paste rearrangement of Dunn’s column on Playboy’s website, “The Imbiber,” and is available for free to everyone without NSFW restrictions.

But unlike Sh*t My Dad Says, this works better offline. Dunn’s quips are way more than 140 characters, and you’ll keep turning paper pages long after you would’ve stopped scrolling down the screen.

Penning a love letter to alcohol without falling into guilt-ridden confessional or frat-boy pomposity is tricky. Whether struggling with the question of how much drinking is too much or recalling a childhood spent in the local watering hole watching his father get hammered, Dunn mixes in enough sober honesty to turn a could-be-too-sugary romp into something with a little complexity.

That, and he’s funny. In Vegas, he and an executive from a spirits company are enchanted by a tough guy’s lady-friend: “‘She’s a real looker,’ Rob whispered in my ear. Or it might have been, ‘She’s a real hooker.’ Either way, he was correct.”

Living Loaded’s subtitle promises “Tales of Sex, Salvation, and the Pursuit of the Never-Ending Happy Hour.” And if you’re OK with a mix of three parts debauchery for every one part salvation, you won’t be disappointed.

Build-a-Bat Workshop w/ CarLy Haney @ Emerge

Sun., Oct. 20, 3 p.m.
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About The Author

Aaron Mahan

Aaron Mahan is an intern at The Inlander.