5 Best: Hangovers in Fiction

Think you feel bad? Console yourself by reading the best worst morning afters

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis (Penguin Modern Classics)

“His mouth had 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 secret police. He felt bad.”

One Day by David Nicholls (Hodder)

“He finds a bottle of vodka and pours an inch into his glass… as he hasn’t been to sleep yet, this is not the first drink of the day but the last drink of last night...”

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Kill Your Friends by John Niven (Vintage)

“I crawl across the room and rack up a twelve-quid bill in forty seconds by swallowing three mini-Cokes from the minibar. Everything is mini except for my hangover, which is most definitely fucking maxi.”

Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding (Picador)

“Noon. London: my flat. Ugh. The last thing on earth I feel physically, emotionally or mentally equipped to do is drive to Una and Geoffrey Alconbury's New Year's Day Turkey Curry Buffet in Grafton Underwood”

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The Master and Margerita by Mikael Bulgakov (Penguin Classics)

“If Styopa Likhodeev had been told the next morning: ‘Styopa! You’ll be shot if you don’t get up this minute!’ — Styopa would have replied in a languid, barely audible voice: ‘Shoot me, do what you like with me, I won’t get up.’ Not only not get up, it seemed to him that he could not open his eyes, because if he were to do so, there would be a flash of lightning, and his head would at once be blown to pieces.”

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