AN A-Z OF HELLRAISERS by Robert Sellers, Preface, £20 hardback.

DUBBED ‘a comprehensive compendium of outrageous insobriety’ and features all the big names who have pushed the boundaries of booze and bad behaviour so much they’ve lost all self-control, self-respect, often their friends and, eventually, most of them their lives.

Although to the outside world it may have looked glam, most of these people were tortured souls who failed to get off the path to self-destruction. Author Robert Sellers pulls no punches as he launches into the life and troubled times of John Belushi, Jeffrey Bernard, George Best, Richard Burton, Graham Chapman, Peter Cook, W C Fields, Errol Flynn, Serge Gainsbourg, Trevor Howard, Lee Marvin, Keith Moon, Peter O’Toole, Oliver Reed, Ozzy Osbourne, Frank Sinatra and Boris Yeltsin.

But we’ll leave the last word on the subject to that great modern philosopher Homer Simpson who said: “Ah, beer … the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.’’