Carbide by Andriy Lyubka

Tys came home trailing a wake of aromas that stung Marichka's eyes, but a demented smile adorning his face. That may account for why his wife thought he was still hammered. But that wasn't the case - he'd only drunk one bottle of vodka, two, max, and it's not like he'd even really wanted to.

Why did he consider that a small amount of vodka? How much vodka was this likely referring to? How much was in a "normal" bottle?

  • 3
    I'ven't read Carbide, but I'd assume the point is that he thinks it's a small amount because of how much he habitually drinks—not that it's actually a small amount.
    – verbose
    Mar 24, 2023 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


It is irony.

The entire novel is full of humor. Take, for example, the very introduction of the plot: the protagonist falls in a sewer hatch and, like Newton's apple has triggered an idea of gravity in Newton's head, an idea came to Tys's mind, which the entire novel evolves around.

As per the alcohol consumption, this phrase is irony:

Verbal irony is a statement in which the meaning that a speaker employs is sharply different from the meaning that is ostensibly expressed. An ironic statement usually involves the explicit expression of one attitude or evaluation, but with indications in the overall speech-situation that the speaker intends a very different, and often opposite, attitude or evaluation. — Wikipedia

Here, it is assumed that a person who drank a whole bottle is already drunk. By talking about several bottles, but not very much, the author actually means the opposite.

Here in Ukraine, there is a pretty popular saying which can be summarized like this:

One shouldn't drink too much. Sure, you can drink a bottle, or two, or maximum three — but you shouldn't get drunk like a lord (literally, "like a pig").

A "normal" bottle is usually 0.5 liters or 0.75 liters.

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