February 29, 2004 - New York Daily News: Malaysia RPCV Kinky Friedman writes "The Prisoner of Vandam Street"

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Malaysia: Peace Corps Malaysia : The Peace Corps in Malaysia: February 29, 2004 - New York Daily News: Malaysia RPCV Kinky Friedman writes "The Prisoner of Vandam Street"

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-188-54.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.188.54) on Sunday, February 29, 2004 - 7:06 pm: Edit Post

Malaysia RPCV Kinky Friedman writes "The Prisoner of Vandam Street"



Malaysia RPCV Kinky Friedman writes "The Prisoner of Vandam Street"

Draw the blind

Kinky's kvetching humor wears thin
in 'Rear Window'-like mystery

By CELIA McGEE

The Prisoner of Vandam Street
By Kinky Friedman
Simon & Schuster, $24

Let the back-cover blurb attributed to the author's fellow Texan George W. Bush serve as a warning: It declares Kinky Friedman "a Texas legend." We know President Bush, and President Bush is no literary critic.

"The Prisoner of Vandam Street," the latest in Friedman's everybody-just-get-stoned detective series, is long on kvetching and short on suspense. Okay, okay, so the Kinkster, Friedman's namesake (and more) PI, is diagnosed with potentially fatal malaria as this one opens. Apparently the terrible affliction has been latent since he, like the real Kinky, picked it up on his Peace Corps stint in Borneo decades ago.

First he ends up in the hospital, tended to by a parody of an Indian doctor try as he might, Friedman isn't enough of an equal-opportunity bigot to pull this off. Then Fictional Kinky's crew of Village Irregulars comes to his rescue, and it's further downhill.

Only toward the middle of this already slender book does Friedman introduce the "Rear Window"-inspired mystery he and his bumbling buddies are supposed to solve. But it's really just more brawling and swearing and drinking and bathroom humor about cats.

Friedman's sly, kooky Jewish cowboy persona has long been a hilarious joy to behold. He can wax nostalgic like no other: "Hank Williams died, as did Ethel and Julius Rosenberg." He can evoke a grotty, lovable New York. He can laugh at himself. The trouble with this book is that it seems unlikely that many who read it will much want to share the joke.




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Story Source: New York Daily News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Malaysia; Writing - Malaysia; Humor

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