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Raised in small-town Arkansas, Billy Bob Thornton grew up amid a rich storytelling tradition. See, the South is just different than other places. . . . You can feel the ghosts there. As a kid, he would sit on the porch listening to his family or some old man down the road spinning yarns about colorful neighbors. These stories didn't have to be made up. The characters were already there, so the stories just came out of the characters we knew. Thus was borne his Oscar®-winning masterpiece Sling Blade and now The Billy Bob Tapes-a narrative based on late-night conversations with Kinky Friedman and other friends who gathered 'round to hear Billy mine a cave full of ghosts. Billy grew up shooting squirrels, playing drums in VFW clubs, and dreaming of rock 'n' roll stardom or pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals. Then at sixteen he took a drama class to meet chicks-and met Mrs. Treadway, who noticed the young man's talent and encouraged him as an actor and writer. "You don't know what it's like to be a drama teacher in a small town in Arkansas where nobody really cares," she said, "but let me tell you something. You can do this." Everything I've accomplished since, I can trace back to this woman, Maudie Treadway. The colorful characters, stories, and experiences of his youth would find their way into Billy's work, in his films and music, and in his perspective and attitude. It's like the old saying goes: you can take the boy out of the hills, but you can't take the hills out of the boy. That boy did leave the hills-for Hollywood Hills. A true fish out of water, he recalls stories of miserable jobs, the cheapest accommodations, and physical hunger-but also a devoted writing partner Tom Epperson, a life-changing acting teacher in L.A., and a compassionate nurse who snuck him milk shakes when he was near starvation. But there was always the dream of being an actor, and his fortunes turned when he served hors d'oeuvres as a catering waiter to legendary director Billy Wilder, who advised him, "Write about your interesting life." Billy's long career in Hollywood yields stories of inspired collaborations and failed ones, true friendships with other actors and musicians, and good friends gone too soon. In The Billy Bob Tapes, he reflects on the critics, the culture around fame, and the challenges of conveying an artistic vision in film. Most striking is Billy's clear-eyed perspective about the magic of entertainment, and how we perceive it in a rapidly changing world. With passion, unvarnished honesty, wry humor, and a little help from friends Angelina Jolie, Robert Duvall, Dwight Yoakam, Tom Epperson, and Daniel Lanois, Billy Bob finally talks.
It's a Christmas tale only a man called Kinky could tell. King Jonjo Mayo the First is in a bind. Every Christmas, he commissions an artist to paint a traditional nativity scene to be dramatically revealed after midnight mass. This year, though, the date is mere weeks away, and he still has not yet found his painter. The king decides to take a chance on a peculiar, mute boy whose artistic genius and clairvoyance are rumored throughout the kingdom. He sends three valiant, if begrudging, knights to seek out the boy in the remote countryside. Finally, they find Benjamin -- and he is, indeed, peculiar. Nobody knows if the child is up to the task, but the king's Christmas tradition -- and Benjamin himself -- might just be saved by a Christmas miracle that comes in the form of a very special pig -- who is rather peculiar herself.
Kinky Friedman, the original Texas Jewboy, takes us on a rollicking, rock-and-rolling tour of his favorite city: Austin. Maybe you want to know which restaurant President Bush rates as his favorite Austin burger joint. Or maybe you want a glimpse of Willie Nelson's home life (hint: Willie plays a lot of golf). Perhaps you want to get the best view of the Mexican free-tail bats as they make their nightly flights to and from the Congress Avenue Bridge. Or maybe you're itching to learn the history of a city that birthed Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and countless other music legends. It's all here in The Great Psychedelic Armadillo Picnic, the slightly insane, amazingly practical, and totally kick-ass guide to the coolest city in Texas by none other than Kinky Friedman. This ain't no ordinary travel guide, neither. "Like most other busy cities these days, Austin is not very effectively traversed by foot," Kinky explains. "You must understand that 'a walk in Austin' is primarily a spiritual sort of thing. " As might be expected from this politically incorrect country-singer-turned-bestselling-mystery-author, the Kinkster's tour includes a bunch of stuff you won't ?nd in a Frommer's guide, from descriptions of Austin's notable trees and directions to skinny-dipping sites to lists of haunted places and quizzes and puzzles. So put on your cowboy hat and your brontosaurus-foreskin boots and head down south with the only book you need to get to the big heart of this great city. From the Hardcover edition.
Walter Snow is doomed. He stares at the blank pages in his typewriter, hoping for the spark that will finally ignite his ambition to write the Great Armenian Novel. And then he meets Clyde Potts. She is beautiful, intelligent, charming, perhaps psychic, and, for better or worse, very possibly unbalanced. With Potts's joie de vivre and her certified-insane partner in crime, Fox Harris, Snow is caught up in a series of pranks against corporate sprawl that they execute with a bit of booze and some wacky tobaccy from Australia known as Malabimbi Madness. Things quickly spin out of control as the trio's ultimate, diuretically inspired prank leads to an unexpected, shocking conclusion, and Walter is left to wonder if the only things you ever keep in this life are the things you let slip through your fingers.
Kinky Friedman's Guide to Texas Etiquette: Or How to Get to Heaven or Hell Without Going Through Dallas - Fort Worthby Kinky Friedman
Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit! Delivering belly laughs, hee-haws, and downright slackjaw amazement, this hilarious guide to the homeland of George W. and Willie Nelson is the essential how-to for surviving in the Lone Star State. From strange Texas laws and the history of Dr. Pepper to "Texas Talk" (in which a "turd floater" is a heavy downpour) and final-meal requests by death row inmates, Kinky Friedman, "the oldest living Jew in Texas who doesn't own any real estate," provides an insider's guide that will be loved by native Texans and the rest of us poor devils alike. Even if you don't know the difference between an Aggie and an armadillo -- or what's really in the back on Willie Nelson's tour bus -- you can pass for a Texan with the Kinkster's expert coaching. So grab your hairspray and the keys to the Cadillac and get reading!
Kinky Friedman is not only a man of the people, he's a man of the animal kingdom. Kinky is a man who wears many hats -- not just a Stetson. Aside from being a politico, folksinger, and mystery author, he's also a longtime animal advocate and feels as passionately about his pets as he does about legislative reform. But rather than simply write about his own experiences, why shouldn't he include a few friends? Of course, Kinky's address book is unique, and he's taken full advantage. In his new collection, Kinky's Celebrity Pet Files, the Kinkster writes about his famous friends and their pets you've never met, each with a story as delightful and offbeat as the author himself. Kinky has gathered together an eclectic and extraordinary group of talented celebrity pals to talk about the subject nearest and dearest to their hearts: their pets. With candid, personal photos of the stars and their beloved animals and insider stories to match, the book is like a party only Kinky could throw, and the results are both entertaining and endearing. It's not your average celebrity pet book, because Kinky's not your average celebrity. He's got musicians, like Johnny Cash and his pig, Brian Wilson with his dog, and Willie Nelson doing his best horse whisperer impersonation; actors and comedians ranging from Phyllis Diller with Miss Kitty to Richard Pryor on a pygmy pony; and a lineup of writers, politicians, and some heroes of the past -- Bill Clinton, Joseph Heller, and Mark Twain, to name a few. Hilarious, oddball, heartwarming, and edgy all at once, Kinky's Celebrity Pet Files is a book for animal lovers, celebrity junkies, and anyone who just likes a good story. It's a little weird, it's completely charming, and it's 100 percent Kinky.
an investigator trys to solve cases from investigator trys to solve cases from missing autistic children, to missing animals and keep his aunt placated
The Mile High Club is a novel of intrigue, irreverence, international terrorism, humor, suspense, and cross-dressing, in which the intrepid Kinky Friedman gets more than his leg pulled when he encounters a mysterious vamp on an airplane. It all starts with a casual flirtation, two people on a flight from Dallas to New York. She is gorgeous and mysterious; he is a private detective. When the plane lands, the detective -- our hero Kinky Friedman -- finds that he's been left holding the bag, in this case literally holding a bright pink cosmetic bag. The mysterious woman, having asked the Kinkster to watch her luggage while she visits the dumpster, has taken a powder and somehow has vanished. Confident that he'll find the mystery woman again, Kinky holds on to the bag. Sure enough she does turn up, but not before Kinky has excited the interest of an array of "suits" from the State Department, been party to a thwarted kidnap attempt by Arab terrorists, and found a dead Israeli agent parked on the toilet of his downtown Manhattan loft. Employing the able-bodied assistance of his usual sidekicks, the Village Irregulars, Kinky eventually gets to the bottom of all the comings and goings and comings of the many visitors to his loft -- including two late-night visits by the mysterious, and suddenly affectionate, woman from the plane and one not-so-late visit by her angry brother. Before it's over, the bag is gone. Despite the many comparisons made by the critics, citing his resemblance to one great writer after another, the truth is that no other writer combines intriguing mystery with bawdy one-liners quite like Kinky Friedman. Alternately raunchy, offbeat, and hilarious, The Mile High Club, complete with a surprise ending, is Kinky at his very considerable best.
"The War and Peace of Rock and Roll." --Bob DylanIn 1975, as Bob Dylan emerged from eight years of seclusion, he dreamed of putting together a traveling music show that would trek across the country like a psychedelic carnival. The dream became reality, and On the Road with Bob Dylan is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at what happened when Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue took to the streets of America.With the intimate detail of a diary, Larry "Ratso" Sloman's mesmerizing description of the legendary tour both transports us to a celebrated period in rock history and provides us with a vivid snapshot of Dylan during this extraordinary time. This reissue of the 1978 classic resonates more than ever as it chronicles one of the most glittering rock circuses ever assembled, with a cast that includes Joan Baez, Robbie Robertson, Joni Mitchell, Allen Ginsberg, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and a wild entourage of groupies, misfits, sinners, and saints who trailed along for the ride. Sloman candidly captures the all-night revelry and musical prowess--from the backstage antics to impromptu jams--that made the tour a nearly mystical experience. Complete with vintage photos and a new introduction by renowned Texas musician, mystery writer, and Revue member Kinky Friedman, this is an unparalleled treat for Dylan fans old and new. Without question, On the Road with Bob Dylan is a remarkable, revealing piece of writing and a rare up-close and personal view of Dylan on tour.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Alfred Hitchcock's classic filmRear Windowgets an affectionate kick in the butt in this homage from master crime writer, philosopher, and equal-opportunity offender Kinky Friedman. It's a case of malaria versus murder when private dick extraordinaire Kinky Friedman comes down with a tropical disease, in the jungle known as New York City, and is confined to his loft on Vandam Street in lower Manhattan, a prisoner in his own home with only his cat and black puppet head as company (neither of whom are great conversationalists). With little to do but stare out the window in between bedridden bouts of fever and hallucinations, Kinky calls on assistance from the stalwart Village Irregulars, who proceed to dish out their own uniquely skewed brand of tea and sympathy, turning the loft into a virtual Mardi Gras of confusion and drunken debauchery. Suffering almost as much from company overload as from his fever, Kinky welcomes a rare moment of calm as he finds himself once again alone in his loft. Resuming his position at the kitchen window, he spots a pretty young woman in an apartment across the street. What he hopes might be titillating turns terrifying, however, as a man joins the woman and proceeds to attack her. Sure that he's witnessed a crime, Kinky calls in the cops, but, upon investigating his claim, they can find neither a victim nor an apartment across the street. In addition, no one else saw or heard anything that would ndicate a crime had taken place. Was it foul play or merely a fevered dream?Convinced that their friend is about to slip off into the land of eternal slumber, the Village Irregulars increase their vigilance and in the process raise the Kinkster's irritability level to an all-time high. Not to be deterred, however, Kinky sticks to his story and is rewarded when a few days later he sees the man in the apartment again, but this time with a gun. Outrageous, audacious, and ingeniously crafted,The Prisoner of Vandam Streetis vintage Kinky: irreverent, clever, and full of the hardened philosophy and mordant wit that has earned him a vast and devoted readership. But what more would you expect from the writerThe New York Timeshas called "The world's funniest, bawdiest, and most politically incorrect country music singer turned mystery writer"?
You won't see no sad and teary eyes When I get my wings, and it's my time to fly Just call my friends and tell them There's a party, come on by So just roll me up and smoke me when I die In Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, Willie Nelson muses about his greatest influences and the things that are most important to him, and celebrates the family, friends, and colleagues who have blessed his remarkable journey. Willie riffs on everything: music, wives, Texas, politics, horses, religion, marijuana, children, the environment, poker, hogs, Nashville, karma, and more. He shares the outlaw wisdom he has acquired over eight decades, along with favorite jokes and insights from friends and others close to him. Rare family pictures, beautiful artwork created by his son Micah Nelson, and lyrics to classic songs punctuate these charming and poignant memories. Willie Nelson has touched millions, and none more deeply than his family, friends, and bandmates, several of whom share, for the first time, intimate stories about the Red Headed Stranger. From teaching a granddaughter to play the guitar to touring with the Highwaymen, from picking cotton while growing up in Texas to being home with the tribe on Maui, Willie takes you on the tour bus and, through candid observations and vivid recollections, gives you a front-row seat to his remarkable world. But beware: "You know you shouldn't be reading this BS, it could ruin you for all time to come," he says. "You could end up a social outcast like me, an outlaw!" At once a road journal written in his inimitable, homespun voice and a fitting tribute to America's greatest traveling bard, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die--introduced by Kinky Friedman, another favorite son of Texas--is a deeply personal look into the heart and soul of a unique man and one of the greatest artists of our time, a songwriter and performer whose legacy will endure for generations to come.
Kinky Friedman is back, and with 'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out he gets it on with all manner of egos. In this collection of twisted takes on life, the Kinkster gives us funny, irreverent, and insightful looks at outsized personalities from people he's known, like Bill Clinton, George W., Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan -- not to mention Joseph Heller and Don Imus -- to people he's known in spirit, such as Moses, Jesus, Jack Ruby, and Hank Williams. With his meditations on subjects ranging from sleeping at the White House, marriage, his pets, fishing in Borneo, country music, and cigars to the tribulations of possessing talent, Kinky doesn't deny us the "flashes of brilliance and laugh-out-loud observations" (Rocky Mountain News) that are present in all his other work. Hilarious, irreverent, and passionately twisted, 'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out reads as if it were written by a slightly ill modern-day Mark Twain.
Kinky Friedman has always proven himself to be a master of the offbeat and irreverent, and still manages to pull off a helluva whodunit in the process. Now the Kinkster may have met his match in this superbly crafted, fiendishly clever tale of a murderer who's methodically killing off unsuspecting Manhattan men. Gallingly, all clues point toward Kinky. Greenwich Village is the setting for Ten Little New Yorkers,a tale of murder and mayhem as only Friedman can warble it and featuring his usual suspects, including Ratso -- Dr. Watson to Kinky's singular Sherlock Holmes. As the clues and bodies pile up and the cops strong-arm Kinky as their man, he has to jump through hoops to find the real killer, all the while maintaining his outrage and, of course, his innocence. The murderer may be someone close to Kinky, which leads to a shocker of an ending that will surely take Kinky devotees completely by surprise. With a wink and a nod to Dame Agatha (as in Christie), after which all resemblance to those classic mysteries fades, this is one of Friedman's most complex and irresistible page-turners yet. Cunningly contentious issues of life, death, guilt, innocence, love, loss, and the danger of false confessions, this is Kinky Friedman at his wily, suspenseful, and sacrilegious best.
And Kinky Said Unto the People: Why the Hell Not? So the good people of Texas weren't able to get the Kinkster into the Governor's Mansion in 2006. It was a solid race, and he fought the good fight. Getting on the ballot as an independent -- a feat that had not been achieved in over a century -- was a victory in itself. And with ideas like "slots for tots" (legalized gambling to pay for education), the five Mexican generals plan (bribes to enforce border protection), and a firm stand against the "wussification" of the state, he would have done a helluva job. If that 2006 election was any indication -- and it was -- the political landscape in both Texas and the country at large needs a significant overhaul. The hucksters, the wealthy, and the twofaced rule; there is no room for Truth, and the little guys are quickly forgotten in all the muck. But Kinky, (briefly) down yet certainly not out, is still looking out for his fellow Americans, and he has much wisdom to impart. In this hilarious, thought-provoking manifesto, Kinky lays forth his ten commandments for improving the state of Texas and politics everywhere, and for restoring order, logic, decency, and above all a sense of humor back to this country. It's classic Kinky in a brand new way. And he might just have a point.
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