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The Great Psychedelic Armadillo Picnic: A "Walk" in Austin (Crown Journeys) Hardcover – October 5, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A good travelogue conveys a sense of place while pointing the reader towards interesting activities, destinations, places to eat and the like. A great travelogue does all this, but it also stands alone as an enjoyable read, regardless of the reader’s travel plans. This quirky tour of Austin, Tex., delivers the whole enchilada. Friedman (Armadillos & Old Lace, etc.), novelist and founder of the band Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys, is not what most people would think of as a typical Texan. When he suggests what car to buy to fit in (either a pickup or a Cadillac will do), he proclaims, "I myself drive a Yom Kippur Clipper. That’s a Jewish Cadillac—stops on a dime and picks it up." But this attitude gives Friedman the perfect perspective from which to narrate a journey through his city. His suggestions of things to do all come from personal experience and are usually accompanied by a colorful anecdote or observation. In a chapter on places to eat, Friedman gives this tip on dining at the Magnolia Café: "Feel free to light up a cigarette if you smoke, because Magnolia is one of the few restaurants you can smoke in without some asshole trying to make a citizen’s arrest." Friedman’s plain-speaking is part of the book’s charm. What other travel guide would proudly list a mass murderer—Charles Whitman, who shot 45 people from the Texas Tower in 1966—in a section on famous citizens? As Friedman points out, "We like to think that everything’s bigger in Texas. This, of course, includes mass murder sprees." Whether or not a trip to Austin is in your future, this slim book paints a vivid picture of a city that’s as appealingly offbeat as Friedman himself.
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" 'Dear Kinky: I have now read all your books, More please. I really need the laughs' - Bill Clinton. 'Kinky, Mozart, Shakespeare - with what could I equal them?' - Joseph Heller. 'Kinky's writing cannot and should not be compared to that of any other writer or of any other genre. He is his own genre...He is a wordsmith of the first order' - Fannie Flagg, New York Times Book Review. 'Kinky is the best whodunit writer to come along since Dashiell what's-his-name' - Willie Nelson" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Crown Journeys
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (October 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400050707
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400050703
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #884,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Kinky for Governor!

Ok, so this review will be online forever and 50 years from now lots of people will probably be saying "Who the hell is Kinky Friedman?" (People in Buffalo probably already are saying it, but that's another story.)

If you want to get a quick look at who Kinky is, you can't go wrong with this slim volume. Its essentially a travelogue for the city of Austin, Texas, but the Kinkster's wit shines through. Kinky covers a lot of ground in short order to tell you where the best sites in Austin are: for music and nightlife (like The Broken Spoke), for food (like Threadgill's), for sightseeing (like Willie Nelson's house, where else?).

Along the way, we get bits and pieces of Texas and specifically Austin history. Whether you are new to Texas or have been, as I have, a lifelong resident, you're sure to find something you didn't already know. If you get through this and are dying to read more, the next step of course, is to get cracking at his mysteries (i.e. Greenwich Killing Time). In the mean time, sit back and enjoy. The Kinkster is at the wheel, and the cigar smoke is filling up the car. I can't see where we are going, but the trip is sure to be fun.
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Format: Hardcover
The Kinkster (Texas' next governor?) takes readers on a whirlwind tour of Austin. Anyone who has lived in Austin for a significant period of time will not find much new here. Those who have only visited might get some inkling of what makes this city unique and why millions of people all over the country consider Austin home even though the population is 600,000. This is an extremely funny journey. I can't think of a better tour guide than a man who refers to Garth Brooks as the anti-Hank
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Format: Hardcover
At least this guy's an original. This is my first trip in Kinkyland and I was repaid by getting a few laughs. I especially liked his frank no- nonsense tone in telling us for instance, that he goes around giving advice to people happier than himself.

He is deeply at home in the world of Austin and gives the reader a lot of local color, and a lot of advice as to where and what to visit and see.

On the Jewish side it seems to me that that part of his identity is a lot like the Jewish star on Max Baer's trunks, more for crowd power effect than anything else.

But who knows? This guy may be a genuine Longhorn Yid.

However the Kink should be aware that his love of the four- letter word will not give him an A in the big cheder upstairs which I suspect he is more likely to get to than to what he says he wishes to in this book, the Governor's Chair in Austin.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If Kinky writes it, I read it. He;s so funny and smart and absolutely politically incorrect that it is impossible not to love him. He can write (and does) about anything and everything... he is a fun read. Never take him too seriously (except when he talks about his love of his cats... and then the man has a heart of pure gold)... I am only sorry he didn't get elected governor of Texas a few years ago... if I'd lived in Texas, I would've voted for him...
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