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FICTION : A CASE OF LONE STAR by Kinky Friedman (Beech Tree: $14.95; 189 pp.).

September 06, 1987|Dick Roraback

The genuine Kinky (of Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys fame) --country singer-turned-novelist--is tough, wry, hip, completely off the peeling wall. Not surprisingly, the fictional Kinky--country singer-turned-amateur detective--is tough, wry, hip, etc.

The plot of Friedman's second book is just an excuse, involving the wasting of a riff of singers at the Lone Star Cafe in Greenwich Village. (Each murder is linked to the lyrics of a Hank Williams song. Don't ask.) Plot as clothesline on which to dangle the wacky wardrobe of aphorisms, wisecracks and non sequiturs known as "Kinkyisms" to a growing underground of groupies.

Couched in a parody of Spillane ("I ankled it over to Hudson Street and nailed a Checker"), Friedman's latest bons mots include: "Where there's a will, there's a lawyer"; "It was a nice neighborhood if you liked neighborhoods"; a photographer called F. Stop FitzGerald; and the ultimate Kinkyism: "You can pick your nose and you can pick your friends, but you can't wipe your friends on your saddle."

You can read "Lone Star" as fast as you can think, but it's better if you don't.

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