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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

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Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Ambrose, David: Superstition | Main | Iles, Greg: Mortal Fear »

Friedman, Kinky: The Prisoner of Vandam Street

  

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Simon & Schuster © 2004, 240 pages [amazon]
4 stars

Confined to his New York apartment at 199B Vandam Street  for six weeks after contracting malaria--the "only truly deadly strain" of the disease--private detective Kinky Friedman (not to be confused with his creator, author, country singer, and potential future governor of Texas Kinky Friedman) happens to see, Rear Window-style, a woman brutally beaten in an apartment across the street. The problem is, feverish and delirious as he's been, Kinky does not make the most convincing of witnesses, and neither the police he summons nor his gang of variously accented, frequently inebriated cronies--the so-called "Village Irregulars," the collective Grace Kelly to his laid up Jimmy Stewart--believes him. When further investigation suggests Kinky wasn't imagining things, the game, as he and Sherlock like to say, is afoot.

The problem is, feverish and delirious as he's been, Kinky does not make the most convincing of witnesses, and neither the police he summons nor his gang of variously accented, frequently inebriated cronies--the so-called "Village Irregulars," the collective Grace Kelly to his laid up Jimmy Stewart--believes him.But the mystery in The Prisoner of Vandam Street is in a sense beside the point, entertaining though it is, for Kinky Friedman's novel is a departure from standard mystery fare. The author's prose is bursting with word play and Conan Doyleisms and pop culture references and irreverent philosophical musings. If at times it borders on the cloying, his writing is far more often downright funny:

"Now, I'm not making light of people who are deaf or losing their hearing. I am not mocking a disability that afflicts millions of Americans as they grow older, effectively cutting them off to varying degrees from the hearing world. All I'm saying, and I'll try to speak loudly and slowly and enunciate clearly, is that they should get medical help or a hearing aid or a large, metal ear-horn like the kind that was used in medieval times, and stop constantly blaming hapless, sensitive friends like myself for mumbling."

Friedman also has a serious side, evidenced in the book's closing parable and in the sweetly moving, brief chapter on his--Kinky the character's as well as Kinky the man's--continued sense of loss after the death of his parents.

In short, mystery lovers with a taste for off-color jokes and pun-punctuated prose will get a kick out of Kinky.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.