Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal ran a long article about “Songster, writer and Texas troublemaker Kinky Friedman” (Borneo 1967-79) who has just released his first studio album in 32 years. Kinky is best known for, as the WSJ writes, “his sharply satirical, sure to offend cowboy songs like ‘Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed’ and ‘They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore’.” His next mystery novels, all narrated by a musician-turned-private-detective named Kinky Friedmen, will be his 20th. It is due out next year an entitled, The Hardboiled Computer. Kinky’s next tour begins on October 9th. It will be 35 consecutive shows without a night off.
Sunday’s 10/4/15 New York Times, runs a review of Paul Theroux’s (Malawi 1963-65) new travel book Deep South Four Seasons on Back Roads published by Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In the review, Geoffrey C. Ward writes, “Theroux’s remarkable gift for getting strangers to reveal themselves makes going along for this ride worthwhile.” Theroux writes of those he met over the four seasons, “The people are hospitable; they are talkers, and if they take to you, they’ll tell you their stories.” The people he meets are black preachers and sullen white bigots, dirt farmers and factory workers who have seen their jobs disappear. Ward end his review by quote Paul again, who sums up his tour, “these poor folk are poorer in their way…and less able to manage and more hopeless than many people I had traveled among in distressed parts of Africa and Asia.” For Theroux, Ward writes, “the fact that the federal government and private philanthropies are willing to provide aid to unfortunates overseas but seem uninterested in improving the plight of those at home is evidence , as Theroux say, “America in its greatness is singular, it resembles the rest of the world in its failures.”