Monday, February 20, 2012

The DNF Files: Texas Hold 'Em - Kinky Friedman


I'm so surprised that this book is my first DNF for 2012.  How could I go wrong with raucous, delightfully profane and irreverent Kinky Friedman?  Even if I did, John Callahan, (who I've loved since I read his memoir, Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot) illustrated the book.  Since Callahan is no slouch in the irreverent department, I thought it was an inspired match.  

In the end, not even Callahan could entice me to continue past page 33.  Kinky doesn't have a whole hell of a lot to say, name-drops incessantly, and his jokes and witticisms are staler than week-old bread.  This book is the old gasbag at the party who is determined that you shall die of boredom, and that right soon.  You are smiling fixedly while frantically Braille-texting your friends to cook up an emergency excuse immediately.

Even with all of that, I could have stood it, if he (or his editor) hadn't done this:


See those boxed quotes?  There's no new information or clever page notes.  They merely repeat what is in the text on the page.  This is in case you didn't get it the first time that ole Kinky is a real knee-slapper, the 21st century's answer to Mark Twain.  Kinky doesn't deserve to be compared to Mark Twain.  He should be thumped on the head with a hardcover copy of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Repeatedly. 

 If my annoyance seems excessive, it's because I feel absolutely sure that this could have been a much better book with a little effort.  Kinky knew better, but he didn't do better.  Not all of his readers are Texans, happy smokers, morons, or a combination thereof, and he should appreciate that.

Check out the Callahan cartoons, but cut out on the Kinkster.

5 comments:

softdrink said...

The book quotes itself?? That just smacks of self-importance.

Bookfool said...

I'm so glad you took the time to write about why you abandoned this particular book because it was massively entertaining, Bybee!

Kathleen said...

This one sounds atrocious! It's good that you had the sense to abandon it and I agree with Bookfool's comment. Your review/DNF explanation was completely entertaining.

Maree said...

Good gracious those boxes ... okay it's pretentious.

Tami said...

I hate books, or even magazine articles, with the little boxes, because the best stuff on the page is always put into the quote box and then there's no reason to read teh rest.

Even if the book is a dud, your review is hilarious and well worth reading. I give you 5 stars.