Simon & Schuster, March 2004, 24.00, 228 pp.
While drinking at the Corner Bistro with his friend McGovern, Kinky Friedman starts shaking, mumbling and goes from hot to cold in an instant. He blacks out and comes to in a hospital. At first Kinky thinks McGovern slipped him a Mickey, but the symptoms continue. The Kinkster knows he is sick but it takes the doctor a while to figure out what is wrong with him. He suffers from a virulent form of malaria picked up when Kinky worked for the Peace Corps in Borneo.
His friends, the Village Irregulars offer to nursemaid him so the doctor discharges him with the provision that he stays in his apartment for six weeks. During one of his moments of lucidity, Kinky looks out the window and sees a man beating a woman until she starts bleeding. When he calls 911and the police go over to investigate they find an empty and unused warehouse and nobody on the second and fourth floor heard anything. Kinky is determined to prove that he is right and he uses the Village Irregulars as his eyes and ears with some very hilarious results.
Kinky Friedman is irreverent and witty as usual, insulting everyone and everything using blue humor so he doesn't sound like a racist (which he isn't). It's touching to see Kinky's misfits and society's rejects gather round in his hour of need and no one can doubt them for not believing Kinky since half the time he is hallucinating. The real star of THE PRISONER OF VANDAM STREET is the cat whose displeasure at the invasion of his territory by an occupying force is shown in a very definite way.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner