Cover image for Kill two birds & get stoned
Kill two birds & get stoned
Friedman, Kinky.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2003]

Physical Description:
221 pages ; 24 cm
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Walter Snow is doomed. Living on a string of Camel cigarettes, too many cups of coffee, and bouts of masturbation in his Greenwich Village basement apartment, the writer and recovering alcoholic has been blocked. He stares at the blank pages in his typewriter for longer than he cares to admit, hoping for the spark that will finally fulfill his ambition to write The Great Armenian Novel.

And then he meets Clyde Potts. She is beautiful, intelligent, charming, perhaps psychic and, for better or worse, very possibly unbalanced. With Potts's joie de vivre and her certified insane partner in crime, Fox Harris, Snow is caught up in a series of pranks against corporate sprawl that they execute with a bit of booze, and some wacky tobaccy from Australia known as Malabimbi Madness.

But things quickly spin out of control as the trio's ultimate diuretically inspired prank leads to an unexpected, shocking conclusion, and Walter is left to wonder if the only things you ever keep in this life are the things you let slip through your fingers.

A tale of the nature of sanity, the cost of inspiration, and the art and business of creativity, Kill Two Birds & Get Stoned has the absurd and provocative hijinks that could have only come from the fertile, frenzied mind of veteran soul Kinky Friedman.

Author Notes

Kinky Friedman is the author of twelve novels, including Blast from the Past, Road Kill, The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover, God Bless, John Wayne, Armadillos & Old Lace; and Elvis, Jesus and Coca Cola.

He lives in a little green trailer in a little green valley deep in the heart of Texas.

(Publisher Provided) Author, singer, and songwriter Kinky Friedman was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 31, 1944. He grew up on a ranch in central Texas and received a B. A. in Psychology and Plan II Honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966. After graduation, he severed two years with the Peace Corps in Borneo.

In the early 1970's, he formed a country and western band called The Texas Jewboys. His music mixed social commentary with humor and dealt with topics such as racism and anti-Semitism. He reached cult status and was a musical guest on Saturday Night Live in October 1976.

After his music career ended in the 1980's, he started writing detective novels featuring a fictionalized version of himself solving crimes in New York City. Since April 2001, he has been a regular columnist for Texas Monthly magazine, but stopped in March 2005 due to his campaign bid for governor of Texas.

He founded Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, whose mission is to care for stray, abused, and aging animals. He currenlty lives at Echo Hill Ranch which is located near Kerrville, Texas. In 2012, Kinky Friedman partnered up with Willie Nelson to write Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road which became a New York Times Best Seller.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Friedman sends a slumping, unfulfilled novelist off on a wild criminal adventure with a couple of con artists in his latest, an engaging but erratic caper novel that begins when mid-career fiction writer Walter Snow meets the woman of his dreams, Clyde Potts, at a bank in Manhattan. Potts already has a companion, an oddball named Fox Harris who accompanies Clyde on her various criminal ventures, and the pair quickly take advantage of Snow's lust for Potts to convince him to play a role in a smalltime con at a New York bar. Their next escapade takes them to a mental hospital, where they liberate an African-American acquaintance who believes himself to be the king of an African country. The criminal stakes go up when Potts manages to steal Donald Trump's credit card number, and the trio throws a lavish party for the homeless at a New York shelter, but the plotting turns downright bizarre when Potts and Harris sabotage a major coffee cafe after the company that owns the chain evicts the owner of a dive bar called the Unicorn. Friedman's usual off-kilter charm prevails throughout, particularly in the characterization of Snow, a sincere but befuddled writer who uses his lust for Potts to overcome a continuing case of writer's block. Potts and Harris have their endearing moments, but the criminal subplots range from the solidly effective to the over-the-top wacky, particularly the coffee caper, which is designated "Operation Diarrhea" and involves the trio adding a mix of diabolical chemicals to the local brew. Friedman fans will enjoy the antics, but this falls short of top-shelf Kinky. (Apr.) Forecast: This is Friedman's first stand-alone novel, but it doesn't range far from his tried-and-true shtick. Expect it to appeal primarily to hardcore fans enthusiasts. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Friedman abandons his eponymous hero for this standalone story about a down-and-out writer whose new buddies introduce him to a life of crime. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



There are two good things about living in a basement apartment. The first is that you can't kill yourself by jumping out the window. The second, and this is an important one, is that whatever you do and wherever you go, you know you're always going to be on the way up. The bad thing, I suppose, is a matter of your point of view. All you ever see are people's feet walking by in the rain. Unless, of course, the sun is shining. You can't always tell, however, when you live in a basement apartment. I suppose I ought to introduce myself. My name is Walter Snow and you probably never heard of me, which is not an especially good thing because I like to think of myself as a novelist. In fact, for the past few years I've been working on a project I half-tragically refer to as The Great Armenian Novel . I am not Armenian, though I once had an Armenian girlfriend, which at least qualifies me to write about what I know. Unfortunately, for years I hadn't written one word of the book. I suffered from writer's block. Or spiritual constipation. Or whatever you want to call it. And there is nothing worse in this or any other world than staring down at a blank piece of paper and realizing that it's as empty as your life. All this, of course, was before I met Clyde Potts at the bank, and before she introduced me to Fox Harris. Even after all that has happened, I still think of both of them with a smile. I'm looking at that smile right now in the bathroom mirror. It looks a bit ragged, maybe a bit confused, but it's there all right. It lacks the innocence of a small boy at Christmas, and is probably a little closer to the sick, sweet, evil smile of the serial killer, redolent of charm and danger. But it is a fucking smile - and they say if you smile when you think of people who are gone, you loved them. But let me redirect the conversation back to myself for a moment. I am a published novelist. Seven years ago I wrote a mildly successful, quirky little book about a man coming of age in a New Jersey nursing home. It was entitled The Rise and Fall of Nothing at All and its publication killed just enough trees to keep me in Camel filters and a basement apartment for seven years, which is saying something in today's market. But now I've moved from looking in the mirror to looking at the blank page again and I don't know which is worse. Both seem to somehow relate to those soulless attenuated feet that keep sliding silently by my window in the rain. It's a dark and stormy day today and if you don't live in New York you might call it gloomy but if you do, you get used to it and a few other things. The only spot of color is provided by Fox's tropical fish, of which, I suppose, I am now the guardian. I don't know much about tropical fish except that bad things always seem to happen to their original owners. They're not too good for spiritually constipated novelists to have around either. They keep diverting your attention when you're busy staring at a blank page. But they're crazy and colorful, just like Fox: you never know what they're thinking, or if they're thinking. Also, they kind of hypnotize you if you look at them long enough. The bubbling sound takes a little while to get used to, but once you do, it blends right in with the sirens and the car alarms and the occasional junkie on the sidewalk shouting scripture. I haven't bonded with these fish, of course, and I don't think I'm likely to. But I intend to take good care of them. Sometimes late at night when I watch them swimming around in their aquarium I forget I'm in a basement apartment in New York City. At those times I think of the fish as little pieces of Fox's soul and the world seems like a bigger and brighter place. It almost feels good to be alive. When I stop to reflect upon it, it was probably Fox and Clyde who deserve the credit, for better or worse, for knocking me off the wagon forever. Before that morning, when I first met Clyde at the bank, I'd had almost six and a half years of sobriety. I attended a secular rosary chain of AA meetings where I declared to the brainwashed and the unwashed of the world that my name was Walter and that I was an Alcoholic. My life had become an endless series of tableaus in which I would hold a Styrofoam cup of bad coffee - I never found out if the cup was half full or half empty - smoke an endless caravan of Camel filters and provide an ever-changing army of supportive strangers with my standard three minutes of superficial charm. If I had to talk to the same individual for much longer than three minutes, I could actually see the lines of ennui forming on his or her face and the undeniable presence of pity in his or her eyes. Speaking of his or her, I discovered that, as an alcoholic nondrinking nonwriting writer, I could extract more natural empathy from men than from women. That, of course, was before I met Clyde at the bank. I remember that morning surprisingly well, considering everything that's happened since. It was only about nine months ago but already it feels like two lifetimes interwoven like the careless arms of doomed lovers: the sweet, grievous lifetime of the saint mingling with the pregnant, existential lifetime of the sinner ... Excerpted from Kill Two Birds & Get Stoned by Kinky Friedman Copyright (c) 2003 by Kinky Friedman Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.