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THE GREAT PSYCHEDELIC ARMADILLO PICNIC:
A ''Walk'' in Austin

One in the Crown Journeys series
Author: Kinky Friedman

Maybe you want to know which restaurant President Bush rates as his favorite Austin burger joint. Or maybe you want a glimpse of Willie Nelson’s home life (hint: Willie plays a lot of golf). Perhaps you want to get the best view of the Mexican free-tail bats as they make their nightly flights to and from the Congress Avenue Bridge. Or maybe you’re itching to learn the history of a city that birthed Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and countless other music legends. It’s all here in The Great Psychedelic Armadillo Picnic, the slightly insane, amazingly practical, and totally kick-ass guide to the coolest city in Texas by none other than Kinky Friedman.

This ain’t no ordinary travel guide, neither. “Like most other busy cities these days, Austin is not very effectively traversed by foot,” Friedman explains. “You must understand that ‘a walk in Austin’ is primarily a spiritual sort of thing.” As might be expected from this politically incorrect country-singer-turned-bestselling-mystery-author, the Kinkster’s tour includes a bunch of stuff you won’t find in a Frommer’s guide, from descriptions of Austin’s notable trees and directions to skinny-dipping sites to lists of haunted places and quizzes and puzzles. So put on your cowboy hat and your brontosaurus-foreskin boots and head down south with the book you need to get to the big heart of this great city.

From Publishers Weekly

A good travelogue conveys a sense of place while pointing the reader towards interesting activities, destinations, places to eat and the like. A great travelogue does all this, but it also stands alone as an enjoyable read, regardless of the reader’s travel plans. This quirky tour of Austin, Tex., delivers the whole enchilada. Friedman (Armadillos & Old Lace, etc.), novelist and founder of the band Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys, is not what most people would think of as a typical Texan. When he suggests what car to buy to fit in (either a pickup or a Cadillac will do), he proclaims, "I myself drive a Yom Kippur Clipper. That’s a Jewish Cadillac—stops on a dime and picks it up." But this attitude gives Friedman the perfect perspective from which to narrate a journey through his city. His suggestions of things to do all come from personal experience and are usually accompanied by a colorful anecdote or observation. In a chapter on places to eat, Friedman gives this tip on dining at the Magnolia Café: "Feel free to light up a cigarette if you smoke, because Magnolia is one of the few restaurants you can smoke in without some asshole trying to make a citizen’s arrest." Friedman’s plain-speaking is part of the book’s charm. What other travel guide would proudly list a mass murderer—Charles Whitman, who shot 45 people from the Texas Tower in 1966—in a section on famous citizens? As Friedman points out, "We like to think that everything’s bigger in Texas. This, of course, includes mass murder sprees." Whether or not a trip to Austin is in your future, this slim book paints a vivid picture of a city that’s as appealingly offbeat as Friedman himself.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

$16.95 (hardcover)
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