FAMOUS PEOPLE I HAVE KNOWN by Ed McClanahan

FAMOUS PEOPLE I HAVE KNOWN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In these eight raunchy, riotous and ultimately endearing essays, McClanahan (The Natural Man) sends us rocketing through the 60's and 70's on an odyssey that stretches from a radical chic faculty free-for-all in Palo Alto to the M&M Disco and Bait Shop in Carrollton, Kentucky. Along the way, McClanahan encounters gurus, guzzlers and Lucille, a go-go dancer ""about 156-years-old,"" among other ""famous people."" Readers will be delighted to make their acquaintance. Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, and even a winsome Jean Genet appear in cameo roles from time to time but it's booze-belting ""good old buddies,"" the Elvis Presley spin-offs like ""Little Enis"" (how he got his name is a story we won't go into here), and the hash-house waitresses who ""ain't got no more Aw Juice,"" who hold center stage--and the center of McClanahan's wise and ribald heart. In the section entitled ""Drowning in the Land of Sky-Blue Waters,"" he recounts his experiences when he and his wife decide to compile a compendium of every honky-tonk, dive and juke-joint between Missoula, Montana, and Henry County, Kentucky. After drinking ""enough beer to drown the entire feline population of Ardmore, Oklahoma,"" the project comes to naught and the McClanahans settle happily for a life in which ""the more things stay the same, the more they stay the same."" The language is, to borrow an image from the book, ""livelier than a six-flipper pinball machine."" McClanahan has a sharpshooter's eye for the telling detail and a vocabulary that hilariously blends the hipster and the hillbilly. Durn good fun.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1985
ISBN: 081319069X
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Grioux