Blues Deluxe

Harvey Griffin, Author
Harvey Griffin, Author Longstreet Press $15 (0p) ISBN 978-1-56352-131-7
Reviewed on: 01/01/1970
Release date: 01/01/1955
In a satirical debut that's not so much blue as off-color, Griffin out-debauches Kinky Friedman without matching Friedman's humor. Narrated by a comic who calls himself ``Cool McCool'' and, like the old joke, takes his cowboy hat off for one thing only (a shower), this takes place among well-appointed Malibu beach houses, Hollywood movie sets and Aspen retreats. The trouble begins, just like in hard-boiled novels, when Cool meets Honey, a star whose first-name-only status and risque apparel clearly suggest Madonna. Cool knows it's true love when he won't go (quite) all the way with his gorgeous No. 1 groupie, who's remained a virgin for him, and then doesn't (entirely) enjoy sex with his ex-girlfriend, a Penthouse ``Pet of the Year.'' But when Cool and Honey get married, bickering all the way, it's obviously too good to be true; Griffin has subtitled his book ``A Tragicomic Love Story,'' and a full dose of pain arrives at the conclusion, a stark turnaround from the flip introduction. Much of the raciness--if not the graphically violent finale--is tongue-in-cheek, but readers will need a high tolerance for Cool's sexist banter, which is supposedly validated by his lovers' laughter (``We were discussing emergency sex date rape, actually from opposite sides of the law''). They'll also benefit from an ability to ignore Cool's uncool name and cigarette habit. Griffin's send-up of the Hollywood tell-all reaches boldly, but it doesn't make the A-list. (May)
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