Book Review: 33 Revolutions Per Page

Tall tales of Texas and beyond

33 Revolutions Per Page

The Billy Bob Tapes: A Cave Full of Ghosts

by Billy Bob Thornton and Kinky Friedman
William Morrow, 272 pp., $26.99

Probably the best compliment due this nontraditional movie star biography is that half the time it reads like a Joe R. Lansdale novel. It's got that bone-deep East Texas/Arkansas feel and, as co-written and transcribed by Kinky Friedman, it's rife with Southern gothicisms, delightfully weird digressions, and the sort of 3am philosophizing that Flannery O'Connor had to make up. Thornton remains dyslexic, OCD-plagued, agoraphobic, and a natural born storyteller – so this book reads like the after-midnight musings of an insomniac. Reared in rural Arkansas by a bonafide psychic – rent semi-autobiographical Billy Bob noir The Gift – Thornton (musician first, actor second) and writer buddy Tom Epperson (One False Move) light out for California with actorly aspirations. Thornton's first monologue in acting class involves rewriting Othello into the Southern-fried Othie and Desi, which leads circuitously to an Academy Award for Sling Blade and all that entailed. To paraphrase Sling Blade's Karl Childers, Thornton lives inside of his own heart, which is an awful big place to live in, but boy howdy, what a life.

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Billy Bob Thornton, Kinky Friedman

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