"Don't want to do a book," Brian "Kato" Kaelin testified two months ago in the murder trial of his friend O.J. Simpson. "As of today, no way."

Yesterday, that book landed in stores. While Kaelin was obviously fudging the truth in March, in a curious way his statement has now become accurate. "Kato Kaelin: The Whole Truth" is based on taped interviews the professional houseguest made early this year with writer Marc Eliot, but Kaelin is not listed as co-author, nor will he get any of the substantial proceeds.

Furthermore, Eliot's attorney, Leonard Marks, maintains that the prosecution has told him it plans to recall Kaelin to question him about discrepancies between what he said on the witness stand and what he said on the tapes. The prosecution subpoenaed the tapes last month.

"Kato Kaelin: The Whole Truth" is Eliot's revenge on his onetime collaborator for backing out of their original book deal at the last minute. Eliot writes scornfully of Kaelin for his "too obvious, avaricious leap into the spotlight . . . this crudest of opportunistic displays."

Kaelin lived at different times with Nicole and O.J., and was the confidant of both. He obviously knows a lot about the football star and his slain wife. However, Eliot carefully states up front and later repeats: "Only God and O.J. Simpson know if he killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman on the night of June 12, 1994."

Kaelin apparently refused to state his opinion about Simpson's guilt or innocence during the taped interviews. However, on the penultimate page of the book, Eliot writes: "On at least a half-dozen occasions, Kato, off-tape, told me he believed O.J. had killed both Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, and probably had help doing it." For good measure, Eliot writes that he too believes Simpson is guilty.

In his testimony, Kaelin depicted Simpson as benevolent toward his ex-wife. "He never let on that he was upset about her dating," Kaelin told prosecutor Marcia Clark. The book portrays things rather differently: Nicole told Kaelin "that O.J. was spying on her while she had sex with other men." She told him that she was "sure O.J. is going to kill me one day." Meanwhile, she taunted Simpson sexually.

"I can't believe the power he has over people," the book has Nicole Simpson telling Kaelin. "Because he's a celebrity, because he's O.J. Simpson. No one's going to touch him. O.J. Simpson can get away with murder!"

On the stand, Kaelin said Simpson was "not real upset" about the sexy tight dress Nicole wore to their daughter's dance recital the day of the murders. However, in an interview with Eliot, Kaelin remembered Simpson steaming, "What is she going to do, wear dresses like that when she's a grandmother? Wear miniskirts? For this kind of function, can't she dress like a woman? . . . Why can't she dress like a proper mother?"

Said Kaelin, according to Eliot: "I guess in my heart I knew that something had happened at the recital."

The 270-page book begins with a lengthy section offering Eliot's commentary on the crime and his explanation of how the original book deal fell apart. It then pairs excerpts from Kaelin's testimony with a fuller narrative of the events on the day of the murders. It goes on to give a brief biography of Kaelin, recounts how he came to befriend and ultimately live with both Nicole and O.J., and describes the wild and sexually voracious life the Simpsons led.

Even if Kaelin is recalled to the stand, it's uncertain how much of what he says on the tapes will be admitted as evidence.

There was no answer yesterday at the Los Angeles offices of Michael Plotkin, Kaelin's lawyer. According to Eliot, it was Plotkin who persuaded Kaelin to cancel the original book.

"I felt certain that the reason {Kaelin} had chosen to back off was simply a career move," Eliot writes. "Brian Kato' Kaelin didn't want to be known as the guy who convicted his generous, selfless, good-time pal, O.J. Simpson."

Written in two weeks and slammed through to publication, "Kato Kaelin: The Whole Truth" will earn Eliot a handsome pile of money at $20 a copy. A spokesman for the publisher, HarperCollins, said 800,000 copies were printed. If even half those are sold, Eliot will make more than a million dollars. A spokeswoman for the Walden chain of bookstores expressed middling optimism. "We placed a substantial order. We don't think it will be bigger than O.J.'s own book, but it will be bigger than Faye Resnick's."

A friend of Nicole Simpson's, Resnick was the first person close to thetragedy to produce a book. By this point, with the trial barely half over, there's practically a shelf of them.

Court watchers are braced for the imminent publication of a book by ex-juror Michael Knox, a courier from Long Beach, which is said to name several of the jurors. Judge Lance Ito had promised the jurors he would protect their anonymity, and recently scolded a courtroom artist for too accurately depicting them.