Saturday, October 17, 2009


Auntie Mame, Patrick Dennis, Vanguard Press, 1955, 280 pp

Madcap is not my favorite genre and madcap this is. In fact, I found it downright silly and formulaic. It was a huge bestseller and ended the year, 1955, at #2 on the bestseller list.

Ten year old Patrick is adopted by his wild and wacky aunt after his father's death. He grows up in a breathless rush of parties and adventures with his aunt among the wealthy, artistic and famous in New York City. Between times he has to go to a drab boarding school because the conservative executor of his estate tries to follow the deathbed wishes of Patrick's father.

I will read a sequel, Around the World With Auntie Mame, because it was a top bestseller in 1958. Auntie Mame was made into a hit Broadway play, then an award winning movie, followed by a Broadway musical and a bad movie from that. By the 1970s Patrick Dennis had blown all his money and his books were out of print. My point exactly.

(Auntie Mame was reissued in paperback in 2001 and is available by special order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)

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