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Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade Paperback – September 11, 2001
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"I reread and study Auntie Mame like a hilarious, glamorous bible where, among other wise lessons, one learns that true sophistication and innocence are two halves of the same glittering coin."
--Charles Busch, author of The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom
"Auntie Mame is the American Alice in Wonderland. It is also, incidentally, one of the most important books in my life. Its witty Wildean phrases ring in my mind, and its flamboyant characters still enamor me. Like Tennessee Williams, Patrick Dennis caught the boldness, vitality, and iridescent theatricality of modern American personality. In Mame’s mercurial metamorphoses we see American optimism and self-invention writ large."--Camille Paglia, author of Sexual Personae
"Mame Dennis is the grande dame of grand dames and I, for one, am thrilled that she’s back among us. She is still hilarious, sparkling, and utterly indestructible despite the best efforts of time, neglect, and Lucille Ball."
--Joe Keenan, Emmy-Winning Writer/Producer for Frasier, author of Blue Heaven and Putting on the Ritz
"Auntie Mame is a unique literary achievementa brilliant novel disguised as a lightweight piece of fluff. Every page sparkles with wit, style andthough Mame would cringe at the thoughthigh moral purpose. Let’s hope Patrick Dennis is finally recognized for what he is: One of the great comedic writers of the 20th century."
--Robert Plunket, author of Love Junkie
From the Inside Flap
Wildly successful when it was first published in 1955, Patrick Dennis' Auntie Mame sold over two million copies and stayed put on the "New York Times bestseller list for 112 weeks. It was made into a play, a Broadway as well as a Hollywood musical, and a fabulous movie starring Rosalind Russell. Since then, Mame has taken her rightful place in the pantheon of Great and Important People as the world's most beloved, madcap, devastatingly sophisticated, and glamorous aunt. She is impossible to resist, and this hilarious story of an orphaned ten-year-old boy sent to live with his aunt is as delicious a read in the twenty-first century as it was in the 1950s.
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Top Customer Reviews
The episodic book concerns an orphaned child, Patrick Dennis, who is sent to live with an aunt he has never before seen in 1920s New York--and the aunt is Mame Dennis, a fast-living, intellectually sharp, and decidedly eccentric woman beset by both the fads and fashions of the day and the money and social connections with which to indulge them. Although time has rather blunted the actual way in which Patrick Dennis writes (his framing device of a magazine article is more than a little tiresome), it certainly has not blunted the character herself: madcap Mame runs riot through the roaring twenties, goes through largely self-induced hysteria during the Depression, works for the boys during World War II, and along the way gets involves in art movements, theatrical performances, fox hunts, Southern country society, war orphans, a wealthy husband, an Irish poet, a college lover, and most famously her beloved nephew's unfortunate engagement to the shallow and snobbish Gloria Upson. Each comic disaster is more memorable than the last, and Mame herself lingers in the mind as an inspiration to live life to the fullest no matter the consequences.
Fans of the Rosalind Russell film version will quickly realize that Russell has captured the character perfectly; the book, however, is at once less structured and considerably broader than the Russell playscript and film. Very episodic and considered quite riske for its time, it contains a number of adventures (such as Mame's seduction of one of Patrick's college friends or her introduction of Patrick to the Maddox sisters) that never made it to any performance version. Both fans of the various plays and films and even the completely uninitiated will adore meeting the sparkling original, certainly one of the greatest comic creations in 20th Century literature. AUNTIE MAME deserves a special place on the shelf of any one who enjoys a range of humor that runs from sly giggles to screaming laughter. Strongly recommended.
Of course, reading this sidesplitting chapter with a pair of today's eyes, it's hard to see just how subversive Patrick Dennis was considered to be... But no matter, this chapter sparkles like a fine gem retrieved from a dusty safe-deposit box.
Even if you already own "Around the World," it's worth buying this new paperback edition for this chapter alone. Eric Myers, author of Patrick Dennis' biography "Uncle Mame," and Dr. Michael Tanner, Dennis' droll son and guardian of his literary estate, deserve much credit for bringing Patrick Dennis to the attention of new and old generations of readers.