Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Auntie Mame - More, Please!

I was shocked over the holidays when the classic book/movie/musical Auntie Mame came up, and I was the only one who knew about the sequel.  First of all, if you somehow aren't familiar with the original, stop everything and go read it (but whatever you do, do NOT see the movie with Lucille Ball).
Around the World with Auntie Mame is guaranteed to make you howl with laughter.  It was re-released a few years ago, and now includes a chapter that was not in the original, due to Cold War censorship.  It is a priceless snapshot of the era, with all the slapstick humor of the original.  All the familiar characters are back as she and her nephew Patrick take a world tour. 

This is a first-rate if not always first-class voyage to intriguing locales around the world—including Paris, London, and Lebanon. Setting sail aboard the Normandie, Mame soon finds herself pursued by Interpol and rescued from seminudity by a pack of Irish wolfhounds. Next, Mame’s antics lead her to a gunrunning ship on the eve of World War II, causing luxury accommodations to be forfeited for the sake of action. But not to worry—she doesn’t rough it for long. If you thought her Manhattan parties were superb, you’ll want to put yourself on the guest list for her splashy Venice bash featured in this equally tipsy and titillating romp.Full of dry social observations as well as a delightful travelogue, this is a must read for everyone who enjoyed Auntie Mame the first time around.

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