D-E-S-M-O-N-D!!"" Any day or night at the Marlo Thomas-Phil Donahue Manhattan penthouse duplex is Nightmare on Fifth Avenue, says Marlo's former major-domo Desmond Atholl, who spent three years managing the household. Now 53, Marlo--a feminist who did not marry until 40 and was raised as a spoiled princess by her father, multimillionaire actor-comedian Danny Thomas--apparently has never picked up a shoelace in her life and seemingly exists at the top of her voice when off-camera. One day, here, with the whole penthouse staff occupied and its hands literally full, the phone rings five times before it can be answered. Marlo descends upon the staff, singles out the cleaning man with his hands in a bucket of dirty water: ""C-A-A-A-R-R-L!! THE P-H-O-N-E!!!!! Carl, you're a fucking fool! Four fucking people! I pay four fucking people a fucking fortune and the phone isn't answered! It's my life! The phone is my life! Fucking idiots, all of you!"" ""Marlo, be nice,"" Phil pleads vainly. ""Go to your room, Phil! This is none of your goddamn fucking business!"" And so it goes, chapter after chapter, Marlo in superhigh tension, dripping sparks and spending ions as a compulsive shopper who can't go into shops but has to hire two shoppers to do her shopping, gathering shoes like Imelda Marcos, packing closets in two homes to bursting with designer dresses and high couture, blowing thousands on flowers in one day searching for white tulips, hostessing parties like a physicist setting up the Manhattan Project, losing the services of her lady architect, Sandie Bolton, when the toilet makes a gushing sound as it fills (""[Sandie, you're] a fucking cunt, and idiot, and a lousy architect""), and generally acting like Hitler strangling a bust of Stalin. Highlights include the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners of the Thomas and Donahue clans, with Marlo billowing her wings like Beelzebub fighting an exorcist. Smugly told--but only readers made of marble will resist it.