NOTHING DOING by Michael Campbell


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Almost fifteen years ago Michael Campbell wrote a novel about an egregious eccentric called Peter Perry, a kind of one-woman civil disturbance cavorting in a 1928 Molyneux or a gym suit, dangling an everpresent wet cigarette butt, and snorting ""work my eyeballs"" or ""excrescence."" She reappears here as Harriet de Courcey whose nephew David has just written a libelously true book about her as Peter Perry. Will she prefer to be pilloried or immortalized? She chooses the latter and fancies herself as a kind of Auntie Mame. In assorted incidents, she tries to play the role of the Fairy Queen, is taken to an institution where she escapes after locking the matron up, and goes to the U.S. to appear with David in Chicago. Perhaps her native Dubliners are more attuned to her kind of vigorous vaudeville. Another one of her raucous ripostes is ""Give yourself nothing"" and it might prove prophetic.

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 1971
Publisher: Putnam