FATHER IN A FIX by Neil Boyd


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A sequel to Bless Me, Father (1978): more pseudo-autobiographical episodes from the early-1950s curateship of young Father Neil Boyd at St. Jude's in West London--where curmudgeonly, Irish-brogued Father Duddleswell provides most of the modest, rather slow-in-coming laughs. There's his war against the smelly pigs of neighbor Billy Buzzle, which ends in a court case when a stolen pig dies of neglect. There's his quest to give a probable Catholic proper last rites (""Blasted Anglicans. . . . First they pinch our churches and cathedrals and now they are scheming to pinch one of our Catholic corpses besides""), which ends in a damp burial-at-sea. Plus: plans for a big St. Patrick's Day bash--practicing his violin (excruciatingly) and collecting shamrock (desperately). Meanwhile, of course, Father Neil himself has some comic troubles: getting over his head while trying to dispose of a kleptomaniac parishioner's hoard of stolen stockings; handling pre-teen sex education at the parochial school (much kids-say-the-darndest-things cuteness here). And together the Fathers fall in with car thieves (when a parishioner's convict son uses a priestly visit to effect his jailbreak), babysit two toddlers (""It was nice being a daddy as well as a father""), and face problems with a mixed-marriage performed on the run after a football match. Theological mini-debates, quotes from Gilbert & Sullivan, motherly asides from housekeeper Mrs. Pring, running gags about Father D.'s cursing and Father B.'s joke-telling--mild, agreeable clerical hijinks from pseudonymous theologian Peter De Rosa.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1980
Publisher: Morrow