HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION by Patrick Dennis

HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mr. John Wesley Smith, all of twenty-five and just brimming with idealism, is hired as ""Director of Projects"" for the Fennessey Foundation, a position he acquires because of his astute directorial handling of Dierdre Fennessey, a monosyllabic darling and one of his biggest crosses to bear at Ponsonby Junior College. But ""Director of Projects"" turns out to mean summer tutorship of Dierdre and ""the twins,"" equally uneducable. Smith finds himself trapped. Not only financially but by the cheek of the Fennessey family which is merrily living tax-free on a Foundation whose work is limited to extravagant press releases. The members of the menage include founder ""Gramps,"" a cantankerous old Irishman who refuses to kick off and let the family forget its origins -- bathtub beer; son Justin, determinedly democratic, and his wife Lydia, (Dierdre's parents). Lydia exchanged aristocratic stage roles for the real thing. And there's the playboy and the Marquesa and an assortment of sniveling and/or narcissistic brats. Enter Uncle Sam and the Foundation crumbles. Until Lydia comes up with the idea of an ""Art Film"" starring guess who and Cinderella Flanagan becomes one of the funniest fiascos to see print. It could see film as this is a Dennis delight. Sheer insanityville.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1968
Publisher: Morrow