GENIUS by Patrick Dennis
Kirkus Star


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Mr. Patrick Dennis and wife have migrated to Mexico City for a winter of some toiling and inexpensive living. Things go along pretty well on the hacienda for a while. There are of course the neighboring Priddys -- Dr. Priddy is the second most boring person Dennis ever met; Mrs. Priddy, the first most boring -- but the intermittent plunges into utter stupefaction were almost bearable. In moves Leander Starr, right next door, however, and it's all over. This incidentally is the Leander Starr, America's greatest director. It was he who made the epicure's epic Ruth in the Alien Corn. It was this very same old maniac who made an actress of Catalina Ximinez. Starr is at liberty and on the lam from 19 different countries for tax evasion and rubber checking. Here in Mexico he decides to make another movie, Valley of the Vultures and the contrapuntal lunacy, this time in five different regional dialects, breaks loose. It is the story of the birth of the Mexican nation and it features half the population of the nation. Starr's directorial techniques made C.W. Griffiths look like an efficiency expert. Catalina Ximinez has a starring role, but she's gone bovine and looks like Katy Jurado's ugly sister, ""wearing false lashes that looked as though a brace of centipedes had dropped dead on her eyelids"". There's Catalina's ubiquitous mother -- """", a repulsive old slob named Gonzalez ""He suffered under the delusion that toe-nails took care of themselves"" and a lady who punctuates every sentence with a rasping ""woo Hoo""...Yes, Dennis has run amok again. And until someone throws a big net over him, he will remain easily the funniest fellow writing today. A definite best sell, Genius is funnier than Auntie Mame.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1962
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World