NICE TRY by Thomas Baird
Kirkus Star

NICE TRY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here's a real kookie rumpus, great fun, in the tradition of Wodehouse, Wilde and Wilder, which gleefully impales on its axis the primary gods and goddesses of avanter-than-avant garde art. Steering force at the Museum of Twentieth Century Art in New York City was the ""Watchdog Committee,"" beautifully and delicately balanced in favor of Director Lars Larson, so that when Thomas Hopewell Reading offered his resignation, only big Alma Brust, sixtyish, positive but manageable, remained. A careful search begins for Reading's successor. Goon Bessarion, at a sort of collectors' pinnacle, fond of cleaning his nails with a knife and waving same at Gunther, his trembling promoter, seems high on the list, but a new entry, one Henry Pickens, poultry feed tycoon from Sioux City, soon lopes up to the starting gate and the campaigns are on. With frequent obeisances to Larson's secretary, Prophyra; lessons in collector deportment for the Pickens; the assembling of a preposterous home gallery; upmanship in first showings; and at the hilarious climax, a tube-busting ""Organism"" exhibit with animals, amours, police and mayhem; the trick's done up. More than a nice try, this is broad satire, inventive farce, terribly funny.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1965
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World