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Short Synopsis
In the tradition of Sean Wilsey's Oh the Glory of It All and Augusten Burroughs's Running with Scissors, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt gives audiences a grand tour of the world of wealth and WASPish peculiarity, in her irreverent and darkly humorous memoir.

Full Synopsis
For generations the Burdens were one of the wealthiest families in New York, thanks to the inherited fortune of Cornelius "The Commodore" Vanderbilt. By 1955, the year of Wendy Burden's birth, the Burdens had become a clan of overfunded, quirky and brainy, steadfastly chauvinistic, and ultimately doomed bluebloods on the verge of financial and moral decline—and were rarely seen not holding a drink.

In Dead End Gene Pool, Wendy invites listeners to meet her tragically flawed family, including an uncle with a fondness for Hitler, a grandfather who believes you can never have enough household staff, and a remarkably flatulent grandmother. At the heart of the story is Wendy's glamorous and aloof mother, who, after her husband's suicide, travels the world in search of the perfect sea and ski tan, leaving her three children in the care of a chain-smoking Scottish nanny, Fifth Avenue grandparents, and an assorted cast of long-suffering household servants (who Wendy and her brothers love to terrorize). Rife with humor, heartbreak, family intrigue, and booze, Dead End Gene Pool offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of old money and gives truth to an old maxim: The rich are different.

"Charles Addams meets Carrie Bradshaw in this honest, sardonic, and touching memoir." ---Jane Stanton Hitchcock, New York Times bestselling author of Social Crimes

"In this dark and humorous memoir Wendy Burden takes us inside the family circus that was her side of the Vanderbilt dynasty, bringing American class structure, sibling rivalry and the decline of the bluebloods vividly to life." ---Gus Van Sant

"Marlo captures just the right tone of defiance and childhood spunkiness. Recommended for those seeking an amusing insider's account of life among the superrich." ---Library Journal Audio Review

Dead End Gene Pool

A Memoir

Author Wendy Burden

Narrated by Coleen Marlo

Publication date Apr 12, 2010

Running time 9 hrs

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