9 AUGUST 1975, Page 20

American dream

Elaine Stritch

Hefner Frank Brady (Weidenfeld and Nicolson £4.25) According to Frank Brady, the fourth issue of Playboy was edited in a four-room apartment on Chicago's near North side and, "the building was directly across the street from Holy Name Cathedral, a Chicago landmark since it was still possible to see the holes in the wall caused by bullets which killed Bugsy Moran one Sunday morning in the 1930s." According to John Kobler (Capone, the life and world of Al Capone) George 'Bugs' Moran died of lung cancer in Leavenworth Penitentiary in the 'fifties (probably on a Thursday),_ However this book is about Hugh Marston Heftier, born April 9, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois. It comprises his boyhood dreams, his women, his Chicago mansion, his Pepsi Cola, his employees, his employers, the Sunday soirees, the mirrors, the Pepsi Cola, the Aeroplane, the curtains, the clubs, the yes-men, the no-men, the Roman Polanski birthday greeting, the parties, the swimming pool, the California Mansion, the films, the photos, the Pepsi Cola, the photo of Marilyn, the philosophy, the Post Office, the 1962 July issue, the memos, the bunnies, the bourbon, the sex, the slippers, the yellow pyjamas, the bed, the other magazines, the magazine, the adverts, the Willmark service system and listening to Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy with Pepsi Cole. Ho Hum, etc, etc.

All covered in two hundred and twenty four pages in black and white, which is fine if you happen to be be interested in Hugh Marston Hefner. Orson Welles should make a film about the man or perhaps, in the opinion of this reviewer, Mr Brady could condense it all into an interesting magazine article.

I will say that Mr Brady has a fluent, readable style and, if we all had as much money as Hugh Hefner, we too could alter the number of hours in a day and then maybe find time to read the book. Its just that I can't get very excited about 'drawbridges' and 'bunnies.'

Note to Queen Elizabeth II: there is a master list of 'friends' who are to gain immediate access to 1340 N. State Parkway, Chicago, Illinois (the Playboy Mansion) without a prior appointment,, . you're on it. How about that?

Elaine Stritch, the American actress, is now living in the Savoy.