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Patricia Marx, P Marx, Marx P. Marx. Bantam, $15 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-553-34498-1

This stultifying tale of the making of a fictional film fated to be the ``number one flop of all time'' caters to those who exhaust the yearly crop of stupid summer movies. Marx and McGrath, former writers for Saturday Night Live , rely heavily on exaggeration to supply humor, eschewing subtlety in favor of jokes guaranteed not to go over anyone's head. A series of imagined monologues, memoranda and news clippings chronicles the hiring by a Hollywood mogul's doltish heir of a director who is ``off his rocker'' to make a film of A Pilgrim's Progress. Along the way, we encounter a physician who short-sheets the beds at a California psychiatric facility cannily named ``Dave's,'' a friar who asks a studio head for work (``He told me they were poor. Now I am overjoyed. Tomorrow I will begin begging for the Mr. Schwerdloff Studio.''), and a French woman who quits her job leading tours for the deaf at the Jeu de Paume in order to be a movie star. Truly comic touches are overshadowed by bad tastea director's resume includes `` `The Re-Escapers' about three prisoners who tunnel out of a German prison only to discover they have tunneled into a concentration camp''or simply diluted by the book's overall inanity. (August)