SUM AND TOTAL OF NOW by Don Robertson


Email this review


Morris Bird the Third was a spunky, wide-eyed nine-year-old, when first met in The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread (1965, p. 507). He is now thirteen, the scope is bigger, the vision broader, the novel even better as Mr. Robertson sweeps things along in a vivid impressionism. Morris, a singular adolescent with a ""surface of the moon"" complexion, dreams and questions as most adolescents must: ""Was everything Fake? What was Truth? What was hot air?"" Why was his mother like Fred C. Dobbs, the villain of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre? Why did his buddy Benny have to get killed, Benny the cripple but smart, an organizer and leader. Why did his grandmother have to hurt and why did his useless relatives have to sit around shouting about their inheritance and waiting for her to die in that big uncomfortable bed. And would the Indians win the pennant and what should he do with his private vision of a harem with number one haremite Julie Sutton? But most of all, how could he help his grandmother. Events, images fuse into a genuine, sympathetic portrait of a character who may never rival Seymour Glass but will be remembered. And the author's restrained build-up offsets the final shocking (to some) chapter. One wonders what will happen to Morris Bird the III and it appears that the author may have something else in mind.

Pub Date: April 18th, 1966
Publisher: Putnam