LEO AND THEODORE by Donald Newlove


Email this review


A fat, oddly boisterous novel about a pair of Siamese twins -- attached at the hip by a five-inch band of flesh and gristle -- who try to lead the unjoined life. Being clever, decent-looking guys, they get at least some of their share of the usual adolescent sex-fumbling, though married life is more difficult, what with three days at one house and the next three at another. They become male nurses, ambulance drivers, any odd jobs before they hit the jazz-and-trumpet bigtime -- which, of course, never comes. But their sense of failure is undercut by an irrepressible joie de vivre and a truly prodigious capacity for liquor. Some childish baby talk and a general absence of verbs in descriptive sentences inform us that the style is ambitious neo-Joycean; but despite the strained attempt at seriousness the writing succeeds: it is comic, fully creating a credibly normal world through which some of fiction's more bizarre characters walk so cheerfully one remembers only absentmindedly their handicap, as they do themselves.

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 1972
Publisher: Saturday Review Press