ENEMY IN THE MIRROR by Eli Cantor

ENEMY IN THE MIRROR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A guy who seems to have it all is Phil Reynolds: successful advertising executive, the beautiful wife, the blue-chip children--but ""What kind of unbalanced lunacies slouched in his secret gut?"" Neurotic pressures are popping his lid more or less regularly, leading to violent scenes, dirty tricks, and, most compulsive of all, obscene phone calls to strange women. Paging Dr. Freud--Stat! With the help of a shrink named Aloysius Kohn, Reynolds begins the hairy ferry-ride across to his darker side, and Eli Cantor describes the landmarks as they float by. Cantor's style is shlocky-earnest (""His soft breath, velvet-warm, started in her body like rich whipped cream, draping her insides voluptuously"") and sometimes sounds like the protagonist's ad-copy (""lovely countryside, only a few miles from the core of the Big Apple""), but his eye stays so unswervingly upon the central drama of the psychoanalysis, the hack-and-forths, the progresses and regressions, that you're danced into his corner like it or not. The evangelism isn't moot. Reynold's self-realizations (especially the tagging of his half-Jewish id, ""Ikey"") and Dr. Kohn's apothegms are precisely recorded and in great volume. This is the book, clearly, of an acolyte, replete with a happy ending and all: therapy victorious. As testimony it works; as fiction--so-so.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1977
Publisher: Crown