SEASAW MILLIONS by Janwillem van de Wetering

SEASAW MILLIONS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Van de Wetering, author of the popular Amsterdam cop books (The Streetbird; Hard Rain, etc.), here pens an amusing but predictable story about money: in this case, about an inheritance and the offbeat disposal of it. When Mr. Sobryne dies, his young beautiful mistress Mathilde calls together his three sons--Mark, Syben, and the Little Giant (an artist)--to hear the old man's videotape, an unofficial will. At his instructions the group gathers together two million in cash and agrees to split it. All three brothers lust for Mathilde; and after a long drunken evening of slapstick advances to her and arguments among themselves, they wake to discover that half the money has disappeared. They decide they will all stay together until discovering the thief. In the meantime, they try to increase their wealth, and the fun begins. First, they're off to Tunisia to buy hashish: the Little Giant hoses down Mathilde, they cross the desert on camels and finally, in a yacht, outface the cops and the competition only to lose their cargo. In New York, where Mark plans to increase their loot through the stock market, they encounter pickpockets, muggers, and other cliches before Mark in turn loses everything in futures. The next misadventure takes them back to Rotterdam (where the story begins) and then to Hong Kong to try to sell a stamp collection: at a bogus auction, however, they get scammed and--you guessed it--lose the stamps. Interspersed with such vaudeville are ruminations on the nature of money and various kinds of benign intrigues among our heroes. Finally, back in Rotterdam, Mathilde plays a second tape by the old man; it reveals that the stolen million was in fact invested for the group as a way to encourage them to ""risk"" the rest of the money. Mark proposes to Mathilde, and she accepts. She enters art school; Little Giant weaves baskets; and Syben, a kind of bohemian, takes off again on his happy travels. A short, pleasant book--a refresher course about the nature of money that's far more instructive than anything an economist might offer.

Pub Date: Dec. 26th, 1988
Publisher: Available/Ballantine