THE DOWNSTAIRS ROOM by Kate Wilhelm

THE DOWNSTAIRS ROOM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

After several so-so novels, Kate Wilhelm comes into her own with this collection of fourteen tales from the mirrors of a mind alternating with agility between the levels of fantasy, science fiction and reality. . . The Unbirthday Party is a Marienbadish piece about a man caught up in a party circuit that he can't leave; Baby You Were Great points up the consequences of vicarious entertainment as the audience tunes in to an actress' twenty-four-hour-a-day emotions; When the Moon Was Red is told from a mother's point of view as she watches her son's initiative being destroyed by his interfering father and again a mother is the effective narrator of How Many Miles to Babylon as the dirt poor woman staggers to town carrying what had been her baby. There is a touch of humor in The Plausible Impossible as James, ""the personification of the statistical norm,"" approaches the statistical norm for death and there's an unusual look at a possible result of DNA/RNA experimentation in The Planners. The title story combines all elements as a housewife goes slowly mad. This represents seven years of weak. . . . It's been well worth it.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday