THREE SIDES OF THE MIRROR by Robert Watson

THREE SIDES OF THE MIRROR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A first novel of originality, Mirror's finest quality is irresistible slyness: affection toward the characters and a brilliant running-&-jumping ability from scene to scene. The three sides of the title's mirror are the brothers Hamilton, Tyler and Lincoln Byrd, and they reflect a tripartite image of eccentric old Grandfather Byrd. Grandfather, a parsimonious multimillionaire, has left literally dozens of unsigned wills over which the brothers and an aunt are haggling. Hamilton, a New Jersey mayor, thinks that his political future as governor is dependent upon finding a will favoring himself. Tyler Byrd, a boor, has had the same taxi-dance mistress for twenty years, a needling wife, and meanwhile is seducing Ham's wife. Lincoln Byrd is a nature-loving cast-off nut who lives in a rural ""castle"" overseeing a dam. The hanky-panky among the brothers and their aunt is climaxed by a nude dinner party in which the characters come to a vague self-understanding but which does not really resolve the novel. Perhaps that's the point: lives don't resolve, why should novels. All plot strings are tied by novel's end while themes are left dangling: has it been a mirror trick, or does Watson really have a new voice? He certainly has charm and novelty.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1966
Publisher: Putnam