TWO SUSANS by William Brinkley


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In the area of comedy's craft, William Brinkley is more than adequate. The gimmick or functional fulcrum upon which most of the laughs rest, in his latest, is the interaction among individuals of varying degrees of sophistication -- New York style... When young Grecophile, Jason Hightower, a researcher for Vital magazine, attempts to take for himself the mistress that is fitting for Hellenic tripartite man, he somehow ends up with two. Both are named Susan. The similarity ends here. Susam Smithers is a cognoscenti, avant-garde, engage ad nauseum divorcee who speaks English as well. She has a son, Lorenzo de' Medici Smithers, age 7, who reads Rimbaud and plays practical jokes frequently. Against Susan Smithers' tottering, Brinkley pits Susan Hood's teetering. She, the latter, is a home ec major from Ringfield, California, who has never been to a poetry reading at the YMHA and insists upon remaining a virgin until marriage. Jason takes his couple of rounds with each and it's Brink comedy all the way, with one Susan entering downstage just as the other is being hurriedly ushered out upstage. A pregnant situation makes Jason think he must choose between the two. Hightower's profession precipitates a couple of funnier scenes, including one between a fey critic and a glandular novelist which is absolutely hilarious. But Brinkley gets in too close on the critic and reveals enough pores to evoke pity...This is an author who works entirely too hard. He sets himself up beautifully; but oh that labored thud! Sales, nevertheless, should be good.

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 1962
Publisher: Random House