This Way Madness Lies

Thomas William Simpson, Author Warner Books $19.95 (388p) ISBN 978-0-446-51612-9
The Winslow clan of Far Hills, N.J., is your not-so-average dysfunctional upper-crust American family. The current generation includes Mary, a historian who communicates with ghosts of the family's ancestors; Henry, who's spent 21 years posing as his twin brother, Bobby, who switched places with him and got killed in Vietnam; Ginny, an emotionally ravaged failed actress; Barton, a closet homosexual sculptor and recluse; and Joseph, a Colorado cocaine playboy. ``Wild Bill'' Winslow, their father, a blustering 70-year-old real estate tycoon whose first wife died 15 years earlier falls down the stairs but doesn't die, disappointing his golddigger second wife Bettina. He asks that his children be called home; it takes nearly 100 pages to convene the scattered siblings, partly because their ancestors, from colonial times to the near-present, are very much part of the action as both seen and unseen presences. Another Winslow scion, psychotic, estranged Edward, is a loose cannon, providing an element of suspense. A writer of great originality, first novelist Simpson creates scenes of dramatic power and fine ironic humor. Ultimately, however, the fatalistic connections between ancestors and living family members seem imposed and artificial. Literary Guild alternate. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-446-36390-7
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