If you liked the movie Enemy, you might enjoy my novel, More Deaths Than One. Both stories are about doppelgangers of a sort. In Enemy, Adam sees his other self in “reel life” while In More Deaths Than One, Bob sees himself in real life.
Insomniac Bob Stark has returned from eighteen years in SE Asia and is sitting in a coffee shop in the middle of the night reading the current newspaper when he sees an obituary for his mother, a woman he buried twenty-two years previously. He goes to her funeral and watches the service from the shadows of a lilac bush.
Clustered with their backs to him stood a man, a woman, and six children ranging in age from about two years old to about sixteen. The obituary had mentioned six grandchildren, Bob recalled. Were these six his brother’s offspring, by an ex-wife, perhaps?
One of the children, a pudgy little boy, reached out and yanked the pigtails of the taller, skinnier girl slouching next to him. She slapped him. The next moment they were rolling on the ground and pummeling each other.
The woman turned around. “Stop it, you two.”
Bob sucked in his breath. Lorena Jones, his college girlfriend? What was she doing here? How did she know these people? He certainly hadn’t introduced her to them.
Feeling dizzy, he studied her while she scolded the children. Deep lines and red splotches marred her once satiny smooth face, and her body appeared bloated, as if she had not bothered to lose the extra weight from her last pregnancy or two. Despite those changes, she looked remarkably like her college picture he still carried in his wallet along with the Dear John letter that had ended their relationship.
Lorena nudged the man next to her. “Robert Stark, don’t just stand there. Do something.”
The man she called Robert Stark turned around to admonish the children.
Bob stared. The other Robert Stark seemed to have aged a bit faster than he, seemed more used, but the resemblance could not be denied. He was looking at himself.
Although some of the themes of the movie and my book are similar — identity, individuality, irony — my story is much easier to understand, though still surprising. Best of all, you don’t have to deal with spiders, real or symbolic.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.