The Solid Mandala is the story of twins Waldo and Arthur Brown, told partly through the perspective of Waldo, (who seems a lot like White himself), and partly through Arthur’s point of view. Their contrasting narratives illuminate their difficult relationship, as for example, when Waldo describes his painful attempts to negotiate friendships with girls – hampered by the embarrassment of having a twin who’s a bit simple.
Arthur is a big shambling fellow, given to dribbling, making inane remarks, and getting over-excited. Waldo fancies himself as an intellectual, and wants to write. He reveals this ambition to Dulcie Feinstein, only child of a middle-class Jewish family, but has no clear idea of what he might do. HIs father is hopeful that an influential friend might engineer a job for Waldo at the library. Arthur drives a delivery van.
I read The Solid Mandala back in 2007, but I didn't blog it till August 12th 2009. To read the rest of my response to this book please visit http://anzlitlovers.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/the-solid-mandala-by-patrick-white/