Death of the other self by Peter Packer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read this a long time ago and was fascinated with it. The story is about identical twins, Todd and Tim Nicholson, heirs to the Pullman fortune. The boys were brought up by two seemingly totally self centered parents and were left to raise themselves. They were so close that they seemed as one person. In fact, their mother gave up trying to tell them apart and called each one Tim/Todd. This is really sad because you could tell them apart fairly easily. Tim was left-handed and like many identical twins, his hair grew in the opposite direction from his brother's. I just looked through the photos in the book and got them correct each time. In some photos, both boys hair is combed the same way, but one of the twin's hair flops over the forehead because the part is on the wrong side from the way the hair grows naturally. It seemed like the ultimate neglect for the parents to not make an effort to call them by their right names when just a little attention would give them their individuality.
The boys were uncontrollable and even spent some time at a military school at a very early age because no one could make them behave or stop fighting. This competition and fighting kept up their whole lives, but they were also so close they could not stand to be separated. They were all each other had.
As time went on, this uncontrolled nature began to be serious, especially for Todd. According to the book, he went into incredible rages and often targeted anyone around, but especially, Tim. Ultimately it was in one of those rages that Todd was shot by his brother. The defense claimed that it was self-defense even though two shots were fired and I believe it happened the way Tim said it did. It doesn't actually matter if Tim seemed to have gotten off lightly; for someone who has had only one person in his life to love and count on, jail could not have been worse than living without his brother.
I felt like this was a story about what happens to children who are spoiled and yet neglected, undisciplined and left without responsible role models. These boys raised themselves and because they were not getting the attention they needed from either of their parents, they were in constant competition. The same brother who was the only one to love and be loved by was also the major competitor for the drips and dregs of his parents attention. This was a fascinating story.
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