The Window is a Mirror

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

What an amazing collection of short stories this book contains. An what an extraordinary writer we have with Michael Andreoni who lived the life of an itinerant farm labourer for nearly 10 years often sleeping in barns. But his reading and dreaming have led to a amazing way with words and a collection of characters that perhaps reflect not only his life but many people he must have come across on his journey.
The title story 'The Window Is A Mirror' tells of Danny a janitor in an expensive block of apartments who is struggling with family finances and wishes to do more with his life.  The author had also worked as a janitor and we can sense the real invisibility of the character that is often felt by cleaners, shift workers, janitors and others working on the periphery of rich lives.
When he is sent to fix broken faulty windows in one apartment he is greeted differently by Phil, with tea and a proposition to become a wealthy TV star.  He's been included but only on the terms of the character who's using him for his own purposes, a theme consistent with many of the short stories that deal with identity issues.
Sometimes the characters appear in more than one story like the strange silver miner who rides a black panther and rules the men of saloon bar drinking a scotch liquer- just the person an aspiring writer might include in his attempt to sell short stories and impress the rich teetotal bible bashing family of his girlfriend - two stories and two different classes of people across the American Dream.
I particularly liked ' Edwin Floating' in which divorced Edwin is seeking love on the internet and trying to fill the hours with drinking with his mates when he realises his sister Ellen and his nephew Jason need his attention as the teenage boy starts to go off the rails. Lonely figures (often male and fatherless or with useless fathers) are a feature of many lives in the book and the attempt to succeed and make people proud is also a theme.
What's America about? Small towns but bigger ideas and dreams. Including views on immigrants, agricultural labourers and the unethical attitude of banks and big business the stories have much to tell us about the human psyche.
Excellent - a name to look out for again.
Was this review helpful?
The Window is a Mirror is a collection of short-stories mostly centered on working-class people. I'd categorize it as being slice-of-life. I thought that the writing was good enough, some even being pretty literary in quality, but it still does fluctuate as with most collections I've read. Reading this book, I'm not so sure if slice-of-life style short stories were for me. Don't get me wrong, there are nice enough stories like the title story and Brown, Black Ink but for the most part, I think I prefer longer works. The format really doesn't allow me to get to know the characters really well and for a plot to develop.
Was this review helpful?
The Window is a Mirror by Michael Andreoni. Thanks to NetGalley and Michael Andreoni for an advance copy of The Window is a Mirror for my honest review. In fact, I gave a wrong review in error to two novels with the Name Window, and The Window is a Mirror. 
Two VERY different books.  Michael Andreoni examines the working-class life in this collection of sixteen short stories. Written with grit and touches of humor, these thought-provoking stories offer an insight into the flawed and intriguing humanness within us all.
This is a book in which you feel. It is a deep, moving, almost painfully love and laugh. This book is one you want to keep and read again and demand everyone you know to read it and just feel, laugh and spread and keep it going.
My Honest review is it is a 10. I do not give a book many 10 ratings as you know. Just trust and read.
Was this review helpful?