A Stranger in The Mirror - Sidney Sheldon

Cover of Twelfth Impression 2005 (Original Publication in 1976)
A STRANGER IN THE MIRROR: From the best selling author of The Other Side of Me - A Memoir

AUTHOR: Sidney Sheldon

BEST SELLERS: Rage of AngelsThe Other Side of MidnightWindmills of the GodsThe Sands of TimeBloodline and Memories of Midnight. A Stranger In The Mirror has also been aired on Television by the same name.

SYNOPSIS (From the Back Cover - MSM's Version): TOBY TEMPLE - He is the Hollywood's (And the World's) most funniest man. And like the cliche's which come attached with Stardom, Toby Temple is no exception. He can get any woman he wants, bend anyone on their knees, whiplash anyone with his tongue - but behind that Super Stud image, Toby is lonely, very lonely and very bitter. He craves love, but unfortunately, Love evades him, until the end.  
JILL CASTLE - She is Beautiful and she is the New Starlet of Hollywood. She is wanted by every male species in Hollywood and knowing that, Jill, with a Mysterious and Intriguing Past, gives herself to them, but with a Price to pay -  a tag that comes attached with her later in life. Revenge is always sweet when served cold. She is even more ambitious than The Hollywood Heartthrob Toby Temple. 

'Then there was only the soft night wind and the timeless sea. And the stars above, where it all had been written'

When two blazing Stars meet, there's bound to be an explosion...Together they rule the glittering kingdom of Hollywood until revenge, jealousy, hatred and lust turn the rose colored world into a nightmare that ceases to end until it finishes everything in its way. 

EXCERPT: "Her nerves were so frayed that if she felt Toby was not trying, she would slap him across the face...Now Toby would begin to cry when he saw Jill coming towards him, for he knew he was going to be punished. Each day Jill became merciless...he made horrible gurgling pleas for her to stop, but Jill would say, 'Not yet. Not until you are a man again, not until we show 'em all. You're going to walk.' Jill was not going to let Toby die. If he died, she would die with him "

MSM SPEAKS: To say that Sidney Sheldon is one of the best storytellers, would be an understatement for this book. In A Stranger In The Mirror Sidney tells two parallel stories which meet somehow and make me wonder throughout (Wow! I wish I could write like that) what true writer he is. A Stranger In The Mirror like most of Sidney's other works, follows the life of a blue eyed boy Toby and a poor girl called Josephine Czinski  from Odessa simultaneously. Toby has a strict mother (Reminded me of Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter, just a softer version) who always believed that Toby would be a great man. And Toby does become a great man, only his mother isn't alive to see it anymore. The stardom gets to Toby, who gets everyone and anyone, at the drop of his hat words. He is bitter and craves for love every second - clinging to who ever he has near him. And when he finds love, it's in a wrong woman, under pressure. After the story passes through his failures and ultimate release from a failed marriage, Toby finds a better place for himself. (At this point of time, I start feeling really sad for Toby. I wanted to hug him, I wanted to slap him and I wanted to cry with him...yes, just because I have only reviewed and hated some books, doesn't mean I can't fall in love... ;) :P)

Josephine Czinski belongs to the Others who are not well off and provides services to the Oil People - the rich and the spoilt...like everywhere else, they squelch the burning desire within this little beautiful girl to be accepted and loved. When she falls in love with one of Oil girl's brother David, she knew she was over stepping (Sidney amazes me with the feelings of a woman! Seriously!) her boundaries. Betrayed and Bruised, Josephine finds the courage to tell David how she loves him and he chickens out because of his steely, nightmarish mother (Oh, the Mama's Boys. :( ) Josephine leaves home to become Jill Castle and traveling through the dirty, ugly backstreets of Hollywood...enters into the life of Toby Temple - who is rich, famous and spoilt. Jill plots a power plan that covers the last few pages of the book. She scared me. This Jill, I swear...Sidney has made her so strong, so polished that imagining her gave me goosebumps. I felt like hitting her head on the wall. The Book ends on a sad note, pressing me under the emotional turmoil...and at the end of it, I was relieved that the story was over - in a good way, of course.  :)

I did skip a few pages, but did not miss a thing. This is a good story in the sense that I could connect to the feelings of the characters, whether it be vengeance or love...I could feel it. But, this is not Sheldon's best work. He is a master story teller and I have read better works of his. Nevertheless, you can pick this book up, to chart down similarities between Hollywood and it's poor cousin Bollywood (I have picked this up from somewhere - put your guns down!). :D

I loved Sheldon's Rage of Angels though. The protagonist is a Lawyer and yes, I am biased :D ;) Keep reading fellas...for the true knowledge is only through those yellowed pages and your hunger to learn. Love, MSM (Yeah, call me crazy! I am happy I have taken a break from some horrifying Chick lits. :P)

My Rating: 3/5 because of some parts where I felt like, no way, this is like every other suspense thriller...but then, I have been proved wrong by Sidney. (Yeah, I was impatient in those parts...no wonder my friend asked me to read this when I was above 18 :P ;) )

A Stranger in The Mirror: Harper Collins Publishers India 2005 (ISBN 81-7223-481-3)
Indian Book Depot, Hyderabad
Recommended Price: 195/- INR.


  1. I so loved this book. Loved Toby and hated Jill... It was sad when Toby couldnt move anymore and Jill started sleeping around. THAT BITCH!!!

    BTW my favourite Sidney book is If Tomorrow Comes :D

  2. @FL: Ooooh, I hated Jill too...she was already sleeping around, before she made it into Hollywood...biatch. Anyway...thanks for the comment. You are always the first one. *Grins*

  3. honestly i dont mind if she slept around. Made for some interesting read. But never mess with love. Guess she forgot that :P

    Hehe, i am always the first? lol. Speaks of how much i stay online...lol :D

  4. One of my favorite books of all Time, I guess the kind of shades sidney showed in his books at that point of time are in coherence with the kind of people u actually meet in modern day Indian metros.

  5. @FL; Nah, that just shows how particular you are about this blog to be up and running. :D

    @Pulkit: Yep, no denying the fact that Sidney captures perfect shade that marrs the glamour and glitter of Hollywood :) :D

  6. I personally do not like many of his books .. but i totally can [ and have read again ] "Nothing lasts forever" .. And yes , this one looks good enough to be tried !! thanks !

  7. the best book i ever read " tell me your dreams" its really captivating..that i cant sleep at night until i finish reading it...i want to read more! sidney your the best for me!


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