DR DEMARR By Paul Theroux (Vintage, $52) THIS is a chilling voyage into disturbed minds, the bizarre content more appropriate for a late-night horror movie. The publishers are a bit cheeky in calling this a book as it is really a swollen short story and might be more appropriately found in an anthology. Nevertheless Mr Theroux delivers the goods with his tale of twins, George and Gerald Demarr. Having been separated for many years, Gerald is startled by the reappearance of his brother. Intrigued, George begins to delve into his brother's murky life with terrifying consequences. Despite their similar looks, both are painfully aware of their underlying differences in thought and attitude - one introvert, the other extrovert. They are tortured souls condemned to be thought of as one because of the interchangeability of their physical appearance. To add insult to injury they are both short, just over five feet which adds to their diminished self-esteem. Mr Theroux strips them to the bone as he recounts the childhood which shaped and moulded them, and their treatment as freaks, pantomime oddities. The whole tale is a quick tour into the nature of schizophrenia and the individual's attempt to divorce the past. George and Gerald's relationship is the battle of alter egos which inhabit two radically opposed worlds. And throughout the book, you can't quite escape from the fact that their childhood acquaintances might have been right in their cruelty. Mr Theroux's style is thoroughly readable and his acerbic wit, much loved by Pacific Islanders, can be seen frequently in this short story. He paces it well and builds up to a credible and nightmarish climax. Not one for the squeamish.