RARA-AVIS: Iguana Love

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 06 Apr 2005

I saw Vicki Hendricks joking about "screwed," after Jack Bludis's definition of noir (the Jack Bludis Heresy, as we call it), and it certainly fit with IGUANA LOVE (1999), which is good, twisted, bleak modern noir. Ramona, the narrator, heads pretty much straight downhill and into trouble from the start. She gets mixed up with a bad man but can't stop herself, and also gets mixed up with a few other guys, of varying niceness and muscularity. She knows she's going to hell but she doesn't want to stop.

The last time I read sex scenes like this has was last year, in SHOOTERS by Mr. Lankford. I was on the subway when I read a particularly raunchy interlude near the start, and thought, "I'm glad no-one was looking over my shoulder at that." I turned slightly, and, of course, there was a little old lady standing there gaping at me in shock. I felt bad, but more for not giving up my seat than for what she'd seen by reading over my shoulder. You get what you pay for if you take your literature that way. But back to IGUANA LOVE: on the subway back and forth to work today no-one was standing behind me to read the gym or pool scenes.

We were talking about gender inversion, and there's a lot of that here. Vicki, could you tell us a bit about what's going on with Ramona? On page three she sneaks away from her husband and picks up a guy in a bar. By the end she's practically turned into a man. In fact the more I think about what she does, the more twisted and dark it all gets. There was nothing like this in the old days, either in point of view or language. I still feel a bit dirty.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/

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