Go to Homepage   Gary Indiana: Three Month Fever,
The Andrew Cunanan Story

 

Cliff Street Books (Hardcover),
ISBN 0060191457
Imagine Gianni Versace's murderer -- the menacing jaw, the unshaven jowl, the low animal cunning of the born predator. Then read Gary Indiana's Three Month Fever: The Andrew Cunanan Story and prepare yourself for a shock. Indiana's book will take you on an uncanny journey into the mind and the background of a celebrated murderer -- uncanny because Gary Indiana creates an Andrew Cunanan so real and alive, one would swear that the author grew up inside Cunanan's brain. 

The story begins in San Diego where Cunanan, son of a devout, domineering Catholic mother and a semi-successful Filipino father outshines his siblings. A precocious school-boy, even from the beginning Cunanan shows signs of both the brilliance and the full-blown homosexuality that lay in his future. Sent off to an exclusive prep school beyond his parents' means, Cunanan keeps his real background a secret, inventing the first of a series of elaborate lies -- pretending to be the child of wealthy Israeli parents - so characteristic of his adult life. 

Indiana then tumbles the reader through Cunanan's remarkable early adulthood. Financed by a string of wealthy sugar daddies, the future murderer lives a life on the fast track in the most elegant restaurants and idyllic travel destinations. Strangely, even though the reader knows he's reading the biography of a murderer, an odd sympathy and rapport for Cunanan develop as one registers the disparity between who Cunanan is and whom he aspires to be. 

At the same time, the reader discovers Cunanan's rage to be admired, his brittle high-octane charm, and his romances with an almost square gay sailor and a sophisticated Minneapolis architect. Brilliant lie upon ever-more-preposterous lie -- Cunanan's propensity to fool himself and others and simultaneously live the high life continue to develop until the intolerable happens. Cunanan finds himself in despised Minneapolis, Minn., broke, feared, unloved and pitied by both his lovers.  

From that point on the book spins into a bloody nightmare as Cunanan goes over the edge in the first of a series of murders that begins with his own lovers and ends, almost anti-climatically, with Versace. 

Throughout this book, Gary Indiana's amazing skills burst through. Whether it's Indiana's incredibly rich vocabulary, his knowledgeability about the sordid details of casual gay sex, or his uncanny ability to make Cunanan and his first two murder victims (Jeff Trail and David Madson) come alive, one has the sense of a virtuoso at work. In short, not a pretty book, but if you've got the stomach for it, one you'll have a hard time putting down.  

H. Turnip Smith

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