Three Month Fever: The Andrew Cunanan Story (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents)

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9781584351986: Three Month Fever: The Andrew Cunanan Story (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents)

A sardonic and artful reconstruction of the brief life of the party boy who became a media sensation for shooting Gianni Versace.

It was suddenly chic to be "targeted" by Andrew.... It also became chic to claim a deep personal friendship with Versace, to infer that one might, but for a trick of fate, have been with Versace at the very moment of his "assassination," as it had once been chic to reveal one's invitation to Cielo Drive in the evening of the Tate slayings, an invitation only declined because of car trouble or a previous engagement... -- from Three Month Fever

First published in 1999, Gary Indiana's Three Month Fever is the second volume of his famed crime trilogy, now being republished by Semiotext(e). (The first, Resentment, reissued in 2015, was set in a Menendez trial-era L.A.) In this brilliant and gripping hybrid of narrative and reflection, Indiana considers the way the media's hypercoverage transformed Andrew Cunanan's life "from the somewhat poignant and depressing but fairly ordinary thing it was into a narrative overripe with tabloid evil."

"America loves a successful sociopath," Indiana explains. This sardonic and artful reconstruction of the brief life of the party boy who became a media sensation for shooting Gianni Versace is a spellbinding fusion of journalism, social commentary, and novelistic projection. By following Cunanan's notorious "trail of death," Indiana creates a compelling portrait of a brilliant, charismatic young man whose pathological lies made him feel more like other people -- and more interesting than he actually was. Born in a working-class exurb of San Diego and educated at an elite private school, Cunanan strove to "blend in" with the upscale gay male scene in La Jolla. He ended up crazed and alone, eventually embarking on a three-month killing spree that took the lives of five men, including that of Versace, before killing himself in a Miami boathouse, leaving behind a range of unanswerable questions and unsolvable mysteries.

"Gary Indiana belongs to a special breed of American urban writers who take cool pleasure in dissecting the lives of the rich and ugly and is possibly the most jaded chronicler of them all. On a good day, he makes Bret Easton Ellis look like Enid Blyton, yet many, myself included, think he might have already written the Great America Novel(s)." -- Christopher Fowler, The Independent

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About the Author:

Gary Indiana is a novelist, playwright, critic, essayist, filmmaker, and artist. Hailed by The Guardian as "one of the most important chroniclers of the modern psyche," and by The Observer as "one of the most woefully underappreciated writers of the last 30 years," he has recently published a memoir, I Can Give You Anything But Love.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

One

Flight Data

 

On Friday, April 25, Andrew got a ride to San Diego Airport from Kenneth Higgins, a cute blond friend of fairly recent vintage who later described the ride as uneventful, involving scant conversation, San Diego Airport being only a few minutes from Andrew's apartment at 1234 Robinson and practically in San Diego itself. You can, after all, drive from downtown straight through the airport into Point Loma without crossing such epic wastes as separate most cities from most airports. Aside from the brevity of this ride, Andrew had already talked himself silly in the days just previous, to Kenneth Higgins and Robin Thompson and Erik Greenman and various others, some of whom attended Andrew's so-called going-away dinner, about his imminent relocation to San Francisco, and what he termed this little side trip to Minneapolis, claiming among other things to have excellent business prospects in San Francisco, a new apartment, a new roommate, what amounted to a whole new life waiting for him in the city on the bay. These prospects were so auspicious that Andrew had declared his intention to buy a whole new wardrobe, consequently, in the days just prior to this little side trip to Minneapolis, Andrew gave away Missoni sweaters and Dolce & Gabbana suits and Ferragamo shoes, Helmut Lang blazers and Prada jackets, designer clothing items from shops on Rodeo Drive, shops in Milan, shops in San Francisco, pricey garments acquired in the course of his incessant travels, some barely worn, gave them away in an access of insensible largesse, much to the distress of Erik Greenman, Andrew's roommate, who later complained that Andrew gave many items to near strangers that happened to fit Erik Greenman perfectly.

One of the themes Andrew had developed since his recent trips to Los Angeles and San Francisco was his overwhelming love for David Madson, a neophyte architect in Minneapolis whom few of Andrew's San Diego friends had ever met. According to Andrew, his affair with David Madson had started on a high note the previous summer but faltered and ultimately fizzled because of the long-distance nature of the relationship, and it was only now, when the spark had almost sputtered out entirely, that Andrew realized how much David meant to him. David was, he told Kenneth, the only person in the world he had ever really loved. He had managed to spend the week before Easter or part of the week before Easter in a hotel room with David Madson in Los Angeles, had wined David and dined David and even clothed David in an Armani suit and an Andrew Mark jacket courtesy of Andrew's platinum card, not just David but two of David's friends as well, a so-called model named Karen Lapinski and her fiancé, Evan Wallitt, a yuppie couple from San Francisco, at the Chateau Marmont, Andrew emphasized, which might not have been the priciest place in Los Angeles but was certainly one of the classiest, especially now that Eric Goode had done it over, yet none of this sumptuary excess had worked the desired magic.

Andrew said that his sister was an anesthesiologist who worked in Minneapolis and he said he wanted to try again with David Madson. He told some people that he had unfinished business with Jeffrey Trail, a friend of his who was, unlike David Madson, well-remembered in San Diego, an ex-navy heartthrob Andrew had stuck to like glue for years and years, who had, much to Andrew's dismay, moved to Minneapolis a few months earlier. But Andrew always said a lot of things. Sometimes he said he had served eleven months in Israeli intelligence and sometimes he claimed his family owned the Ace Parking concessions downtown. People liked Andrew for his brassy joie de vivre and his quick tongue and rolled their eyes at his stories when he wasn't looking. Andrew was not a flaming queen, but he did have that hyperbolic theatricality, everything calculated to amuse or impress. He usually gave his name as DeSilva, which didn't really sound Jewish, but Erik, who lived with him and had to know, said his real name was Cunanan, which really didn't either.

Andrew left San Diego carrying a single black nylon duffel bag, and as usual he was, in the parlance of the California Southland, "upbeat."

Two

I'm of two minds about the future, he thought, having developed considerable uncertainty about his precise location on the map of his own existence. His sister Regina lived in San Francisco, not Minneapolis. They'd talked about Andrew moving in with her and Andrew, with part of his mind, was en route to San Francisco, but another part seemed to be traveling to Minneapolis, not for a little side trip, but to set up shop, as he thought of it, a thought having some reverberation in his childhood, when Andrew and a friend played a game called Store, in which they operated a miraculous store where they could sell anything a customer asked for, since at that innocent age he believed that anything demanded could be magically supplied. The smudgy landscapes of National City shimmered in his mind, drought-stunted jacaranda trees, a parched riverbed at the bottom of a hollow, ribbons of tarmac with minimalls and fast-food huts, loan offices and auto repair shops, the occasional fenced enclave of sedentary mobile homes. Trailer parks in National City usually resembled municipal dumps, littered with broken lawn furniture, tires, cinder blocks, and discarded propane canisters. The Catholic churches looked like Howard Johnson's. Everything in National City teetered between the organic ugliness of poverty and the antiseptic ugliness of Target stores and McDonald's franchises.

At the so-called farewell dinner he kept his ambivalence and his recent uncustomary depression in check, though the fact that the guests barely knew one another reminded him that his social existence here had always been disjointed, a matter of part-time residence in many different worlds, and that his friendships misfitted some bold image he held of his place in the....

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