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Three-Month Fever: The Andrew Cunanan Story Hardcover – March 24, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (March 24, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060191457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060191450
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,233,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

Novelist and essayist Indiana (Resentment, 1997; Rent Boy, 1994; etc.) combines fictional and journalistic techniques in this true crime ``hybrid of narration and reflection,'' which is, in his words, ``a pastiche'' that is ``fact-based, but with no pretense to journalistic ``objectivity.'' Andrew Cunanan caught the media's full attention with the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace, an act that was the culmination of a rampage in which Cunanan apparently killed four other men before Versace and himself afterward. Indiana dismisses the media's hypercoverage at the time as largely fanciful: Cunanans life was transformed from the somewhat poignant and depressing but fairly ordinary thing it was into a narrative overripe with tabloid evil. Indiana bases his own portrait on interviews with Cunanan's childhood friends, school reports, numerous of his acquaintances in San Diego, and FBI and local police reports. The portrait that emerges from this in-depth probe is of a smooth, clever pathological liar, a well-known, well-dressed, but not especially well-liked member of San Diego's gay subculture. Indiana portrays Cunanan as having a penchant for sadomasochistic sex in which he was the dominating figure. Sometimes kept by an older man, sometimes peddling prescription drugs, Cunanan generally lived well, but in 1997, things took a turn for the worse. With his credit maxed out, he headed for Minnesota to visit two former colleagues, Jeff Trail and David Madson, neither of whom was pleased to see him. Indiana lets his imagination loose on the known forensic data to create the ghastly scenes in which Cunanan murders first Trail (furiously) and then Madson (cold-bloodedly); his brutal S&M slaying of Lee Miglin, a wealthy older man; and his shooting of a cemetery caretaker whose truck he stole. As Cunanan's life spirals downward, Indiana portrays his psyche taking a nosedive, too. In his version of Versace's shooting, he has the fugitive Cunanan hearing voices that direct his actions. It may not be the truth, but it all seems quite plausible. A vivid and gripping account. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Review

"A gripping, gruesome accounting...fascinating, but not for the faint-hearted." -- Boston Herald

"A spellbinding fusion of journalism, social commentary, and novelistic license, based on Indiana's own research and an insider's knowledge of the gay scene. An altogether gripping read that's both terrifying and very sad." -- 'Entertainment Weekly

"Extensive research and deft proseIndiana acidly critiques contemporary narcissism and celebrity worship." -- New York Times Book Review

"Gary Indiana maps out Cunanan's trajectory from gadabout to "spree killer" of the moment with brutal honesty. When the gaps in Cunanan's life are interesting enough to fill in, Indiana does so with the flair of a stunningly imaginative novelist, and yet always with the hope of grasping a broader truth missed the first time around." -- 'The Village Voice

"Indiana takes his reporting and then weaves a narrative that dares to explain not just what Cunanan did, but what he was thinkingGary Indiana has found the truth." -- 'The San Diego Union-Tribune

"Persuasive and plausible." -- Boston Globe

"The most believable explanation to date for Cunanan's crimesThree Month Fever is a legitimate heir to the crime-related nonfiction novel' Capote on peyote." -- Chicago Reader

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Customer Reviews

This guy's writing style is awful, just awful.
L. Alfaro
Witty and true to the voice of what we know about Cunanan and the scenes he was in.
Therese Frantzen
Indiana writes terrific prose; wow what a writer.
L. Winkler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By James G. Greenhill on April 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
WHY do so many people seem to dislike this book so much? First off, read Maureen Orth's 'Vulgar Favors' before reading Indiana's book--the two are a very good combination & Orth's book (which I also like, though less than Indiana's) gives a good idea how seriously to take Indiana's unusual technique. In at least two significant ways, Indiana's is the better book: he doesn't make the mistake of flailing around for some sort of conspiracy theory to explain Cunanan's murder of Versace and he convincingly discounts drug-use that Orth rather unwisely buys into. Also, his is better written. As to the debate about Indiana's fictionalization or creative non-fiction or whatever, it's certainly no more of a sin than anything Truman Capote did in 'In Cold Blood,' which if you take the time to read about it (e.g. George Plimpton's account) you'll see was fictionalized (though my edition was sold as NONFICTION/LITERATURE). Indiana is up-front about what he did, laying it out in the beginning, in the prefaces, specifying what he invented, which is good to know 'cause he has some excellent quotations from Cunanan's writings that are NOT fictionalized. Indiana isn't SYMPATHIZING with Cunanan, he's EMPATHIZING, & therein lies a world of difference & empathy with a murderer is no bad thing if you want to understand, which presumably would be one of the chief reasons to buy the book. Murderers are human & Indiana has a nice quotation from Gore Vidal about that in the beginning (if you want to see a killer, go look in the mirror).Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By L. Winkler on April 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
I've read this book about 4 times and enjoy it more each time I go through it again. It's probably one of the top 10 books I've read and enjoyed in my life and that's saying something...I'm a librarian! I'm also a true crime buff and a Cunanan buff. The book simply conjectures what MIGHT have happened in and around the known facts about Cunanan's life and killing spree. Most of Indiana's insights seem logical and probable to me. Take Lee Miglin for instance. Considering all the evidence it seems likely Cunanan probably met Miglin before, knew him and that Miglin was also gay or perhaps bi-sexual. He killed Miglin in a rage and because he wanted Miglin's stuff; mainly his car to get away in. I also read Orth's book about Cunanan and hers didn't hit me well; lots of anti-gay stuff in that book; also a boring read. Indiana writes terrific prose; wow what a writer. Great command of the language and I have to admit I laughed at something on every second page. His satiric turn of phrase is wonderful. Read it even if you aren't interested in Cunanan; he has some insights into American culture that are worth taking in. Probably it's this latter fact that makes people dislike the book. Reading uncomfortable things about the culture you sit in isn't pleasant for some people.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As an acquaintance of Andrew Cunanan and one of his victims, and as a longtime denizen of at least one of his social worlds, I can recommend this book without reservation. "Three Month Fever" is a far wiser book than Maureen Orth's "Vulgar Favors," which catalogs a lot of already known facts but suffers enormously from that author's cluelessness about gay life, drugs, BDSM, and "addictive pornography." Even at its most speculative, Indiana's book is eminently credible. What's more, it's often deliciously darkly humorous. If you want directions to the Mall of America, buy a road map. This book tells the larger truth about us all.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Part fact and part conjecture, this book is only mildly entertaining. Rather than imparting the intended sense of style, the author's use of poor punctuation is simply annoying to the reader. Wait for it to come out in paperback or hit the bargain bin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ICEMAN on November 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
I too am interested in a good true crime book, this is not one of them....the author is all over the place with super detailed descriptions (that really go nowhere) and very florid writing, and what is with all the italics ??...he takes you into a mind that I consider to be unattainable, describes conversations between 2 dead people that only they could have known etc etc...I read the first 50 pages and just couldn't take it any longer and went to the last 2/3 of the book (three month fever)to see what happens and it was just as slow moving as the rest...This is more of a novel based on true events than anything else...
The writer is described on the back as a 'renegade' writer so I guess that accounts for the writing style...I am going to have to search for other matrial for the Cunanan saga...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Therese Frantzen on December 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
An odd, book, best termed fantasy based heavily on research.
Witty and true to the voice of what we know about Cunanan and the scenes he was in. I recommend you read this after reading everything else - Maureen Orth's book, all the articles, and seeing the A and E biography on Andrew. With that as perspective, you can see how Indiana falls into place true to
voice. I know alot of people didn't like this book, but I think you have to be willing to take it for what it is to get it.
And I do advise you get it....
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