Gone Tomorrow – Gary Indiana

GT(Not discussed by the group but written in a personal capacity.)

Loosely following the structure of a Joseph Conrad novel, Gone Tomorrow opens in 1991, as a jaded actor drinks at the Chelsea Hotel Bar and reflects back on multiple betrayals at a hedonistic film shoot in early-’80s Columbia, and then brings us to the AIDS-decimated bohemia of his present. Somberness, wit, insanity and anger mingle to create an deeply insightful yet emotional book, an argument for living even in the midst of horrifying events.

In 1984, amidst the rot and corruption of Colombia, where a serial killer is on the loose, an at once seductive and monstrous film director (“dark, sardonic, and secretive”), an international troupe of actors and technical crew has convened to make a film of vast, if vague, ambition. The secondary players in this sinister drama alone suggest the decadent atmosphere. The Colombian set is peopled with freaks, fascists, multiple amputees, sexual degenerates, and other assorted sordid types. The narrator dissects their obsessional, implosive relationships – fired by narcissism, sex, alcohol, and drugs – against an ominous backdrop of cultural dissolution, social anarchy, and political violence.

Grosvenor begins shooting his strange film fuelled more by coke and booze than a clear script. Among the cast: Alex Gavro, a “discount-house Genet” who also seems to be sleeping with his mother; Irma Irma, a “boring malcontented” cult star; Michael Simrad, a beautiful narcissist; and the narrator, a sometime actor whose face is badly scarred. “Monsters on a rampage in a foreign country.”

We see the final gasps and convulsions of hedonism in the 1980s. The author is good at describing places and their smells. There’s a graphic description of the ravages of SIDS upon the human body and the medical profession’s fear of infection and their use of quasi space suits for self-protection.

GT 2Gary Indiana (real name, Gary Hoisington; born 1950) is an American writer, filmmaker, and visual artist. He teaches philosophy and literature at the New School in New York City. He divides his time between New York and Los Angeles.

Gary Indiana’s fiction is directly contemporary. He is perhaps best known for his loose trilogy of books based on notorious criminals in the media spotlight.

The orgy scene at the end of part one is implausible. The sex scene in Dachau concentration camp is in very poor taste.

Quotations:

Alex was jealous of Michael and wanted the script rewrit­ten to make Michael’s part smaller or his own part bigger, it sounded like a typical male thing, somebody’s part had to be bigger than somebody else’s

GT 3 A dog ran through the crowd in front of the truck. Ray jammed the brakes on, tossing us both at the windshield.

“Fucking man’s-best-friend. They’ll probably be stuffing him into empanadas by dinnertime.” He braced himself and watched the animal streak past a corner supermarket, disappearing into an extensive galleria.

“It’s hard to believe Alex actually has a mother. What’s she look like?”

“Really blonde, and really old. Full of spunk, though. In every sense of the word, from what I hear

Ray’s prick became hard and Paul jerked him off without losing his place in Macaulay’s History of England or Jude the Obscure

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