Suvi's Reviews > Kiss of the Spider Woman

Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig
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's review
Jul 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 1970-1999, _1001-before-you-die, novels, _latin-america, lgbt

There's no narrative voice in Puig's novel, only dialogue. Despite this the novel is wonderfully multilayered, and Puig has subtly weaved the stories of the main characters among the recountings of the films Molina has seen. Loved the choice of films, Cat People (1942) and I Walked with a Zombie (1943) among others. By recounting films the jail time of Molina and Valentín goes by faster, helping them to forget the harsh reality. However, reality seeps through the stories because you can't ever escape it completely. There are also interrogation documents and footnotes. The footnotes deal with psychoanalytic theories of homosexuality, but I didn't quite grasp their function. In my opinion they didn't add anything to the story. As a whole, though, they don't matter much. Puig's unusual novel is well worth the read. You should also check out the 1985 movie, William Hurt is amazing.

Oh, and you can interpret the ending in two ways. You can either consider it as sad, or if you know Molina, as an ultimate fulfillment and blending in with the movie heroines he so admires.

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