Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

Gary Indiana in San Francisco, 1997

Resentment (cover)Resentment:
A Comedy

a public reading by

Gary Indiana

Published by Doubleday

Published June 16, 1997
Fiction (humor)
320 pgs. • Find on

Reviewed by Stephen O. Murray

July 27, 1997

There’s no reason to expect from his writings (style or substance) that I would like Gary Indiana, but I didn’t expect him to be totally inarticulate.

Gary Indiana
Gary Indiana

Despite trying, he was unable to say anything to introduce either of the sections of his current novel, Resentment: A Comedy, which seems to be based on the Menendez brothers’ murder of their parents. (Another work, on Cunanan, was clearly on his mind. This would become Three Month Fever: The Andrew Cunanan Story in 1999.)

Short, unattractive, and vicious, Indiana chose to read a sex murder that had disgusted his Los Angeles audience. Applause here was unenthusiastic. There were about a dozen in the audience. One had more than all of his books, however.

The first passage Indiana read was about a grotesque reading by a female novelist of a novel about a dolphin. It noted that the audience for reading has an attention span of about 20 minutes. Each of his selections took 20 minutes (better than Scott who was still going strong after 50 when I left) nonetheless (or because).

Fortunately, he did not take questions. He was complaisant a signer and able to talk one-on-one—only tongue-tied in speaking to a group and/or unsure that those in the audience are fans (those in line with books can be presumed to be, and the man in front of me wanted a favorite passage in Horse Crazy signed).

27 July 1997
©1997, 2016 by Stephen O. Murray

About The Author

Stephen O. Murray grew up in rural southern Minnesota, earned a B.A. from James Madison College (within Michigan State University), an M.A. from the University of Arizona, a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto (both in sociology), and was a postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley (in anthropology). He is the author of American Gay, Homosexualities, etc. and lives in San Francisco.