Suicide Casanova BOOK review [Arthur Nersesian]

Book Reviews
Suicide Casanova BOOK review [Arthur Nersesian]
Jul 10, 2002, 21:51

SUICIDE CASANOVA by Arthur Nersesian, Akashic, 2002

Perv, stalker, sex offender, murderer; the leading man in Suicide Casanova is all of these but Arthur Nersesian's latest novel is more about mind-fucking than sexual acts. In 1979 Leslie Cauldwell was a law firm associate with a compulsive attraction to Sky Pacifica, a soft-core porn star and stripper. In order to defuse his obsession, Cauldwell attempts to meet the object of his desire by presenting himself as a photographer to her agent. When an aborted photo session does not result in a monetary payoff, the relationship between Sky and her agent turns violent and she turns to Leslie for emotional support. Twenty years after their short fling subsides, Leslie decides to again make contact with Sky only this time he is the one in need of salvation and she is living a conventional life as a wife and mother. Nersesian's novel fast-forwards and rewinds through relationships and events that caused Leslie to turn from a kind (albeit misguided) redeemer to a broken down debaser. The outcome of Suicide Casanova is foretold in its title but an enigma that remains even after the consequences have been decided is how attraction and the power of beauty can lead to destructive obsessions and self-loathing.

-Jeffrey L. Ouch

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