Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing Paperback – Nov 17 1998
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Judy McGuire Paper A potty mouth with a heart of gold.
Natasha Stovall The Village Voice Lopez catches fire to three-chord punk rock, splattering her psychic guts all over the page, leaving nothing to the imagination.
Patricia Holt San Francisco Chronicle Lopez gives Tomato an outlaw integrity that Thelma and Louise only hinted at. Tomato's quest for identity and freedom actually becomes our own.
Karen Helfrich Lambda Book Report There's a sizable, rebelliously tasteless portion of our reading public who will soon want to make Lopez their cartoonist pillow queen.
James S. Howard The Fresno Bee It's a fun, fast, and fabulous first novel.
Feminist Bookstore News Not for the faint of heart....Racy, raunchy, riotously funny, and hilariously incisive.
About the Author
Erika Lopez lives a much too happy life in San Francisco being the sidekick to her two best friends, Mark and Mary. They all live on the same block. They walk big, leaky dogs and forget to whisper when they talk about other people's butts. Previously she launched Lap Dancing for Mommy into the world and her new book is They Call Me Mad Dog!: A Story for Bitter, Lonely People, but that won't be all. She's got plans. Big plans for big girls in little clothes.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book started that way, with her description of how she decided to become a biker gang of one called the Flaming Iguanas and the difficulties of getting someone to go with her and why she went. I found it tedious to delve into her broken past all the time though.
FInally she got out on the road and I expected the pace to pick up a bit, but it didn't, the road stuff takes up about 5% of the book, the rest is a stream of consciousness about everything and anything. Some of its good but I found myself getting impatient after sections like 5 pages of what songs she sang into her helmet (and why).
So if your looking for a road-bike book this probably isn't the one for you, if your looking for a wild ride following a completely mixed up woman with a rough past and some very funny writing then it may be just the ticket for you.
A woman on a motorcycle takes on America.
This is a great book. Erika, I am in love. It is an infectuous, cheerful, honest, ragingly sexy--but never prurient--book. It is very much within the tradition (Kerouac, Henry Miller, and several other sex-and-road dudes are mentioned explicitly, as sort-of precursors; Erica Jong's FEAR OF FLYING is a good point of comparison, too), but it also extends the tradition, and gloriously so. At moments Lopez makes the confessional-thing look so effortless you're tempted to try it yourself, but such ruthless self-exposure, no matter how fictionalized, is its own stringent discipline.
This is a soaring, liberating read. Week 12 on the twelve-week American Road Novel syllabus, without a doubt. Some undergrads may be scandalized; WILL be scandalized. Too bad. Erika, I love you. I tell all my friends in the Princeton English Department about you. I am a one-man word-of-mouth machine, spreading the gospel. You are too much. Exuberance is beauty. Don't stop!
But there's an intriguing story here, too, not just a fancy presentation. Tomato Rodriguez sets off on a motorcycle she can barely ride, as a motorcycle gang of one (the Flaming Iguanas), to cross the country and reunite with her ailing father, who runs a sex toy shop with his girlfriend.
Lopez definitely stands many of the conventions of the male road novel on their heads. When I tried to guess how things would end up, I was rarely successful, and I like that in a book. Still, I thought there were places that she abandoned a character or a plot line just as it was starting to bear fruit. Lopez implies that the book is semi-autobiographical, and it's hard to know whether it's the "truer" parts are the places where the plot veers as awkwardly as Tomato steering on gravel.
The strength of this book is its characterization. There are no strong male characters in this book, but they are not uniformly disgusting or stereotypical, a fault some feminist authors fall into. The portrait of her therapy-overdosed, boundary-obssessed lesbian mom is wonderful ("I imagined all of us protected by invisible squares of masking tape on the floor that followed us wherever we walked like hoop skirts, and if anyone crossed over into our space we were allowed to shoot to kill, the way you can when burglars break into your house.")
Let me leave you with the quote that will, I believe, provide the ultimate litmus test as to whether this book is for you: "I wanted a Bisexual Female Ejaculating Quaker role model. And where was she, dammit? From now on I would demand to be represented."
Go on. Ride on the wild side.
It so funny in parts I laughed outloud. All I kept thinking was how true it all was, I mean if you decided tomorrow that you wanted to be tough and drive across the country on a motot bike, you would fall down a lot, you would be really scared when big giant trucks drove by in an attempt to splatter you on the road, and, you might even sing made up folk songs outloud in your helmet to try and keep yourself calm. Hil freekin larious, is what I think this book is. The writing is is a bit like having a conversation with someone super funny but slightly unstable. It is in your face graphic and offers no sugar coating of thoughts and feelings. There is no filter for the verbal rantings and that is what makes it great.
You will be entertained by this book. It was a very pleasent surprise. Plus the packageing is cool, you cannot go wrong. I want to go out and buy several copies and send them to all my girlfriends.
Most recent customer reviews
Erika Lopez...The name didn't strike a bell at all when one of my friends' bought it up at a recent off-line book club discussion. Read morePublished on May 16 2002 by Vivek Tejuja
I'll tell you up front - I'm generally biased toward books about motorcycles, as an avid rider myself. But I have to say, _Flaming Iguanas_ is just outstanding. Read morePublished on March 1 2002 by Erin K. Darling
This is a pleasant and quick read with interesting illustrations and lots of them. Perfect for a summer's day when you're feeling glum. Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2001 by redmarina
As I was browsing through my local bookstore one afternoon, this little book caught my eye. The cover art was tacky, and the title was a bit on the odd side, so it seemed like... Read morePublished on Aug. 5 2000 by Shannon
If you've ever wondered what it would be like to read a bookwhere someone was witty, funny, honest and inspiring, then you shouldget this book. Read morePublished on July 7 2000 by Paul Hagwood
Erika Lopez's novel, "Flaming Iguanas", was a wonderful mixture of humor, feminism, and just plain truth. Read morePublished on July 4 2000 by Aubrey Gunter
This book arrived when I was suffering a bout of flu and feeling very depressed. I cheered me up immensely - I couldn't put it down, and read it in 4 hours - there are a lot of... Read morePublished on March 25 2000 by Elaine
"Flaming Iguanas" is one of those books that you can't put down. The main character inspires me to take advantage of my freedom and sieze the open road that lies ahead of... Read morePublished on Aug. 30 1999
I was sitting, well actually squatting, in the bookstore and reading the first few pages of the book when I started laughing like a nut... Read morePublished on Feb. 8 1999