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The Original Version of the Cult Classic from the 70s Back In Print At Last! Scorching, bizarre, and flamboyant, a strikingly beautiful blond hustler, Numie Chase, comes to the searing heat of Tortuga, southernmost point in the Continental US―the end of the line. There, he arouses passions in six decadent but vulnerable people, whose lives mesh together under the blood-red sun. There are those who've suggested that Darwin Porter's Butterflies is a potboiling revision of Sweet Bird of Youth. Nevertheless, I'd walk the waterfront for Numie any day. ―Tennessee Williams. We know from the beginning that we're getting into a hotbed that has morbid fascination for potential readers. Butterflies in Heat evolves, in fact, into one massive melee of malevolence, vendetta, and e-v-i-l, stunningly absorbing alone for its sheer and unrelenting exploration of the lower depths. ―Bestsellers. How does Darwin Porter's garden grow? Only in the moonlight, and only at midnight, when man-eating vegetation in any color but green bursts into full bloom to devour its latest offerings. ―James Leo Herlihy, author of Midnight Cowboy. Some commentators suggest that this novel's protagonist, a male hustler-cum-blond-god known as Numie Chase, provided some of the inspiration for the hero in the John Schlesinger film, Midnight Cowboy. Despite this book's provocative subject matter, (sex for hire among the terminally decadent residents of Old Key West), it's a sensitive and tender study of the labyrinthine paths to the human soul. Sometimes described as a cult classic, this book has many fans. Until its sales records were broken by other works by other authors in the mid-1980s, Butterflies in Heat reigned for several years as one of the best-selling underground novels in the history of publishing. Bookstores, please note: This title is available with two different cover designs. 1) A tasteful version of blue butterflies against a blue-violet background and 2) a more controversial version featuring male pinup Diego. We refer to these two designs, respectively, as the blue cover and the Diego cover, and both versions carry the same ISBN number. Both versions of Butterflies in Heat have sold consistently throughout the many printings of this title. Gay bookstores seem to prefer the Diego cover, more mainstream stores usually prefer the more conservative blue cover.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
First published in 1976, Butterflies in Heat caused an immediate sensation. Airlines with streaming banners flew over Fire Island to announce its publication, and Gloria Swanson paid for an ad in Variety to quash rumors that she was planning to star in the film.
The film, made shortly after the book's release, starred Earth Kitt playing a transexual cabaret entertainer, and Matt Collins as the blond male hustler. At the time, the actor cast into the hustler's role (Matt Collins, previously famous for his advertizing role as "The Marlboro Man" was voted "the handsomest man in the world."
After nearly 30 years, the novel has been reprinted in its original text, with its controversial epilogue restored, after deletions by the book's original publishers, who found it "objectionable." Over the years, it has been frequently hailed as a cult classic, and it even inspired a song, "Butterflies in Heat," written by the late composer Alex Wilder, author of such famous songs as "I'll Be Around," and "While We're Young."
Although denounced by Publishers Weekly, The Miami Herald, and The New York Times, the novel quickly found an international following. Some of its first readers included Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Tennessee Williams, Joan Blondell, Bette Davis, Alvin Ailey, Anais Nin, Joan Blondell, and many, many others.From the Author:
The novel whose characters were once denounced as too controversial, but who have now become mainstream icons in fiction and in film.
The blond hustler, the narcissistic drag queen, the rich and embittered John, the aging and profane Duenna, the relentless prosecutor, the lusty and self-involved society matron, the 300-pound "Gin Mamma," the Gucci Carpetbagger, and a host of other corrupt but flamboyant characters, the likes of which haven't been seen since MIDNIGHT COWBOY.
The result is a virtual orgy of narcissism and grotesquerie set in Tortuga, a thinly veiled metaphor for Key West.
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Book Description Manor Books, 1976. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110532191129