Customer Reviews of Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing
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. Then I was intrigued to know more about this author and her works. So I went ahead and puchased "Flaming Iguanas" and before I knew I was in for a rocking roller-coaster ride across US of A.
This book is about Tomato Rodriguez - who takes a cross-country bike trip on her own in search of may be something or maybe something not. Funny in bits and I laughed so hard that it made me cry...and then again there is a very subtle profoundity at play in this work .
On her journey to the road of revelation, Tomato has given me so many insights which are unbelievably hard to relate to but they work nevertheless. A great book - both as a comfy read and at the same time sneaking on you and scandalizing in all so many ways!!
Attack of the tomato!? not-so-new and improved look at life
How many of us have dreamed of tossing all that holds us back and hitting the road? Doing the unthinkable and living by our looks and guts alone? Lopez hits the mark in a funny and bitng commentary. I read and laughed out loud and sneered at those who looked at me sideways, striking out in my own way and paving a new road. Heck, even my grandmother liked this book! (she's always been a bit ahead of her time). From this bookstore clerk to you, if you're looking for a little fun and adventure this is an exhilirating read
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... Well people stared, so naturally I purchased it to avoid making a scene, and what a wise purchase it was. It's crazy, it's funny, it's so much more readable than "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". I felt empowered, I feel inspired, gosh darn I want a motorcycle gang too, and maybe someday I'll cross Canada and write a novel comparable to this.
The Great American Road Novel, late-90s version
Recently, on my own book tour, I happened to ask a sales guy at Shaman Drum Books in Ann Arbor if he could help me. I was an English grad student, I said; I was trying to draw up a syllabus for a course I hoped to teach in a year or two, on the American Road Novel. I'd come up with a handful of obvious titles--ON THE ROAD, ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTAINANCE, LOLITA, TRAVELS WITH CHARLIE, even THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ. But all of them were by white guys, and I was looking for the rest of the picture. Was there, I asked him, a literary equivalent to "Thelma and Louise"? He handed me FLAMING IGUANAS. "Here," he said.
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!
Deliciously inspiring and knock-down, drag-out hilarious!
I first read this book about a year and a half ago and have been shamelessly forcing it on all friends/family/acquaintances/farm animals since then! Tomato was the first "novel heroine" that I've ever related to so well--reading the novel, I felt like I WAS her. I felt absolutely empowered by the book, and was ready to buy a motorcycle on a whim after reading it! Erika Lopez writes with such savvy; the mental imagery she creates is beyond fabulous! By all means, buy this book, read it, and then pass it on to everyone YOU know. Nobody should be without the experience of a Lopez "All Girl Road Novel Thing"!