Characters

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Last Updated on May 21, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 327

The main characters, Frank and Trevor, are both ordinary and predictable. It is the supporting characters, such as Desdemona, her friend Fernando, Joe Merchant, and even Rudy Breno who stand out as memorable in this novel.

Joe Merchant is a dark soul who goes over the edge to join the...

(The entire section contains 327 words.)

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The main characters, Frank and Trevor, are both ordinary and predictable. It is the supporting characters, such as Desdemona, her friend Fernando, Joe Merchant, and even Rudy Breno who stand out as memorable in this novel.

Joe Merchant is a dark soul who goes over the edge to join the world of hired killers. Joe Merchant's character borrows heavily from real dead rock legends such as Jim Morrison, who curiously share the same initials, though the name selection may have actually been a tribute to a living musician, Jimmy Merchant. Both Desdemona's and Trevor's composite view of Joe point out further similarities. Desdemona describes him as one of the most gifted and demented people she had ever met, a man ruled by the reptilian side of his brain. One minute he was the life of the party, and the next he would be trying to rip somebody's head off. He was dark haired, good looking, wild and crazy. Trevor's recollections of her brother's self-destruction dominated by his licentious appetite for drugs and sex and his violent outbursts, cast in him very much in the Morrison mold. As the novel moves toward conclusion Trevor and Frank stand outside a nightclub and hear what is unmistakably the guitar licks of her lost brother, "playing an electrifying rendition of the classical instrumental break of his signature song," which begs comparison to the innovative instrumental break of the "long version" of The Door's "Light My Fire," a rock music classic.

The continually shifting setting allows for a large ensemble of secondary characters whose fantastic quirks personify the curious fixations and passions of larger society. Such a character is Fernando, an island entertainer who believes he is the reincarnation of Ricky Ricardo and is aggravated by his friend Desdemona's insistence that a person cannot channel a television character. In this playful exchange the Buffett "fruitcake" lady displays the limits of her own tolerance as she pronounces judgment on Fernando's grasp of reality.

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