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  • Also available as: E-Book
  • Published: February 2001
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 5.5x8.5
  • ISBN: 9780738840406
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Rio Amazonas is a novel.  The characters never existed, the actions never happened, the words were never said, but, modifying and elaborating the standard assertions of a disclaimer at the beginning, "Salutations, Disclaimer, Etcetera" describes the book's more intricate truth/fiction relationship.

A section called "Introductions" begins the story.  "Rape is the only honest commerce," says Howard, the entrepreneur, thus announcing one of the book's main themes—rape of bodies, minds, and cultures.   A group of American museum people in Lima, Peru plan to exploit the country for cultural and personal advantage.  Ernest, the exhibit designer/protagonist, attracted to Darci, a cool young museum coordinator, is reluctant to chance an affair, and, moreover, feels outclassed by his male companions.

In the main section, the book is divided into three parts, recounting exploits of the American adventurers.  With each chapter, Ernest attempts advances in his increasingly fervent pursuit of Darci.

Peru's geography is divided north to south into three bands (the desert coast, the highland stronghold of the ancient Inca empire, and the tropical jungle), so the book is divided into parts focused on each area.  As, metaphorically, all roads once led to Rome, in Peru, all paths and jet flights lead in and out of Lima on the Pacific desert edge of the country.

Lima and the search for Inca gold in the Highlands: goaded into professional conscience by the designer, Franklin O'Rourke, the brash young archeologist on the brink of fame and fortune, is undone by an integrity he did not know he had.

Lima and the Coast: Dr. Janus Bodkin, curmudgeonly, womanizing old archeologist, his premier textile discovery ravaged by rich collectors, chooses an immortal interment he had not contemplated.

Lima and the Amazon: Dr. Jeffrey Fortune, sensual ethnologist, realizing his own unethical behavior and ready to take the money and run, meets  a bloody end in  an Indian uprising.  A tame, miniature Disney World-in-the-making reverts to mayhem in the Amazon: reality runs amuck.

Darci meets a fate better than death in the disorienting aftermath of the localized jungle apocalypse.  Uncertain as to their mutual feelings, pursued by hostile savages, Darci and Ernest escape down river.  She offers non-committal sex, and he gambles by holding out for love.  Truth and fiction merge, uncertainties arise: will love conquer all? will fantasies come true? will art triumph?

We all crave happy endings: in a blue mist, Ernest and Darci consummate their love in "Rio Amazonas," a brief "romantic novel," short and sweet.

"Postscript": a final page and life everlasting.

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