SPIDER GIRL by Peter Lear


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Sara Jordan is a grad student doing a thesis on spiders when her lab work hits two upsetting stumbling blocks. The first is Don Rigden, a peacock-handsome younger student she's asked to shepherd while he writes a rival paper in the same field; she has the mating urge, but he doesn't--he's got more conquests than he can satisfy. And then a TV documentary crew decides to film a show about phobias, including fear of spiders, with Don as the on-camera lab worker. On the day of shooting, however, before Don arrives, Sara walks in unexpectedly and talks so intimately and persuasively about her conquest of her own spiderphobia that the award-winning documentary director decides to do a one-shot on Spider Girl, with Sara (a former ballet student) imitating in spider costume the mating habits of an arachnid on a $50,000 web he builds for her. But once truly in the role, Sara's personality changes! She becomes a real predator, begins psychoanalysis, falls for her analyst. . . who reveals he's homosexual! Don also refuses to bed her, even when she strips down after a champagne preview of the show. Sara's only (unwanted) conquest: an unlikable assistant director who rapes her as she's playing naked on the big web; she naturally breaks his neck with webbing. And, finally, Spider Girl kidnaps Don's true love, trusses her, and leaves her in the spidery pitchblack cellar of a burnt-out building. . . . Some nice dabs of spider-lore amid the gimmicky, idiotic goings-on; otherwise--get the insecticide!

Pub Date: Oct. 7th, 1980
Publisher: Viking