Puig's masterpiece is the story of trust and betrayal that takes place in an Argentinean prison in the 1970s. The two main characters are Molina, imprisoned for homosexuality, and Valentin, a political revolutionary. To help pass time, Molina recounts the stories and memories of his favourite movies. The first of these is the classic noir 'Cat People', and further movies concerning the Resistance in Nazi-occupied France, Zombies and others. This vehicle gives Puig an opportunity to tell stories within stories. Much of the book is written as an exchange of dialogue, more like a piece of drama than a novel, and also includes footnotes that discuss the nature of homosexuality as a psychological condition.
This Freudian environment, with the addition of Puig's astonishing mixture of forms, gives the book its backdrop. Over this background Puig tells us a story of how Molina and Valentin are drawn together by circumstance and then forced apart by fate. In terms of both form and content Kiss of the Spider Woman is a breathtaking and powerful work that is destined to become a modern classic.