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The Slutsby Dennis Cooper
Dennis Cooper's The Sluts is addictive in a very disturbing way; it creates as much self-reflection as it does analysis of the characters and their fantasies. The sex described is brutal and graphic and unreal and maybe none of it ever happens and maybe some of it does. In any case, The Sluts is beyond simple description. It's interesting and perverted and boring and relentless and numbing and I felt a dozen times like throwing it across the room in anger. This is a frustrating and worthwhile book about voyeurism and fantasy, and you are a pervert for even reading a review about it.
Synopses & Reviews
Set largely on the pages of a website where gay male escorts are reviewed by their clients, and told through the postings, emails, and conversations of several dozen unreliable narrators, The Sluts chronicles the evolution of one young escort's date with a satisfied client into a metafiction of pornography, lies, half-truths, and myth. Explicit, shocking, comical, and displaying the author's signature flair for blending structural complexity with direct, stylish, accessible language, The Sluts is Cooper's most transgressive novel since Frisk, and one of his most innovative works of fiction to date.
"A return to form — in the sense of incorporating frank depictions of sexualized violence — Cooper's latest follows on the heels of God Jr. (Reviews, May 16), which tells the story of a marriage's disintegration in the wake of an adolescent boy's death. This book, too, features a dead boy — or at least the fantasy of one. The title men are denizens of a Web chat site that reviews the performance of hustlers such as Brad, a blond who looks like an angelic teen but is probably older, and who may or may not have been killed, or snuffed, by a john. Time wobbles in the book. Brad's passivity drives a certain type of dominant to distraction, and Brad gets rave after rave review, rendered by Cooper with deadpan perfection. But as Brad peaks and then begins to decline, Cooper pieces together his Portland, Ore., backstory, and hardcore s&m moves to blood and mutilation. Brad is eventually pimped out by a man named Brian for 'the ultimate' with a Web regular who may be a serial killer — one who first comes to an agreement with his victims on a price for killing them. The eerie matter-of-factness with which all of this is discussed is what makes this neo-epistolary novel fascinating, and certainly the best extant work on extreme queer s&m Internet culture in any genre." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Dennis Cooper was born on January 10, 1953. He grew up in the Southern California cities of Covina and Arcadia. He wrote stories and poems from early age but got serious about writing at 15 after reading Arthur Rimbaud and The Marquis de Sade. He attended LA county public schools until the 8th grade when he transferred to a private school, Flintridge Preparatory School for Boys in La Canada, California, from which he was expelled in the 11th grade. While at Flintridge, he met his friend George Miles, who would become his muse and the subject of much of his future writing. He attended Pasadena City College for two years, attending poetry writing workshops taught by the poets Ronald Koertge and Jerene Hewitt. He then attended one year of university at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, where he studied with the poet Bert Meyers. In 1976, he founded Little Caesar Magazine and Press, which he ran until 1982. From 1980 to 1983 he was Director of Programming for the Beyond Baroque Literary/Art Center in Venice, California. From 1983 to 1985, he lived in New York City. In 1985, he moved to Amsterdam, Holland where he lived for two and a half years before returning to New York. While in Amsterdam, he began his ten year long project, The George Miles Cycle, an interconnected sequence of five novels that includes Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide, and Period. In 1990, he moved back to Los Angeles where he has lived ever since.
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