Synopses & Reviews
Dennis Cooper's sparely crafted novels have earned him an international reputation even as his subject matter has made him a controversial figure. God Jr.
is a stunningly accomplished new novel that marks a new phase in Cooper's noteworthy career.
God Jr. is the story of Jim, a father who survived the car crash that killed his teenage son Tommy. Tommy was distant, transfixed by video games and pop culture, and a mystery to the man who raised him. Now, disabled by the accident, yearning somehow to absolve his own guilt over the crash, Jim becomes obsessed with a mysterious building Tommy drew repetitively in a notebook before he died. As the fixation grows, Jim starts to take on elements of his son at the expense of his job and marriage but is he connecting with who Tommy truly was?
A tender, wrenching look at guilt, grief, and the tenuous bonds of family, God Jr. is unlike anything Dennis Cooper has yet written. It is a triumphant achievement from one of our finest writers.
"Try making up a world where having killed someone you love isn't important.' Cooper (Closer, etc.) does just that and it works, for a while. Pot-smoking, 40-something L.A. depressive Jim rammed his Lexus into a telephone pole, sending his son, Tommy, flying through the windshield and leaving himself crippled. He has subsequently lied about the cause of Tommy's death (Tommy lived long enough to wander from the scene) and begun working at a children's custom clothing company run by an all-handicapped crew. Upping his pot intake and drifting further from his wife, Bette, Jim has been obsessively constructing a monument to Tommy in his yard that has drawn media (and litigious) attention. Cooper's genius has always been for dialogue: the clipped marriage and workplace exchanges feature searing ironies and delicate nuances that are arresting. In the lyrical but muddled passages that dominate the book's second half, Jim loses himself in a video game of Tommy's, communicating mystically with the video game's flora and fauna while searching for a meaning to Tommy's life and death. Cooper leaves Jim and Bette stranded in their grief, and the various forms of sage-like solace he proffers fail to add up to much, either for Jim or for us. Agent, Ira Silverberg at Donadio and Olson." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"God Jr. is restive, uncertain and, most important, uncanny....Buy it. Read it. It is an American masterpiece." Los Angeles Times
"Cooper is his own stylistic wizard, appropriating teenspeak, chat-room cadence and the expansive imagery of cyberspace." New York Times
"While this small book isn't for everyone, it could grab a cult following." Library Journal
"A refreshing departure from the obsessive redundancy of its predecessors. Probably Cooper's best yet." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
In addition to his novels, Dennis Cooper is the author of the short-story collection Wrong and several volumes of poetry, including The Dream Police.