Like Jean Genet and William Burroughs, Dennis Cooper assaults the senses as he engages the mind with visions of nightmare intensity in a world where stimulation without excitement and experience without emotion are prized.
This novel is in fact closer to a collection of inter-related short stories (which seems to be how it began life) centring aroung the beautiful but intensely vulnerable high school sophomore George Miles. As a number of friends and acquaintances relate in turn how they noticed, fell for, enticed, seduced and bedded George, a picture begins to emerge of his alarming passivity when it comes to sex, as if he finds it easier to lie down and 'play dead', allowing his partners to do what they want to him, than take any active role himself. The majority of his lovers (most of whom are so self-obsessed that they try to use sex with George as a way of figuring out what they think and feel about themselves, without much success) become so unnerved by his behaviour that they cannot maintain the relationship. Before long, however, George comes to the attention of a group of older men, who find his corpse-like quality during sex more stimulating than his peers.
The book's power comes from George's complete inability to explain the way he behaves.Read more ›