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Closer [Hardcover]

Dennis Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

April 1989
Physically beautiful and strangely passive, George Miles becomes the object of his friends? passions. In the blandness of middle America, he represents a pole for authentic experience. Cooper?s use of the horrific is very pertinent - it forces us to contemplate the emptiness of lives and the everyday pervasiveness of violence. Passionate and terrifying, Closer confirms Dennis Cooper?s position as one of the most daring, innovative writers of today.Physically beautiful and strangely passive, George Miles becomes the object of his friends? passions. In the blandness of middle America, he represents a pole for authentic experience. Cooper?s use of the horrific is very pertinent - it forces us to contemplate the emptiness of lives and the everyday pervasiveness of violence. Passionate and terrifying, Closer confirms Dennis Cooper?s position as one of the most daring, innovative writers of today.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Grove Pr; 1 edition (April 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802110932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802110930
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 810,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Dennis Cooper is the winner of the Ferro-Grumley Award for Closer, and Guide was a Los Angeles Times bestseller and one of its Ten Best Books of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE INCREDIBLY EMPTY LIVES OF AMERICAN TEENAGERS 11 Sep 2000
Format:Paperback
'Closer' was Dennis Cooper's first full-length novel, having spent twenty years making a name for himself as a gay poet whose principal themes were drugs, sex, death, teenagers and the general meaninglessness and inexplicability of life. Even by gay standards his work is controversial, because of his refusal to shy away from the darker corners of gay desire. Indeed, it is in the dark corners that most of his work resides, exploring the boundaries (or perhaps revealing the terrifying absence of boundaries) between the barely excusable - obsession, sadism, violence, perversion - and the completely inexcusable - paedophilia, rape, mutilation, muder.
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.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning 27 April 2002
By "imfukt" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
this is one of the most painful books i've ever read. it hurts to read it, but it's still one of my favorite books. cooper has an ability to show situations that are both horrific and beautiful. that really hit home for me because i think that's how life really is. it's like children singing in hell.
i read this one right after _Frisk_ and liked it a lot better. i could identify more with the George character, than i could with anyone in the other book. the portrait of the kid who gets exploited by everyone around him in different ways is just amazing. i couldn't sleep the night i read it. it's one of those books that makes you sad and contemplative. if you want to do that, definitely pick it up. if not, it might not be a good idea.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting in a sick wierd kind of way 25 Sep 2000
By "saint_artaud" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I intially got into Cooper by mistaking his work for another writer, but found myself happily surprised after reading some short stories he had written.
This book is pretty much standard for Cooper, not to say it is bad. It is always fascinating to read about the sorts of things people think about but never admit to. Or the things which ahppen in life no one wants to talk about. Specifically very dirty sex and murder. And this book will cover all of that.
It's rather hard to explain the plot since I don't think there is one in any normal sense. Dennis Cooper ust isn't that kind of writer. Instead, we have vignettes all orbiting around one character, George Miles, a teenager sort of confused by and removed from the world. This quality he has allows numerous tortures to be enacted upon him and he takes it, not really seeming to feel any deeper sort of pleasure. A character it is easy to project upon by the other characters.
It's been a few months since I've read this, but it still seems fresh in my head. This is the sort of stuff which will seriously affect you, but some will find it too shocking and repulsive for their taste.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorites 16 Jun 2004
By Dynomoose - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The fact that it is told, mainly, from the perspective of those using this young man, who is looking for love and understanding after the death of his mother, makes every act of cruelty (the emotional even more so that the physical) stab at your heart so much more.
Dennis Cooper manages to infuse hope, love and compassion in with the loss, cruelty and sex. Making this a really brilliant work.
If you have a heart, read this book!
I think a lot of readers get it wrong when they say that Cooper's work is sado-homo-erotic. It's too human and emotional for such a narrow definition.
Dennis Cooper and his works are a perfect example of why I love to be a reader and wish I was a more eloquent reviewer.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing, heart-breaking, disturbing look at gay youth. 18 April 2000
By Shane C. Desmond - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book took me by surprise. Throughout this very quick read, we get to know several unforgettable characters, each of whom could possibly have been the central character, had this book taken a different direction. Cooper's writing style is remarkable. After finishing this, I quickly ordered later books of his. A must read for fans of unique, twisted gay fiction.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cooper is covering some familiar ground 28 July 2000
By rimbaud_1969@yahoo.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've just finished this book, my third so far by Dennis Cooper, the other two being "Frisk" and "Guide". Cooper seems to be covering the same issues of sadomaschoism, death, murder, homosexual rape, etc...In this book as compared to the other two the reader can see his development as a writer,which in the later books he is more controlled in his prose. This was one of his first books, while the other two were written later. It's a good novel with some similar characters but it left me with a coldness inside.
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