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on 28 August 2002
Although I 'enjoy' (wrong word) Dennis Cooper's books I have had the feeling for some time that his plot is simply rewritten in each book. His obsession with dark haired, skinny boys, aberrant sexual relationships, insecurity about sexuality, murder and rape appear in each book. This worked detrimentally towards the end of his five book cycle; Period was dire and incomprehensible, but Cooper is back on form. There is a new maturity to his writing. Gone are the sentences where the subject is uncertain, and the prose is fuller and clearer. He is to be commended for trying to push forward the way the novel is written but his experiments didn't always work. This is more conventionally written and deals with his usual issues in a fuller manner. Cooper seems clearer about his stance as narrator in this novel and deserves to be heard.
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on 29 October 2006
This book affected me so much that 10 minutes after reading it my teeth were chattering, 30 minutes after reading it I was crying inconsolably, and 6 weeks after reading it I'd written my first novel! Everyone has their own tastes, and this book is neither for the easily offended nor for those looking for a 'light read'. But I personally was deeply affected by this book, and still can't get it out of my mind months later.
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VINE VOICEon 4 March 2003
the first Cooper book i've read. i finished it a couple of months ago, and struggle now to remember anything particular about it. and this is my first point; it is all written on the flat. the author has an excellent ear for dialogue, and is pleasingly experimental with his syntax, but the voice remains the same throughout. Larry in a car being troubled and talking about murder, Larry in his room being troubled and talking about murder, Larry back in his car again being...etc. i couldn't help feeling the whole thing was something of a glamorisation of troubled youth too. rather than charting what is actually present in the disturbed young male psyche, i had the impression Cooper was charting it rather as he wanted it to be. overall, i felt i got more out of the book stylistically than content-wise. that said, it is an intelligent, unusual piece of work, and should be valued for these qualities which are present all too rarely in books published today.
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