And I'm afraid that my reading list
is just hopelessly out-of-date. (Note how nothing read lately is listed on it? Well, that's not coincidental. >_< )
Anyway, I picked up a few random Dennis Cooper books off of the remainder pile and thought I'd give them a try. I don't have his debut novel Closer
, however, and that seems to be the one that most are familiar with. Ah, well. Beggars can't be choosers, you know.Cooper, Dennis. Frisk. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991.Summary
: 2nd book in the series. As a boy, Dennis sees a series of "snuff" pornography photos and, though as a teen he meets the subject of those photos and discovers it was all fake, becomes obsessed with the intersection of violence and sexual attraction. He starts writing letters to people he knows, telling them of his murderous exploits which all turn out to be imagined--looking for someone to participate with him in the real thing. What he gets instead are two of his old lovers, Julian and his brother Kevin, who help him make his own faked snuff photos.Comments
: This is the first Dennis Cooper book that I've ever read, and, while the writing itself strikes me as both well-thought-out and literary,this novella's subject, in and of itself, seemed more calculated to a base shock than to enlightenment or uplift. Given that this book was written almost fifteen years ago, well, maybe it WAS unprecedented back then. I really don't know. My lukewarm reaction could, once again, be my utter jadedness (You think reading about snuff in prose form is bad? Try it in hentai manga form!) and the perhaps tragic realization that nothing much shocks me anymore. Maybe some will find Dennis's yearnings toward violence to be a turn-on, but for me it was just tedious. The story is cleverly-written so that you get the story from multiple viewpoints--Henry's stoned out circumstances, Dennis's prose fantasy about Joe's actual death, the letters that he's written to his friend and acquaintances, the lives of those receiving the letters, etc.--and moreover you don't know until the end if the guy's ACTUALLY killing all those men and boys or not. But if that's suspense...coulda fooled me.Notes
: hardcover, 1st edition, 2nd printing, out-of-print; trade paperback edition available (Trade paperback edition pictured)Rating
- Seems to exist purely for shock-value. Actually, if it weren't so well-written, I would've given it an even lower rating.