This is one of the best lesbian and gay novels of all time? Really? God help us...Cooper, Dennis. Closer. 1989. New York: Grove, 2002.Summary
: 1st book in the series. Pretty much everyone lusts after George Miles, using him to negotiate their desire for connection with others and their need to understand themselves.Comments
: This novel's structure is more akin to a series of interlocking short stories written from multiple perspectives advancing in more or less chronological order, and, indeed, the story was originally published in various venues piecemeal...in any case, the specifics of what happens are far less important than the overarching message: That the center is empty. These are characters who are trying to get "closer" to the essence of a person (another or perhaps themselves), but they can disembowel a boy and still not approach any greater meaning. In fact, Cooper would most likely argue that there isn't one, period. Indeed, it's the kid with the most active fantasy life that gets run over (literally). This is the only time that I can recall where the story is partially told from the victim of a failed snuff attempt, and the thought that George is going to have those scars on his backside for life just because he was unable to overcome his own inertia is kind of nauseating, when you think too long about it. The thing that fascinated me most, however, was the world of the novel itself. Though ostensibly set in the "present," which, given when the novel was first published, would have been the mid- to late- 80's, the entirety of the high school environment depicted was utterly apathetic about alternative sexuality. No prejudice, no intolerance--and high school students are not necessarily the most forgiving of crowds. Nobody cared, save the usually absent random parent, and at least eleven male characters are gay. (Oh, heterosexuality...where art thou?) I felt like I was being blasted into some dark mirror BL manga. Postmodern messages about the essential emptiness of modern life don't win me over...though they make for excellent literary pretensions.Notes
: trade paperback, 4th printingRating
- The least challenging and most readily accessible of anything I've read by Cooper thus far. Worth checking out for his worldview.