RARA-AVIS: Re: Dennis Cooper

From: Chris Schneider ( chrisaschneider@earthlink.net)
Date: 27 Jun 2003

> on 6/27/03 12:10 PM, Mark Sullivan at DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net wrote:
> "[...] It's the only book I've read by Cooper, though. What would you
> recommend reading next?
> --

    My readings in Cooper haven't been all that extensive, frankly, but I can recommend "Closer" and "Guide." Memory becomes a bit hazy at this point
... especially since many of his characters express, ahem, similar concerns. I remember liking both books, though, and will hazard a guess that "Closer" is the preferred folow-up to "Frisk."
    I tried checking the megolith which Alison Bechdel refers to as
"Medusa.com" in order to make sure that I was affixing the correct Dennis Cooper plot to the correct one-word Cooper title, and here's the choice little quote I discovered:

                           " ... if you think 'Naked Lunch' is charming and
                           brilliant, and you enjoy the smellier bits of 'Le
                           Chants de Maldoror' or 'Our Lady of the Flowers,'
                           you'll totally dig 'Guide.'"

     You might also want to look at one and/or all of Gary Indiana's crime trilogy, "Resentment: A Comedy" and "Three Month Fever" and "Depraved Indifference." They have a similar humor and a similar West Coast perspective to the Cooper books. The first and third are novels inspired by real-life criminals (Kimes, *mere et fils*, and the Menendez family, respectively). The middle one is non-fiction, more-or-less, using a novelist's techniques to deal with Andrew Cunanan. I love 'em all, only I hesitate whether to recommend that you begin with "Resentment" or
"Indifference." The set-pieces are marvellous in the latter, but I believe that the former has the more satisfying finale.



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