The Sluts
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The Sluts

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  715 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Set largely on the pages of a website where gay male escorts are reviewed by their clients, and told through the postings, emails, and conversations of several dozen unreliable narrators, The Sluts chronicles the evolution of one young escort's date with a satisfied client into a metafiction of pornography, lies, half-truths, and myth. Explicit, shocking, comical, and disp...more
Paperback, 262 pages
Published October 19th 2005 by Da Capo Press (first published 2004)
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back in the good 'ol days, when goodreads was a much smaller (and some would say better) place, the #1 top ranked reviewer was a woman called ginnie jones. she claimed to be a very old women in pasadena (her avatar remained a found image of a frazzled pencil-chomping booknerd) who spent all her time reading, reviewing, and tending to her very sick husband. ginnie was an elusive bird: she'd rarely comment on others' pages and would almost never answer private messages. but she was part of our lit...more
Mike Puma
Mar 07, 2013 Mike Puma rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: book clubs full of little old ladies
Shelves: 2013, glbt-fic

This is not your father’s porn!

If it’s not porn, is it erotica?

Hell, no. Nothing erotic about this one. Although, it does speak to the many —versions (sub-, perv-, King James, etc.)

Think of it as Neil Simon’s Murder by Death meets de Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom with a side of Delany’s Hogg.

In excruciating detail, a host of unreliable narrators post reviews of a male hustler on an internet website and in discussion threads, evaluating his rendered services and their own basest desires, while co

Aug 02, 2013 Megha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Megha by: Ali

Anyone remember this goodreader who would pop up on every which review and ask if the book had violence or sexually explicit content? Kiddo, if you are still lurking around, don't ;) read this book. It has everything you have been looking for.

I feel fairly comfortable in assuming that every time this goodreader sees someone reading, say, in a library or a coffee shop, he doesn't go up to them ask the same question. No. He would rather do so while hidden behind the curtain of internet. Social med...more
Long, rambling, and will probably make no sense to anyone except me. If you aren’t a speedreader, get some popcorn, because this shit is going to take a while.

The Internet is possibly the strangest place I’ve ever had the (mis?)fortune of being a part of, yet the full implications of its existence never sank in until I had been using it for over three years, probably because I was less philosophically minded and stupider in the past. I’m sure some of you reading this may not even realize what ki...more
Nate D
Dec 19, 2012 Nate D rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: the guys hanging around outside Pumpers
Recommended to Nate D by: A classified ad from box 157
Adam's review of this is already essentially perfect:
What if Borges took on Rashomon, but instead of the action happening in a grove, it went down on a message board dedicated to reviewing homosexual escorts?

This is almost Cooper's perfect form: the frame means he only has to write a series of escort pickups that convey the entire story (for better or worse depending on your desire to read such), but more interestingly the format entirely lends itself to unreliable narrators lying about eachothe...more
Dennis Cooper is such a good writer that it looks like he's just saying some stuff to you, which is hard to pull off. I like the mood you get into in all of his books: these semi-reliable narrators, who tend to be pretty out of it, lazily unspooling a bunch of stuff that happened. Even when, like in this one, there's structural stuff happening, the structure (and the mutilation, and the murders and suicides and bleak gay mopiness and whatever other sensationalist stuff is happening) is secondary...more
Joey Comeau
Dennis Cooper's novel, The Sluts, opens with an online review of a hustler named "Brad" who has mental problems. A second review follows, and then a third. The novel is told through these reviews and through emails and posts on a website devoted to reviewing hustlers. The posts by these reviewers mix the empty, repeated, imitative language of pornography with a series of straightforward, honest sounding voices. And they lie.

They lie, and they admit to lying when they think it will help you beli...more
Cooper's material here -- violent intergenerational gay sex -- is not for every one. But The Sluts brilliantly captures the seductive dangers of online behavior -- how we get entangled in a pointless debates in the comments sections of a web site (or write reviews of books for an audience strangers, ostensibly to "connect," but perhaps really to broadcast a "literate" persona and have our superior tastes reflected back to us).

The Sluts is almost entirely told as "comments" on an online gay sex...more
What if Borges took on Rashomon, but instead of the action happening in a grove, it went down on a message board dedicated to reviewing homosexual escorts?

As a 15 year old boy, I can't say I've been exposed to most of the aspects of this book: sex, escorts/prostitution, fetishistic lifestyles, etc. But I decided to read this book anyway after seeing it in a train station bookstore. What can I say, I was interested. Perplexed even.

The Sluts takes place mostly online, on a few gay escort websites. The escort being reviewed is named Brad, and he is quite mysterious. You don't actually get to hear his side of the story (supposedly) and there are so ma...more
Mar 13, 2007 Chris rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Fags, revolutionaries, leather daddies, twinks everywhere, go go boys, hustlers, tranny whores
This book is formalistically brilliant, the story being primarily told by a host of anonymous or quasi-anonymous reviewers of a hustler in southern california.

It reads like the legal dossier of some horrid crime, transforming "the reader" into a voyer and participant in the drama that unfolds. Violently plucking the chords of desire, lust, infatuation, ambiguity and anonymity, Dennis Cooper has written a complex and entertaining work.

I read this book while on the subway listening to Matmos'two...more
One point many other reviewers haven't hit on yet is that the obvious analogy of the fictitious "slut" is J.T. LeRoy, the Cooper protege and author recently discovered to be a middle-aged woman that had tricked the publishing industry with an elaborately crafted guise of a teen runaway-turned-prostitute. The story of LeRoy and Sluts both highlight the ease in which "lives" can be created in our current era - particularly lives that appeal to certain gay men's fantasies of helpless young men. I a...more
Melissa Jackson
I am a physical reader. I feel what I read. Always. This can be awesome and it can be taxing-- especially when reading a text like "The Sluts." As my status update indicated, I almost threw up twice while reading it, I had tears in my eyes during a specifically emotionally distressing scene, I lost my appetite while eating one of the most delicious carrot stews I've ever had... you get the idea. This book is revolting, incredibly violent and beyond sadistic. It is a sexual horror story. It is al...more
The Sluts is a novel which is mainly set on a web site where gay male escorts are reviewed by their clients. It's a story told through these reviews, e-mails, telephone conversations and posts on web forums, which is exactly why I was ambivalent about starting this book. I found it hard to imagine how a novel could be written in that format and not become a disjointed mess. However, once I picked it up, I could barely put it back down, and was riveted from cover to cover. It's hands down one of...more
Matt Hlinak
I'm not easily shocked, but there were a few points when I was reading this where I needed to skip a page. If you can handle depictions of extreme sadomasochistic sex involving potentially underage male prostitutes, you'll be rewarded with one of the most structurally-interesting novels I've ever come across.

This book is a modern take on the 19th-century epistolary novel (in which the story is told through a series of letters): here the story is largely told through postings to a website dedicat...more
The third book of the trip was the first one
bought on the road and by the time I started
reading Dennis Cooper's "The Sluts" Jet had
already finished it in two days flat. It took me
about four. I found this and one of Dennis
Coopers other books God Jnr in the excellent Gay
Book Store on Santa Monica Blvd. We hadn't
realised it was the gay book store when we
walked in enticed by the cool window.
Still Dennis Cooper is still one of the sickest
writers around and The Sluts doesn't
dissapppoint in t...more
Jan 29, 2008 zack rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
Both more exciting and complex than other Cooper novels. The anonymity of the message board adds another layer of intrigue/suspense of his usual description of violent sexuality. And instead of focusing on the lives of the young teenage boys, he tells the story almost exclusively through the fantasies and lies of the real and fake perpetrators. This is an improvement, as all the teenage characters from previous novels, no matter how much their inner-lives were portrayed, seemed more like they ca...more
Robert Tomoguchi
I was hooked on Dennis Cooper when I first read Closer, and was again moved when I read Frisk. The books I followed, I enjoyed but they held me less and less. So when The Sluts came out, I bought it immediately, because his books often become difficult to find new, and I let it sit on my shelf, thinking I would read it when I got around to it.

Holy shit. It's brilliant. The narrative is moves from online escort advertisements two faxes and instant message logs.

My fascination with Dennis Cooper w...more
This is a page turner masterpiece. Incredibly suspensful in a format that I find questionable at first - but just got sucked into it. Dennis Cooper I think is probably one of the most interesting living authors at this moment.

He really looks at the horror and as a reader you can either be offended or charmed by his prose, which is direct yet poetic at the same time. This is really a remarkable and well-thought out little thriller of sorts. In other words: Love It!
Christine No
Myth is a dangerous thing.
And this book reminds me of watching a Haeneke film. (Which I feel really weird about).

It's a a good book. Masterfully woven. Relevant look at the early 2000's, internet culture, experimentation, truth and the relationship between imagination, psyche and the mutable power of promise.

Read it. And when you're done, go sit in the sunshine for a few days.

Profoundly disturbing. All hail Dennis Cooper.
what the fuck?!
Juana "Darkness" Duran
Brad was a troubled kid who had a fettish for rough sex with men. So he begged and begged for it until one man said "yes". Their first time together it was good but then Brad started to get crazy. As time went by they saw each other even more. Only to realize that Brad was a Sociopath who was molested at every turn. So the website owner took Brad to the hospital to get checked out because he suspected that he had a disease in the brain. Turns out he was right Brad had a tumor in his brain that t...more
Apr 29, 2010 Liz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
The Sluts was a book someone had recommended to me a while back, so when it turned up at the bookshop where I work, I decided to give it a go.

While not for the squeamish, I found that Cooper handled what was incredibly dark material in a fantastic way. Even at it's most graphic and disturbing, The Sluts never feels like a cheep thrill. It's dark and twisted, but at the same time full of human pain and problems.

The book takes place in the deepest and darkest corners of the internet, and is told b...more
Will Trich
This is an atrociously beautiful book filled with passages that will both shock and titillate the reader. There is no nuance to the way that Cooper writes about sex in The Sluts, but the graphic and disturbing passages often raise the most philosophical questions. The story is basically that of message boards on prostitutes, mixed with some S&M and brutal rape. It raises a couple to legendary status in this seedy community, while giving them this idea that no matter who they are they could n...more
I thought the first 20 pages or so were engaging. Who was this famed escort? Who was telling the truth? But some time after that I just felt the story was dragging on and on. Maybe I'm just too lazy to memorize many names, but the whole thing just got extremely repetitive.

Since the whole story is centered on online-forum reviews/threads, you can't exactly grasp a person's personality on only x amount of posts x makes. (At least, other than the basic "main" characters.) Sure, you understand they...more
still processing this one. a swift, vile read. the layers of mystery & lies surrounding the murder of one gay male escort and the identity and whereabouts of another make me wonder if cooper was at all in on the j.t. leroy scam -- he wrote the novel before the scandal broke and the similarities between the situations of each are enough to warrant suspicion.
extremely graphically violent, although much of the violence is fantasy. but all fiction is fantasy, right? well -- in this book, everyth...more
Un romanzo folle, osceno, estremo. Un romanzo coraggioso, perché ci vuole un coraggio mostruoso ad addentrarsi nelle menti di uomini che sembrano sempre più bestie (senza offesa per le bestie), uomini che sono pazzi, sadici, violenti, drogati, e dei grandi bugiardi.
Questo thriller metapornografico - così è stato definito - è interamente costruito su un mosaico di bugie che nascondono, trasformano e violentano la verità. E' una spirale di perdizione anche per lo stesso lettore, che ad un certo pu...more
this is not for the faint of heart. you probably don't want to read it, unless you are already familiar with cooper and like his work. i can only think of one person who knows me personally who i would tell to read this book, and he's read it already.

(but if a reader can handle this book, it's a good book.)
I thought this book was interesting, but I should have read the synopsis before checking it out. I didn't finish it because I was really confused about which character was real, and which fiction. Also, I didn't like the part about snuff films, it was just too hardcore for me. I did like that the format was so different from the average novel, jumping from message boards to emails. The tech he describes is somewhat dated. I think today he would use Twitter and Facebook as well or instead of some...more
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Dennis Cooper was born on January 10, 1953 and grew up in the Southern California cities of Covina and Arcadia. In 1976, he founded Little Caesar Magazine and Press, which he ran until 1982. In 1985, he moved to Amsterdam for two and a half years, where he began his ten year long project, The George Miles Cycle, an interconnected sequence of five novels that includes Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide, and...more
More about Dennis Cooper...
Frisk Closer Try Guide God Jr.

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