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Smothered in Hugs: Essays, Interviews, Feedback, and Obituaries

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  144 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
“In another country or another era, Dennis Cooper’s books would be circulated in secret, explosive samizdat editions that friends and fans would pass around and savor like forbidden absinthe.” —New York Times Book Review

“His work belongs to that of Poe, the Marquis de Sade, Charles Baudelaire, and Georges Bataille, other writers who argued with mortality.” — San Francisco
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Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by Harper Perennial
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Tosh
Jan 28, 2010 Tosh rated it really liked it
Of my generation (don't ask my age) Dennis Cooper is one of the more important writers that's out there. His fiction i think is going to be tattooed on the literary map for a long time. What is not that much known is his non-fiction writing, especially his critical writing on the visual arts as well as literature. And what we have here (to be released in the Summer, 2010) is a collection of his non-fiction work for various publications.

It is not like one agrees with Dennis Cooper, but knowing wh
...more
Ryan
Dec 31, 2010 Ryan rated it really liked it
I love the idea of Dennis Cooper's fiction, though I haven't ever liked the end result, at least of the ones I've read. His non-fiction, however, I find fantastic. Provocative, astute, mostly unpretentious, and he writes about lots of things I'm interested in. I think a sure sign of a great critic is that he or she makes you want to go investigate whatever it is they're writing about, even the bad stuff. Cooper can make almost anything sound interesting, even if it's only because it's so non-int ...more
Andrew
May 13, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it
Dennis Cooper is a very good essayist, interviewer and journalist. Just a few of the pieces in this anthology that I think are stand-outs include his interviews with John Waters, Keanu Reeves and the late Brad Renfro. His perspectives on pop culture are engaging and incisive.
Sarah
Feb 03, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. So much awesome stuff in it. Interviews with courtney love, bob mould, John waters, mike Kelley, brad renfro and a ton of other people. He just has amazing taste. And is so smart.
Alexandra
Oct 30, 2013 Alexandra rated it really liked it
If yr short on time dig up "Phoner: The Sonic Youth Liner Notes". It is a literary treasure.
Blog on Books
Aug 10, 2010 Blog on Books rated it liked it


Dennis Cooper is many things – poet, essayist, critic and novelist – but through it all, he is insightful, cutting, personal and dark. As a critic for various magazines and alternative weekies, his work often mines the outer edges of popular culture, which is exactly what is collected in this new compilation from Harper Perennial, “Smothered In Hugs: Essays, Interviews, Feedback and Obituaries.”

In it, Cooper tackles such luminaries as Courtney Love, John Waters, Quentin Tarantino and others who
...more
Tristan Goding
Dec 25, 2015 Tristan Goding rated it it was ok
Dennis Cooper's opinions of folks like William Burroughs and Robert Bresson are quite unique, his obituaries for young talents like Kurt Cobain and River Phoenix are quite beautiful, and his various interviews with folks like John Waters and Leonardo DiCaprio are quite enjoyable, but overall this was a remarkably unmemorable collection of essays, interviews, feedback, and obituaries. I read through all of them in roughly two days and have not had any desire to read any of it again. You go throug ...more
Erica
Jan 10, 2010 Erica added it
Smothered in Hugs is a collection of Dennis Cooper's interviews, reviews, and cultural criticism. If you're a fan of his, it's essential. If you've never heard of him before, you'd still probably enjoy the interviews with people like Stephen Malkmus, John Waters, Clive Barker, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc. I admit to glazed-over eyes during some of the art criticism if it was about someone I had never heard of, but the interviews nicely made up for it.
Brian Kovesci
Sep 04, 2014 Brian Kovesci rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
This was an attention-grabbing collection of essays. I couldn't put it down. Some of the essays themselves lost a bit of relevance over the years (the contemporary art in the 80's and 90's may have been cutting edge but I wonder if these artists are remembered) but overall the celebrity interviews and music reviews were quite entertaining, and sometimes meta.
Lisa
Apr 03, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this book. It is really well written and some of the essays are fantastic. I think the main problem, which would make my giving of 3 stars unfair, is that I am too young to remember half the things he writes about.
Lindsay T.
Sep 10, 2014 Lindsay T. rated it liked it
3.5
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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
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