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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  454 ratings  ·  25 reviews
By daring to use death to look at life, Cooper gives us a new perspective on our deepest fears and needs. This collection of stories provides an overview of his evolution and, as William T. Vollmann wrote in The New York Times Book Review, a portrait of “our soulless and decaying society.”
Paperback, 176 pages
Published January 14th 1994 by Grove Press (first published January 14th 1993)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  454 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Nate D
Dec 14, 2015 rated it liked it
As is typical for me, I'm more pulled in by longer-form storytelling, so the winding, desperate opener here, "The Herd", was the highlight. Even moreso than Cooper's first novel, Safe, a generous inclusion here that still felt a bit like three separate stories tied together in order to trace a common contour. Other highlights: timeless punk band story Horror Hospital, and the sequencing slight-of-hand that follows up the blunt detailing of a sex act in "Dinner" with a sort of narrative art criti ...more
May 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Y'know what was weird about this? Not that ol Dennis broke the fourth wall, exactly, but that like, he winked at me. In most of his other stuff that I've read, he's all straightfaced like 'then the dazed teenage drug addict spread his friends ass as far open as he could and stuffed his arm into it. To the elbow. Totally hot for the smell of blood and shit.' But in this one, he talks about "God" in quotes and alludes to having feelings! Weird. I know that I am a little bit obsessed with him so I ...more
Kane S.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was a very frustrating book. I had mixed (though mostly positive) feelings about Dennis Cooper's other book, The Sluts. It seems to me a very strange metafictional text, and I would certainly suggest that people read it. But Dennis Cooper's earlier short fiction, collected here in Wrong, is so much of the same thing, I became very bored.

Listen, I understand that Cooper's thing is perverse sexuality and violence. But I find it hard not to roll my eyes by the seventh description of a gaping,
Oct 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Dennis Cooper is one of the most underrated American authors. He has a vision and skill to go to places that most people wouldn't want to go there. He's a great explorer and I don't mind him driving me to those dark locations.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Somewhat repetitive, but the writing is beautiful. There isn't much to it; a lot of sex is had, some death happens. If you like Cooper's other work then it is worth a read but there's not really anything special here
Apr 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
Disturbing themes. Stream-of-consciousness presentation. Characters that I had a difficult time empathizing with or ultimately caring about.
Robin Graber
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: queer-as-hell
Not my fav. A few good stories but most were pretty “blah” for me.
Jul 18, 2007 rated it liked it

I've read 7 Dennis Cooper books in the past year (which probably has me on some kind of terrorism / subversive-group government watch-list). Dennis Cooper is an author with somewhat limited appeal. His books are unlike anything else I have ever read. You can't really know what a Dennis Cooper novel is like without actually reading it. There's lots of rape, torture, murder, child molestation, drugs, mutilation, necrophilia, and other transgressive activites in just about each one. There are defin
"I shove the knot of my feelings as deep as they'll go into as compact and smooothed-out a prose style as I can build out of what I know. But they don't belong here, any more than a man's fist belongs in a boy's ass."

C'è solo uno scrittore capace di ammaliare e intossicare insieme, di stordirti e sconvolgerti, sì da suscitare repulsione e attrazione - questo scrittore non può che essere Dennis Cooper.
Wrong è una preziosa raccolta di racconti giovanili, scritti e pubblicati tra gli anni Ottanta e
Jun 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
There are gorgeous passages of language in the stories collected in this 1992 volume, but the endless, repetitive litany of sexual abuse, rape, murder, and blank emotionlessness can leave me feeling as numbed out as one of Cooper's lost, drugged-out teenaged boys. "A Herd" & the title story are brilliant and chilling; the rest was hit or miss with me, and led me to wonder if Cooper ever found new territory to explore in fiction since his heyday as the grand old man of Gay Alternative/Transgressi ...more
I think Cooper's fiction works better in a longer novel form so you have more time to become involved with the characters. With his short stories it is almost an endless parade of the same man over an over again in each story (sad, lonely, horny, depraved, desperate, insatiable, violent, perverse, overstimulated) and they all seemed to blend together into one never-ending and interchangeable tale.

This is the third Cooper work I have read since the summer and I think I need to take a break as no
Alexander Veee
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
"George thought of things that had haunted him during his life: A staircase that, after turning a corner, led to a brick wall. B&W photos of great buildings destined to be dusty heaps. A human face that had turned into just one more mudslide from heaven.

The hotel loomed in the distance. Its neon sign blinked out VACANCY. "An appropriate place for myself or what's left of me," George thought. He headed for its rococo, checking the faces of hapless pedestrians for his reflection. But they stared s
Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Bundel die verhalen verzamelt uit jaren tachtig en negentig. Hierdoor diverser dan ’s mans George Miles-cyclus (Closer, Guide, Frisk, etc), met verhalen in zijn befaamde afstandelijke, nihilistische stijl, maar hier en daar ook wat sensationalistisch en zelf een als verhaal verkleed essayistisch gedrocht. De klassieke thema’s (seksualiteit, dood, geweld, verveling, liefdeloosheid, apathie, pornografie) zijn allemaal aanwezig, al slaat de vonk zelden over. (**1/2)
Oct 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
The extreme eroticism of this book disgusted and repulsed me. I am not a prude, I have read plenty of books with highly-sexualized scenes, but this just takes the fucking cake. Literature-wise I found nothing likeable about it. It does not teach the morals, values and ethics other people claim it evokes. Personally i find Cooper enjoying writing these kind of porno stuff. One star for the shock value coz I'm feeling merciful.
Apr 12, 2015 rated it liked it
I find it exceedingly difficult to commit to reading collections of short stories. Most fail to build characterization and it's what compels me invest in the plot. With Dennis Cooper's work I enjoy how every act, no matter how degrading is the result of each characters personal anxieties and fears. Everything is psychological, rarely carnal if at all. One story I enjoyed in particular above all others is Safe. Definitely worth the read.
Gary Lee
Jun 09, 2008 rated it liked it
A decent, and different, collection of Cooper's short stories. Unlike his novels, the stories found in this collection are far more fleshed out and appear slightly more literary -- some benefited from this, others seemed to drag on into tedium because of it.

Since it's been long out of print, and can be difficult (and expensive) to track down, I appreciate the inclusion of Safe; however, having just read it a few months ago, I thought the inclusion of it here was unnecessary.
Nov 14, 2007 rated it liked it
oh Dennis. These are early stories of Cooper's, so reading them AFTER reading some his novels, especially the George cycle, makes it hard--they seem repetitive.

The basics are all here: death, dismemberment, sex, you know, normal Cooper stuff. Possibly a good intro--some of the stories were weak.
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The stories in Wrong are actually a tad bit subdued, as far as Dennis Cooper goes. His normal obsessions-sex, death, pornography-are certainly present, but the content here is a bit more nuanced, creating a pervading atmosphere of darkness rather than going straight for the jugular with the gory details.
Jamison Spencer
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wish I had read this earlier in my Cooper reading because this is the book where it finally clicked for me what he is doing in these super disturbing books.
Jul 15, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: knuckleheads
Shelves: dontbother
when are clowns like cooper gonna realize there is neither shock nor value in shock value anymore.... zzzzz....
sonny (no longer in use)
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, recently-read, 5
my mark made me so upset :'( oh dennis.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I really want to give this 3 stars because the story was kind of lacking, but Dennis Cooper writes in such a disturbingly hypnotizing way, his writing in itself deserves 4 stars.
Richard Chiem
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
one of my favorite collections of stories
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
More Cooper gay death eroticism. Great if you like the author.
rated it it was ok
Nov 24, 2007
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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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