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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  24 reviews
“Set in the late 1990s, Shuck describes with great clarity and verve the last gasp of a gritty Manhattan.”—Bruce LaBruce, film director

Shuck is the intense, dazzling diary of a male hustler in New York who tries to manage his reputation as the city’s porn star du jour when he’s not dumpster diving, tweaking, or trying to get published. A remarkable peep show of a novel abo
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Arsenal Pulp Press
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Richard Derus
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Book Report: In the late 1990s, hustler/street trash Jaeven Marshall gets rescued by remittance man/blocked perfectionsit artist Derek Brathwaite, who grooves on Jaeven's bruised and abused body. The two begin a peculiar and passionate love affair that never involves sex, but truly touches the heart of any romantic in its deep and vital connection. Jaeven uses Derek as a home base, a touchstone, and a security blanket. He rises (!) in the just-then-efflorescing porn world as a porn performer ...more
Jason Bradley
Jul 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diary, ebook, gay, memoir, fiction
3.5 stars- This was odd and funny and poignant and funny and confusing and sad and touching and enjoyable.
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was visiting my mom in hospital, where she was recovering from major abdominal surgery.

"Let's go for a walk," she said, but she wasn't doing well, so we only made it maybe halfway down the hall before she steered us into The Family Room to have a sit.

This was an extremely terrible Family Room: harsh lighting, torn vinyl couch, and the TV... the TV was so battered that the only way to operate it was to stab a butter knife through a scarred hole in its front and pray to Jesus. That wasn't my ide
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shuck is the story of Jaeven, a street hustler, gay porn star, diarist, meth addict, and unpublished writer. The book takes place in the late 1990's in Manhattan. Shuck consists of short segments, narrated by Jaeven. We follow him episode to episode, and it quickly becomes apparent that Jaeven is a man worth following. He's witty, sometimes happy and somewhat miserable. He is often filled with both bravado and fear.

Shuck feels like a true story, and that's because it contains grains of truth fr
Oct 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
A cuttingly funny read on the struggles of Jaeven Marshall to be a struggling writer, both in trying to be published and struggling to write. Distractions abound-the sporadic uncertainty of street living, a reprieve with a new relationship (ambiguous) and room and board with another artist, a porn career that feeds, then threatens to subvert the writing, and the personal foibles of self. A pop apocalyptic sense of finality increases as the book careens towards the end of the millennium (Y2K fear ...more
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
It has a lot of the issues of a first novel. And I do think it had potential for a lot more than what was delivered. There were amazing scenes that completely sucked me in, but in between those were parts that made me want to give up on it. But it's a very fast read, for better or for worse. And I do think the ending redeemed the whole book, at least for me. This one is probably something that requires another read, but that'll be easy because it's so short and quick.
Tristan Goding
Nov 20, 2015 rated it liked it
If you are a fan of this type of book, this is definitely worth seeking out. The episodes here are as dingy as you would expect, but there is a poetic vibrancy to the writing that I found to be infectious and immensely readable. SHUCK is full of life, but more importantly it is realistic. No words are minced and no feelings are spared. This is a cold book. In its coldness, though, it holds a tale that is as touching as anything you would expect from similar writers. I couldn't put it down.
May 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
I read this book in one setting. I'm going to confess that I picked it up because the author started following me on twitter. It's the story of a porn star/gay male hustler and his tricks. It's written in a lovely style that is extremely poetic and a bit non linear. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it and how much I wanted to keep reading it.
George Ilsley
Sep 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, gay
A thoroughly enjoyable read from a gifted new writer. The narrative voice is mischievous, perverse and engaging. The narrative is interspersed with charming lists, each of which is a prose poem of compelling details.
Jul 22, 2010 rated it liked it
A hustler in New York. This book reminds me of Just Kids. Mapplethorpe was a hustler at times he needed money, of course before he became successful.

Shuck is explicit. If that bothers you give the book a miss. Other wise it is an interesting but ultimately sad story.
Bud Perry
Dec 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: gay men
Wonderfully poetic; a lyric tale about a hustler who fluidly balances between the people who uses him and the people he uses.
Jan 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Nominated for a 2008 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Debut Fiction. The winners will be announced at a gala on May 28 in New York.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Queer punk rollercoaster of a New York hustle.
Larry Benjamin
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shuck is the story of a quasi-homeless, young man—Jaeven Marshall—who seems to be moonlighting as a hustler/porn star wannabe, while waiting for his real life, as a writer, to begin. He’s also the drug-addled dumpster diving narrator of the story. He seems to be half in love with his moody painter benefactor/roommate, who himself is, maybe, a talented painted. Maybe, is, in fact, this book’s one constant: maybe Jaeven is a writer, maybe he’s a no-talent bum. Maybe he’s in love with his roommate, ...more
I'm a bit neurotic, and when I first read this book in manuscript form I couldn't help but notice that it takes place at the exact point when I lived in New York -- and the narrator is a hustler of about my age at the time, no less -- and so I was immediately transfixed by the humor especially and the crazy specifics in common with my (fictional and non-fictional) life, who knew? A friendship was born! But of course I couldn't help calling attention to the things I believed couldn't possibly hav ...more
Michael Estey
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What's worse than being an unpublished teenage writer living in New York City?

Being Jaeven Marshall, an unpublished teenage writer, who's hustling, selling his body to survive until he gets his big break and someone discovers his writing talent, all the while being addicted to Crystal Meth, living with his off and on sugar daddy, in New York City.

Shuck - A novel by Daniel Allen Cox

Shuck - as in Shucking off ones clothes. The story opens with this young man at the top of his health and looks. A r
Adam Dunn
Apr 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: glbt
A quick read, worthwhile enough but more for what it indicates the future may bring for the author.

A typical first book, coming of age tale with a 23 year old protaganist that likes to use drugs and make bad decisions, like we all did at that time, but I was glad I wasn't 23 anymore as I read this.

The novel is at times overly bleak, I would have preferred a more upbeat tone, but there was moments of humour, especially at the beginning, that showed promise of what the author may do in the future
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Canuck Mr. Cox does it again and does it like no one else.

Now this novel is about a gay porn star/writer/prostitute, so there is some gay sex involved.

I liken his words to that of William Burroughs; short descriptive sentences that have you hang on every word. Jaeven Marshall is also a liar, but that just makes you like him more. He ventures to become the next New York Boy and well, telling you more would ruin it. His observations are astounding and his curt comments of others witty and mean. He
Nov 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
I'm sort of embarrassed to say I read this...but, what the hell. It was an advance reading copy that came in to the office, and a co-worker was so disturbed by it, yet also intrigued, that I picked it up too at a book swap. Crazy read, but also interestingly written, with a few challenging insights about porn and art.
Black Heart Magazine
Read my review online at Black Heart Magazine:

And check out our interview with author Daniel Allen Cox at
Laura D
Jul 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: told-to-read
sonewhat dsitrubing.

This is a new genre for me and I'm not sure I like it. On the other hand I've almost read the whole thing in three days!
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's more of a 3.5 book.
Loved the writing, didn't like the ending and the feeling that there wasn't really a story there.
At least it didn't drag.

Interesting author.
John Kitcher
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
this book proves that not all stories about sex and drugs are worth reading.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
"Shuck" is a well done attempt at a turn-of-the-century first-person narrative akin to the New York City memoirs that populate its not too distant predecessors. Daniel Cox via Jaeven the street hustler presents a natural character arc in which we watch a boy from the streets rise to the pinnacle of success in his unchosen field all the while failing to rise to the occasion in the field he so desires to succeed in.

A both honest and very real account of the life of New York street hustlers, "Shuc
rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2011
rated it it was ok
Dec 20, 2012
Vincent Chevalier
rated it liked it
Dec 28, 2011
Drew Ferguson
rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2009
Daniel Baylis
rated it really liked it
Jul 07, 2012
Mon Graffito
rated it really liked it
Apr 07, 2017
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Blurbs 1 4 Jul 12, 2008 05:52PM  
Synopsis 1 2 Jul 12, 2008 05:52PM  
  • Holding Still For As Long As Possible
  • What We Do Is Secret
  • Twenty-Six
  • The Sluts
  • Lockpick Pornography
  • Bob the Book
  • Missed Her
  • The Angel Riots
  • Soucouyant
  • Even this Page is White
  • First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far)
  • Finnie Walsh
  • A Model Summer
  • This All Happened
  • We Disappear
  • Buddies
  • Macho Sluts: Erotic Fiction
  • Simple Recipes
Daniel Allen Cox is a former Inches cover model, video porn star, and interviewer for the New York Waste. He lives in Montreal.
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