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The Sluts

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  3,052 ratings  ·  215 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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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,052 ratings  ·  215 reviews


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brian
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: book clubs full of little old ladies
Shelves: 2013, glbt-fic
description

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

...more
Megha
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Barry Pierce
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
finally a castration scene that gives 'story of the eye' a run for its money.
Constantine
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: x-4-star, z2018-11
Rating: 4.0/5.0

I can't remember who or which website recommended this book to me. All I can say that it is something very dark and very sleazy. I feel even saying this is an underestimation describing how dark this book is! I could not find a physical copy so luckily I could borrow a digital copy from Archive.org, but I was in the waiting list for a quite some time which I forgot completely about until I was notified that the book arrived in my inbox!

The structure of this book is really interest
...more
Nate D
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Leo Robertson
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a work of demented genius.

I've never read something so convoluted and complex—structurally immaculate, mesmerising, both difficult to put down and to keep reading.

Cooper hones in on the seediest most depraved corner of the internet and fleshes out their darkest fantasies while, most disturbingly, never mentioning where these fantasies are coming from. Everyone within the universe of this book is simply in agreement about what they want to happen—and what they want is the most fucked up s
...more
Emma Sea
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow. A work of fiction concerned with the nature of truth. Recommended.
Adam
Nov 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Daniel
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Simply put, best book I've ever read. Profound filth.
Matthew
Jun 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Imogen
Apr 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Bud Smith
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wild book. Not as dark as it appears. Endlessly inventive, funny, zigzags a lot, surprises a lot. Cooper’s sentences are magnetic and the characters are coins with twelve sides to them.
The Sluts is kind of like if Nobokov rewrote Fight Club to make it sing like Pale Fire and then the purple poetry was edited out of its language by Lish. Also, besides that stupid little nonsense comparison,The Sluts is its own beautiful thing. I read this book because I sent a text to my publisher and asked for r
...more
Christopher
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
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
Christine No
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.



Matt Hlinak
Feb 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Tiffany Anne
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites





Thank you for pushing the boundaries and not just slightly toeing the line. This was frustrating in the best way. I love unreliable narrators and that’s pretty much all you get with this. The book takes place mostly on the pages of a gay escort website. It’s largely told through reviews all focusing on one mystery client. This has very graphic depictions of sex (in all its many forms. I always thought fisting was slang. I was wrong. It’s not slang for anything. It’s an actual fist. I was flabber
...more
Ashmedai
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Max III
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
THE SLUTS has made me nostalgic for pre-facebook/twitter internet, back before it all got so lazy. mysteries that could only be cracked by banding together on small message boards and staying up all night sharing various clues we'd all gathered.

now the internet is just, "lmao here's a screenshot of a tweet please share if you agree"

the moment everybody started using real names, everything went to shit
Kim BookJunkie ~ Editor & Proofreader
This book is a serious mind fu(k! I'm still not sure exactly what I just read! What I do know for sure though is that I was glued it to each page and had a hard time putting it down at night.

Dennis Cooper is an extremely creative person! In THE SLUTS, Cooper has developed a complex tale by using what are supposed to be reviews on an escort review website, emails and fax correspondence. Each of the reviews were posts by Johns describing their experience with the main character/escort. These revie
...more
Chris
Mar 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
ivan
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
often stories of immense insight into the human psyche are described as 'raw' but this one is literally poz. something about the age of the main prostitute fluctuating between 14 and 20 pushes the transgression over a certain threshold, re-focusing me towards the intrinsic fleeting quality of the web forum instead of the violence. just like "waking up" from an hour long scrolling session through whatever niche message board i'd stumbled upon that night, it was impossible to put the book down. it ...more
Kyle Likens
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As someone who considers American Psycho to be their favorite novel, the Sluts by Dennis Cooper was a serious mindf***.
Alternately disgusting and engrossing, haphazardly written and brilliantly constructed, I was astonished at the amount of intricate violence there was in this satire of gay culture. And this was absolutely satire, bordering on parody but the story was too compelling to put down. I give this 5 stars, but I'm not sure if I'll ever read it again.
Merritt K.
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I feel about Dennis Cooper the way straight people seem to about Chuck Palahniuk: he's funny, dark, and successfully implicates the reader in the spectacle of his subject matter. The structure here is also really smart, though the revelations kind of pile up really quickly in the last few dozen pages. In conclusion, I almost threw up at the surgery scene.
Jackie
Feb 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: completed
homosexual message boards of snuff and extreme sexual hook-up mutilation fantasies, fibs, and realities.
Perry
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
God mode
Melissa Jackson
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Simon
Mar 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
David M
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
sex workers of the world unite

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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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