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God Jr.

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  819 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Dennis Cooper's sparely crafted novels have earned him an international reputation-even as his subject matter has made him a controversial figure. God Jr. is a stunningly accomplished new novel that marks a new phase in Cooper's noteworthy career.

God Jr. is the story of Jim, a father who survived the car crash that killed his teenage son Tommy. Tommy was distant, transfixe
Paperback, 176 pages
Published July 21st 2005 by Grove Press, Black Cat (first published July 10th 2005)
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Mike Kleine Pretty much, yeah. Cooper even says that--"[It] was heavily based on Banjo-Kazooie and it's sequel, Tooie."

Pretty much, yeah. Cooper even says that--"[It] was heavily based on Banjo-Kazooie and it's sequel, Tooie."


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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  819 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Mike Puma
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012

One of those novels I liked, but I’m not quite sure why. One of those stories that reveals itself slowly, painfully, and with a buzz on. One of those stories.

I’m going to read or reread some of the reviews from people on my lists and see if I can put it together. And if I can, maybe, perhaps, like God, Jr., I’ll tell you …sorta. Maybe. (This is where you pause in reading this review to simulate the time I spent reading other reviews)

This one came to my attention via J N-M’s review. Whether you

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
"Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

God Jr. does not contain graphic and gratuitous violence and sex and as such is apparently the most unusual book Dennis Cooper has written. This is the first and, so far, only of his books I've read, but several fellow readers are big fans and I've gleaned what I know about his work through their reviews. Instead of having a cast of gay characters engaged in scene after scene of violent sex and death, we have a presumably straight father quietly loose
Eddie Watkins
Jan 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: american-fiction
Cooper does Dick without dick.

Somehow this little book , or one section of it at least, made me feel ickier than Cooper’s books dealing explicitly with extreme sexual violence. What made me feel icky here was the long chapter that took place mostly within an inane video game. The main character, the father whose recent life has been consumed by guilt for being responsible for the death of his son, is a pot head making ill-guided efforts at reconnecting with his dead son. One of these efforts is
Mar 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: assholes
(Former rating: one star. Former review follows.) I re-read this in 2016 and got super pissed at myself from 2007. What was wrong with me? This is a fantastic meditation on denial, depression, getting stoned so you can not have feelings, but mostly grief. Maybe I'm ten years older and ten percent less full of shit or something and better able to appreciate books that don't have a bunch of mutilation and sex in them. This book rules. Go to hell, me from 2007.


(2007)Answers the question, "what w
Nate D
Mar 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: ill-chosen monuments
Recommended to Nate D by: a cartoon chimp groundskeeper
Shelves: read-in-2012
A pretty weird one, even by Cooper standards: grieving dad descends into the stoned video-game half-life his dead son formerly occupied in a desperate effort to escape the mess he's made of his life and extract some kind of meaning from his loss. The loneliness and alienation of grief. The necessity and unavailability of deeper significance in ordinary things. Cooper is always strangely specific with pop-culture references compared to most literary writing, though highly adept at investing them ...more
MJ Nicholls
An interesting take on grief with computer game ferrets/bears instead of graveside weeping. I didn’t understand why the second part had stand-alone paragraphs on each page, nor did I see the purpose of asterisking off each new paragraph in the other sections. Otherwise, it was a semi-successful experiment. For comment on the content, see Joshua or Nate or Mike or Eddie. The author’s surname reminds me of the prepubescent sitcom Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper which was the highlight of my Sunday morning ...more
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
There are a number of images that might spring to mind when one considers the art of Dennis Cooper: homosexuality, violence, teenage sex and drugabuse. A common criticism of Cooper's work - by those who fail to grasp the full scale of the project Cooper has undertaken - is that there is no plotting, no character development, none of the things that we traditionally associate with a "great" novel.

And of course, this is, in a sense, perfectly true.

Every book by Cooper is seemingly a matter of life
Mar 27, 2014 rated it liked it
This is by far the best review of Banjo Kazooie I've ever read.
Ugh man I don't know how I feel about this one.

I think it's interesting that Cooper wrote a narrator who's a complete asshole and doesn't want to change. Combined with the dark premise and the downward trajectory of fortune our characters face, God Jr could be a farce if it weren't played so straight. God Jr is a vignette of a person who has gone past "fucked" a long time ago and stopped caring about whether he's fucked or not.

A man is paralyzed from the waist down in a car crash that kills his
Aug 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
God Jr. is a very important part of Cooper’s body of work—partly because, unlike most of his other fiction, all of the physical violence in God Jr. happens “off-stage.” In the absence of explicit horror I could see and feel the psychic landscape of disconnection and escapism without the voyeurism and adrenaline that clouded my reading of the earlier books. The horror in God Jr. is heartbreakingly ordinary: the failure of a father to connect with other people, especially his son, drives him to ab ...more
Jan 08, 2009 rated it liked it
No one gets this book, least of all me. What is the point? A pothead loses/kills his video game-obsessed pothead son; fakes paraplegia; becomes obsessed with video games himself; and then is so high or crazy that he starts talking to the various and sundry animals in the game.

It's not that it's a great book by any means, it's that it's unique, which is difficult for a book to be in a post-postmodern world. It makes people want to talk, and I don't really consider the reading process over until
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book is so w/e in every way. Would write something more thoughtful about how annoying it is when every arty white dick writes a novel that's "dark" or about fucking he gets called a genius. The prose is stark/stripped down - nothing I haven't seen in other works by the same kinda guy or as people have cited, Joan Didion, who at least writes about things a little more interesting than some narcissistic, depressed asshole who accidentally kills his son and evades accountability at all costs. ...more
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
God Jr. is a highly audacious novel by Dennis Cooper that satirizes the grieving process some people go through after losing a loved one. It's the story of Jim Baxter, an obtuse pothead who loses his teenage son in an automobile accident, and decides to memorialize his son by building a ridiculous building based on a few sketches he doodled. It turns out the building was cribbed from a substandard video game Sonny played incessantly while stoned. Nintendo comes knocking threatening lawsuits!

David Smith
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sparse and bleak, but beautiful in its mastery of tone. Its short length made it digestible...any longer and you'd expect some turn around for the main character. But as is, we can leave him sinking further into his reality-denying hole.

This is my first Dennis Cooper, and I only heard of him because he was mentioned as an influence behind Pig Destroyer lyrics. Had to find out why, and I guess some of the author's more well-known forays into violence would fill out that particular grindcore image
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the first and only book of Dennis Cooper’s that I’ve read.

A lonely and damaged father tries to find meaning in his son’s premature accidental death by playing his favourite video game - from the son’s last save-point. Multiple narratives of self-loathing and distrust for the father’s new reality emerge, as his continued drug use and obsessive metaphorical explanations for in-game occurrences bleed into real world interactions. This spirals an ongoing mental unravelling that sees the fat
Mike Kleine
Aug 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Amazing sentences. The, "What is this about" is sort of Lifetime-like. Dad & son are involved in car crash (with light post) and dad kills son because son goes through windshield. (But if son wasn't wearing seat belt ...right?) After that, rest of book is pretty inventive. Dad is obsessed with drawings he believes son drew. Begins to play Banjo Kazooie-esque video game his son played a lot. Son was a pothead. Dad is a pothead. Wife is wanting to leave dad. Kind of funny to read something so inte ...more
Morgan M. Page
Feb 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Ok, so like not my favourite Dennis Cooper novel. It's kind of like he was trying not to write about the main thing he is obsessed with - sexviolence - to prove that he could. So we have all the stylistic concerns but they lack the same passion or obsession that drove them before. It's almost a response to the extreme excess of gross outs that is The Sluts.

What we're left with is an interesting exploration of grief that feels like it's missing something the whole time. Every page I was waiting f
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
'God Jr.' was first published in 2005, the same year as 'Sluts'. Both are a departure from Cooper's general oeuvre and, imo, far more interesting. I also challenge anyone to show me a novel that's technically 'better written' than this one. The adjectives and characters are true, tight & original. Every page is a solid wall of narrative propulsion. It's an extraordinary feat of poetic engineering without poem and, imo, a strong contender for finest existential novel of the 21st century so far. ...more
Oct 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A quiet meditation of sorts about a father's grief over his deceased son. To get into his head, the father starts playing the son's favorite computer game. Unusual Dennis Cooper novel in that it doesn't deal with 'Gay' characters, but really, his work has never been about "Gay" subject matters. More about desire and where that leads...
sonny (no longer in use)
God Jr. by Dennis cooper, although I read this in one sitting it isn't his best, no where near the perfection of frisk or as disturbing as the marble swarm but still it is different from the usual i want to be killed/fuck me/abuse storyline. it keeps the profound vagueness and existential outlook that makes dennis cooper who he is. 4.5 stars
Dec 14, 2007 rated it did not like it
I appreciate that Dennis Cooper wrote a different kind of novel, but this is my least favorite of his novels.

Although, it has come to my attention that perhaps I would appreciate this book more if I understood gaming culture.
Nov 14, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: novels
Do people like this? How does this stuff get published? Just crappy, crappy writing. And everything's bleak. And life sucks. The end.
Vincent Kaprat
Jan 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
Ugh! This book is the reason why more kids are playing video games instead of reading.
Aug 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-library
Great book. First time I've read Cooper in like ten years. Strange to read a book by him that doesn't feature cute gay boys mutilating each other.
Adam Wilson
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
That's a crazy fucking book.
meow Zane
Wow, this one isn’t about tearing apart the buttholes of yearnful teens! Cishet characters, what the ?!

A bummer, nevertheless, along the mournful, angsty lines of MY LOOSE THREAD. A boy dies from a car accident. The dad resorts first to building an impossible, grandiloquent tower as a memorial. When this is revealed to be a hopeless non sequitur, literally everything falling apart around him, he seeks resolution in a cute video game.

Plenty of cooper’s characteristic black humor suffused with war
Strawberry  Trellis
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was my first Cooper novel and I’m almost disappointed to find out the rest aren’t like this (though I am excited to start reading frisk) it’s fun and reminds you of all the types of people and places you can find in literature. Despite its bleakness this novel is a comforting book imo
Hilton King
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Not my favorite of his, but still pretty good.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it liked it
"I don't even mind if I've built a monument to a bad, stoned idea that meant almost nothing in the first place"
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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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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