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Guide

(George Miles Cycle #4)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  693 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Chris is a young porn star who wants to experience death at someone else's hand; Mason has lurid fantasies about members of British pop bands; Sniffles is a teenage runaway whose need for love outweighs his attachment to life. Courtesy of a frankly manipulative author/narrator named Dennis, these characters and more move through a subterranean Los Angeles where hallucinati ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 6th 1998 by Grove Press (first published 1997)
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Apistatcommander they're all preeeeeeetty unconnected, i understand they're considered a "series" because they focus on similar themes and Cooper's ruminations on a re…morethey're all preeeeeeetty unconnected, i understand they're considered a "series" because they focus on similar themes and Cooper's ruminations on a real life relationship with a real life person named George Miles... I would suggest reading them in order because you can see his writing progress in real time, plus, why not. But if one catches your attention more than any others there's no reason not to read them out of order.(less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  693 ratings  ·  41 reviews


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Eddie Watkins
Jun 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-fiction
There's a philosopher's stone at the heart of this novel and it's a petrified lump of shit high up in the ass of a teenage junky. At first this lump is merely an erotic curiosity discovered during deep and relatively innocent digital anal probing, but later it becomes a potential mystical object in the hands of a sadistic dwarf. The "harvesting" of this stone provides the most potent image in the book - The dwarf slowly stabbing a willing boy to death during sex, then slicing around the boy's as ...more
Nate D
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
In the full context of the George Miles cycle, this is the fourth, sitting symmetrically across the relative calm of Try from Frisk. Which is the other of these narrated from within by a writer named "Dennis" who is prone to murderous fantasies. But as opposed to the cold amorality of the Dennis in Frisk, this is an apologetic, sometimes antithetically sentimental Dennis. Who actually has a hand in more direct harm than Frisk's Dennis despite this. (Doubtless, though, neither Dennis seems likely ...more
Eugene
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
after getting through this drug-blurred, blood-oily, post-sex sense-deracinating--i decided that DC is not so much a sadist or even really, fundamentally, a provocateur. that that's not his primary impulse, but rather it's indeed some kind of exploration of the ecstatic--in all its forms. and the ecstasy-explorer is searching out taboo and murder and drug-experience not out of a negative motivation, not for rage or violence against society, but much more basically out of a movement toward the tr ...more
Evan
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Déjà vu," Luke muttered. He'd seen Scott reenter the room in that exact way before. Time was he'd have figured such thoughts were just fallout from LSD, DMT, Ecstasy. . . . Now he knew they were magical.

Truth is dry. You'll know the truth when everything in your world seems as if it's been cooked until nothing is left but the exact information that separates it from other things in the world.

I couldn't risk meeting his gaze for some reason. I sort of hate it when things get too obvious.

That's t
...more
Zweegas
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The skin on Luke's face was a fog. Scott could see, or almost see, his friend's skull or, more specifically, that curious object which certain historical types labeled "the skull." It was more like a pkhw . . . Words failed Scott. A filament? But weren't words too complex to manipulate properly? Luke, for instance, meant nothing compared to the word "Luke," because it defined a million people named Luke. Or take "love." "Love" was the world's favorite word. But it was also a lie that human being ...more
Roof Beam Reader (Adam)
Oct 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, bold, and brilliant. A lot of Cooper's unique and trademark style has been carried over into Guide but with some innovation. For instance, Guide is much more personal, it seems. This episode of the George Miles series is, in my opinion, the best because it brings together the three previous novels and begins to explain who George Miles was to Dennis, why he is so important - how he changed Dennis forever. The novel somehow manages to be touching, heart-breaking, and disgusting all at ...more
Angela Roberts
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read Guide in one sitting at the Berkeley Library feeling a little bit guilty, like the library would collapse upon my head if Berkeley's famously tolerant liberal parent population knew what was going on.

Guide is only the third or fourth of my Cooper explorations. It does not invoke the same level of oh-shit what-the-fuck-am-i-reading-omgNO-fist-rape-death-trip inspired panic as Ugly Man, which so far is my favorite for its florid visuals and DC's mastery of short prose form, but it does tou
...more
David
Mar 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
I found this book less offensive than just sort of boring and pointless. Cooper tosses around scenes of child pornography, sexual violence, and drugs all over the place, but I can't tell that he has any real self-reflection or insight into himself or the people's he's talking about. On top of that, I really don't like his writing--Genet, Rimbaud, and others Cooper is often compared to not only have a beautiful, original grasp of language, but they have something to say about art and beauty amids ...more
Jacob Louder
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book pretty much changed my life—my living life and writing life—all my lives. I read Guide in one day or so, which is a big deal because I'm a very slow reader. It is compelling as hell. What Cooper did here for me with his characterization and his darkness and his simplicity—his writing is equally gorgeous when it's complicated and when it's minimal, look at it here—anyway, what he did for me no other author has done before: he made me understand that I could write anything I wanted, unap ...more
Daniel Gillespie
Jun 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Dennis Cooper book. Features unspeakable crimes committed against the bassist from Blur.
Brian O'Connell
How is Dennis Cooper’s writing so unbelievably good? We may never know the answer, but one hardly needs to when the books are so rewarding in and of themselves. Guide is one of his absolute best: on par with Try and The Sluts as definitive evidence of his literary wizardry. The penultimate volume in the epic George Miles Cycle, it provides the clearest articulation of the novels’ core themes: the dance between love and obsession, sex and death, intimacy and loneliness, fantasy and reality. It br ...more
Ross
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Unbelievably twisted, confrontational and vile.

Also fantastically written.
Joe
May 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
I'm all for exorcising personal demons through writing. Heck, I've done it myself. However some demons are best exorcised privately for the exorcist's eyes only.

Such is the case with Dennis Cooper's work and such is the case with Guide.

If you're not familiar with Cooper or his work let me clue you in. Cooper is admittedly a very, very fucked up man. Some fucked up things happened to him as a kid and even more fucked things happened when he lived in Amsterdam. So much so, that Cooper has a person
...more
Larry-bob Roberts
Before you call up the FBI and report Dennis Cooper and his kiddie-porn making, drug-taking, rockstar-mickey-slipping, child-killing friends, repeat to yourself "it's only a book."

This is the Wes Craven's "Scream" of Dennis Cooper books, in which people have read his other novels and ask if he's really the serial killer you'd think. Dennis tells the pierced-face poseur kid who asks that just like him, he only decorates himself, but it's on the inside instead.

Like an episode of Seinfeld, there's
...more
winter
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The constant presence of 1990s rock in Guide is part of why I love it. I guess the title itself references Guided by Voices. It's written to suggest a kind of confessional via fictional proxy, with "Dennis Cooper" himself as the protagonist. It's the book of his I've read that felt the most vulnerable. But the vulnerability feels like an affect and the pseudonymous, obvious appearances of Blur and Silverchair probably lead the reader to surmise that the web of Dennis' friends and acquaintances t ...more
Gary Lee
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Of the five Cooper novels I've read (Safe, plus 4/5 of the 'George Miles cycle'), this one is, by far, my favorite. Everything I found to be lacking in Try seems to be placed back in with Guide.
Every book in this progression has found an author becoming more confident in his voice and in his art; Try was certainly no exception, I just felt there to be some faint form of disconnect overall. However, Guide seems to be Cooper at the height of his game.
With this novel Cooper blurs the line between
...more
D.C. Flake
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
Recommended to D.C. Flake by: Satan
This is my absolute favorite novel. DO NOT READ IT!!! It is rightfully considered obscene in most civilized societies and I cannot in good conscience ever recommend another person should pollute their minds with this book. It is raw and gritty with characters so completely self destructive and abused that should one allow themselves to sympathize with any one of them it will leave you feeling depressed, dirty and violated.It is a brilliantly jaded masterpiece that no society will ever be ready f ...more
Josh
Sep 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
Happened upon this book in the library reshelving and thought I'd revisit a controversial author I used to admire. I now firmly believe he should be burned at the stake... I quit reading this after about 30 pages. If you think child pornography and the sexual murder of drug-addicted teens for entertainment is appropriate reading material, for ANYONE, then help yourself to this trash. What was I ever thinking?
John Rimbaud
Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a remarkable account of several lost teenagers living in the LA area with the main character telling the story, which is the author. It has many scenes describing homosexual activity, rape, murder, snuff flim making, etc...The basic elements for nihilism on the West Coast. It's a good read for those who have a strong stomach and enjoy homoerotic text. Far more darker and intelligent than most books out there.
Thomas Hale
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Death, sex, child abuse, loneliness, drugs and mid-90s bands. The fourth in his George Miles cycle, with some of the most dark and upsetting scenes yet, but also some of the most uplifting. It feels more detached than the previous books in the cycle, and the ultra-unreliable-narrator thing is tied with a lot of autobiographical notes to make the contrast even more stark. After four of these I'm not sure what more I can add, but it's very good and melancholy and troubling.
Jenny
Feb 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jenny by: Duval Rodrigues
Shelves: fiction
fantastic, supergross and sexually horrific. cooper's a compelling writer, kept me glued, no matter how terrific or nauseous the scene, plus the GBV & pavement lyrics all over the place make it so 90s, the transcendence in the absolute creepfest make it so timelessy. totally jean genet's our lady of the flowers vibes. ...more
Amanda
Feb 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book was boring and sadistic at the same time. Kind of like that joke, "The Aristocrats." A lot of shock value, not a lot of substance. It's almost as if DC tried to include the sickest stuff his mind could come up with. If you enjoy reading about shocking, sadistic stuff and don't need a plot, this book is for you.
Andy
May 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gay-lesbian
When Dennis Cooper is good, he's very good, but when he's bad he's very bad. Guide goes between a lot of babble about boys taking acid, large quantities of it and then watching lots of kiddie porn. And that's it. There's only so many pages a man will slog through to read about acid, getting loaded and watching kiddie porn.
joshua caleb
Oct 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stacy
Nov 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Mr. Cooper has a gift of making extremely controversial and uncomfortable subject matter compulsively readable. His books are obviously not for everybody, but his genius isn't hard to see if you can stomach the contents.
This is brave and important writing.
Ryan
Feb 11, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Hey everyone! I'm Dennis Cooper. Look at all these f**ked up things I can think of." I hated almost every word of this book.
Bek
Jan 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
Grossed me out, had to stop reading it a few times. Felt as if he was straining be nasty as possible.
3z13
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
best book by Dennis Cooper hands down. God Jr is the only book to come as close...
Jacob Dougherty
May 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great novel about the struggle between what we want to do and what we actually do. There's some great wordplay and style in here too.
Jamie
Dec 14, 2010 rated it did not like it
Maybe it was just the frame of mind I was in when I read this....I hated it.
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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

Other books in the series

George Miles Cycle (5 books)
  • Closer
  • Frisk
  • Try
  • Period

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