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Frisk

(George Miles Cycle #2)

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  3,345 ratings  ·  153 reviews
When Dennis is thirteen, he sees a series of photographs of a boy apparently unimaginably mutilated. Dennis is not shocked, but stunned by their mystery and their power; their glimpse at the reality of death. Some years later, Dennis meets the boy who posed for the photographs. He did it for love.

Surrounded by images of violence, the celebrity of horror, news of disease, a
...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published November 11th 1993 by Grove Press (first published 1991)
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Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,345 ratings  ·  153 reviews


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Paul Bryant
Sep 25, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: homophobes
Shelves: novels
Frisk is the gay American Psycho, and like that horrendous novel it revels in grossly repellant violence, and just like American Psycho, you have to ask yourself what the point is. And it's hard to say. Ellis's novel was supposed to satirise the yuppie greed-is-good 1980s. Okay, it does. But the violence towards women in that book goes on for page after page after page. And after say 15 pages, the reader is justified in saying Okay Brett, I Get The Point Already!! But on and on the violence goes ...more
Eddie Watkins
Jun 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-fiction
Years ago this book would’ve repulsed me, and not because of its extensive rimming, its deep digital anal probing, its examination of others’ turds, its languid sadism, or even its graphic sexual torture. It would have repulsed me because of its offhanded nihilism, its obsession with image, and its cult of youth.

I used to ask so much of books – new worlds promised, religious and philosophical issues probed, mysticism - and now here I am reduced to reading about violent gay sex fantasies and scar
...more
Ben Winch
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anglo, american
For those who subscribe to the cult of language (ie: without beautiful language a book can’t be beautiful; the bricks are all, the architecture is irrelevant; this whole kneejerk anti-plot perspective that seems to be de rigueur in our corner of Goodreads), I’m here to tell you: there are other cults. Other criterion for excellence. And they’re valid.

Me, when I was a lad, I subscribed to a cult of structure. Probably stemming from my reading of Slaughterhouse Five as a teenager (remember that zi
...more
biki576
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt-themes
This novel isn't rated five stars because I enjoyed the experience. Make no mistake, you will hate Dennis Cooper at some point during this book, probably multiple times. I certainly did. But what makes this book so special and unique is the WAY it takes you to the dark, horrible places it inhabits, and its agenda for doing so. Despite being about the way American culture connects violence and sex, it doesn't fetishize sexual violence. Its characters have fetishes around violence, but the book it ...more
Bee
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing!!! It basically has all the disturbing shit that I love to read: violence, rape, inappropriate sexual relations and a whole lot of disgusting human beings.

This book is definitely not for everyone, and I honestly believe it has only been written to make everyone as uncomfortable as possible. There's barely any plot, the characters are literally there to be a part of the sex acts, and it might has well been written as a couple of short stories. But I love it!

I also love the
...more
Nate D
Dec 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who desire
Recommended to Nate D by: found photographs of ghastly things
What Dennis Cooper is on about here, beneath all the porn and violence, is actually pretty subtle and articulate. This is sort of his deal, and it explains the sharp polarization in the reviews he gets. Here, Cooper's program is a total de-romanticization and dismemberment of the idea of sexual desire, particularly in its potentially destructive aspects. For his characters, particularly narrator "Dennis", desire doesn't actually help anyone connect with anyone else. More the opposite. Desire her ...more
David M
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was actually less cruel than I anticipated. In the end Cooper seems to say murder & mutilation are really no solution to the human predicament. It's a book about the relationship between fantasy and reality. You think the first necessarily aspires to the second, but that's not always so.
...more
Christopher
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
My fourth favorite novel of Cooper's (after Guide, Try, and The Sluts). I wouldn't say that Cooper is an acquired taste; he's a rarefied taste. Not "decadent," though there's something dandyish in Cooper's precise prose, and of course death and decay themes pervade Cooper's novels, as they do "decadent" literature. What distinguishes Cooper's work from "decadent" writing is Cooper's urgent need to work out these (admittedly disturbing) issues of violence and pedophilic sex. And he does so withou ...more
Connor Ong
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dennis brings me back to my high school days when I was genuinely convinced that the thoughts I had and the emotions I felt were truly, at their core, beyond any immorality and level of shame that any other teenager was going through. It is sad to think of how much happier I would have been during those years to have a book like Frisk, passing me notes, telling me "it's okay--fantasy isn't reality, I think those things too"

Beyond the shock value and aesthetics of transgression that appear in Fr
...more
sonny (no longer in use)
far better than American psycho and far more believable, will write a review soon.
Ben
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dennis Cooper is one of the most infamous cult authors around but Closer, the first book in his five-novel George Miles cycle, left me disappointed. Thankfully the follow-up, Frisk (great title, referenced in the text in enigmatic fashion), is a much stronger, more distinctive work. This is a provocative, sometimes disgusting (i.e. graphic coprophilia, mutilation etc.) read that operates on multiple intertwined levels: it’s a psychological portrait of an obsessive mind circling the abyss; a meta ...more
Patrick
Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Godfuckingdamnme for giving this horror four stars.
Devon Rose
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you don't see the point of this novel, you didn't read it closely enough.

Frisk represents the ultimate experience of death, sexuality, and madness. Cooper pushes the limits again and again, repeatedly thrusting us beyond the line we last imagined with language as raw as his characters.

By the end of the novel, Cooper confronts you with none other than yourself. What do you want to happen? In taking you through the narrator's mind (who is at once omnipotent, omniscient, and first person), Coop
...more
framptonhollis
Great or godawful or something in between. Or nothing in between. This novel is most likely some combination of these things. There’s no way for me to give such a book a rave review nor can I give it a negative review. On one hand, it’s a psychosexual horror story infused with perverse philosophy; on the other hand, it’s excessively gross and ugly (and the ending is underwhelming). I can’t say I enjoyed reading most of this, particularly its gruesome second half, but that doesn’t take away from ...more
Laura Obscura
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the feelings evoked from reading Dennis Cooper's work. Like a horrible car crash, I'm peeking through my fingers sometimes to see what's on the next page. Awe and repulsion at the same time. I really ask myself sometimes what I'm learning from Frisk. I guess rather than put it that way, it's more of a reflection of sensory assault. So, like The Human Centipede, once you know what it's about and you can handle it, you're set to experience it. It can't get any worse.
Brandy
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books you'll likely not read again, but it is worth reading for the first time. The story is a bit slow at first and soon picks up in the middle only to conclude the way you would have probably predicted. It's sick, vile and absolutely unsettling, but I loved reading it and wanted to read the rest in this series after reading this one.
Kira
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parts of this one dragged for me until the last chapter. The conclusion is brilliant, and I sure didn't see it coming. I feel weird about empathizing with some of characters, especially after that conclusion. People I am not really like at all. Which is probly good for me.
PaperBird
Did a review of this book here: https://youtu.be/pUYb26Pte1Q ...more
Clay Brown
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frisk By Dennis Cooper Scary And Dazzling Thrill Kill Gay Action

_________________________________________________________

Part two of the George Miles Cycle by Dennis Cooper we reviewed his first book Closer a little while ago.

George doesn’t appear in this 2nd volume which is mostly about Dennis, a very upset person who fantasizes about murdering others usually boys or young men of a certain age and look.

Dennis is joined by his best friend Julian soon into Frisk they befriend a young dope addict
...more
Eric
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dennis Cooper is a marvelous maker of images and moods. Frisk extends and develops the theses of Georges Bataille in The Tears of Eros, tracing the concomitant natures of death, eroticism, and the sacred, from the Upper Paleolithic to now and now and now A.D.
Friedrich Der
Jan 15, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: intelligent people who like shock
Recommended to Friedrich by: found it 2nd hand
I found this deeply disturbing and I didn't bother finishing it. Narratives about sociopaths are nothing new - think American Psycho, Natural Born Killers etc - but what makes this one different is that there is no satire. It's also just about the most graphic thing you will ever read. The victims are presented as insentient toys, beautiful and moronic. The other characters complicity accept the murders and do nothing to stop them. Add it all together and you have something that glamorizes tortu ...more
Ian
Aug 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
This is a difficult book to rate. It is a snuff fantasy that is first and foremost intended to provoke. I read this for a college course, and this is probably the only reason I would do so. Inside are depictions of deviance, sexual torture, and evisceration. An example of a choice scene: the murder and dissection of a man, and subsequent filtering of organs and fluids between the fingers, in order to discover his essence. And it gets worse.

But this isn't simply shock fiction. Cooper's premise is
...more
Brian O'Connell
A disturbing horror novel, an intriguing structural experiment, an ethical inquiry into the tug-and-pull between desire and morality: Frisk is many things, but it is first and foremost a wrenchingly personal exploration of the author’s own admitted fascination with sexual violence and torture. I admire Cooper’s courage in putting out such a (seemingly) revealing and honest book. Of course, not all of us will be able to directly relate to these highly specific fantasies of rape and manual disembo ...more
Michael A.
Like de Sade and Bataille had a baby conceptually, and Genet and Ballard had a baby stylistically, but not quite as interesting as any of them (though I can't say I liked Ballard's Crash, it was definitely...something interesting! Though I liked this more than Crash). The book gets progressively better, and the ending is very oddly wholesome. I respect the idea of the book quite a bit (the exorcism of unwanted fantasies/desires through literature/writing), but it was almost a chore to read at ti ...more
Grace
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia
This book is messed up. Truly.
Trevor Pearson
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
“My perfect type tends to be distant, like me. I don’t mean matter-of-fact, I mean shut tight. Like he’s protecting himself from other people or pain or both by excising himself from the world in every way, apart from the obvious physical stuff you need to get by such as walk, talk, eat, etc.”


The narrator of Frisk is a young man named Dennis who like many boys at the ripe old age of thirteen would begin experiencing with his own sexuality, hoping to have it form like the majority, in a healthy
...more
Doug
Feb 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a book to finish on Valentine's Day, huh?

I'm not sure what I *thought* Frisk was going to be about, it was just one of those books that I had heard about from a couple of different sources right near the same time and so I figured it would be interesting to ride that coincidence. I did see a quick blurb, and noticed it had to do with obsession and snuff films and recreation and I thought, "Oh, alright." The blurb barely sunk in until I was a chapter or two inside...

Things this book has, if
...more
Dan
Sep 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
a tough book to "rate," and a tough one to unravel.

this is my first official dennis cooper novel, though i've followed his blog fairly closely for several years. i expected something harsh, but it actually exceeded my expectations in the taboo-breaking department. the majority of it reads like a hybrid of the marquis de sade and a larry clark movie. fucked up sex, abstract philosophizing, vaguely bored man-children, etc. sometimes the combo works and sometimes it's just unpleasant to get through
...more
Mario
I've been aware of this strange little book for several years and finally decided to start reading it out of curiosity a few days ago. For the most part, it contains a lot interesting ideas regarding the extreme (more extreme than most readers can imagine) side of sexual fantasy. Also, it's told through a sort of omniscient first person narrator which I found pretty intriguing/bizarre (still not sure if it 100% works though). I knew going in it was going to be gruesome, but the level of fucked u ...more
Ezra Blake
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, this book was about obsession and the futility of intimacy. The protagonist is obsessed with getting inside his lovers, and he can never get close enough—he can bridge the gap between bodies, but there is no closing the gap between minds. He’s also chasing an ideal which can only exist in fantasy. For anyone who’s ever fallen in love with a fictional character, this strikes close to home. I loved Frisk, from a philosophical perspective.

I really, really wanted to enjoy it from an erotic p
...more
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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
  • Try
  • Guide
  • Period

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