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Period (Cooper, Dennis) [Kindle Edition]

Dennis Cooper
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The stunning conclusion to Dennis Cooper's five-book cycle, Period earned its author the accolade "a disquieting genius" by Vanity Fair and praise for his "elegant prose and literary lawlessness" by The New York Times. The culmination of Cooper's explorations into sex and death, youth culture, and the search for the ineffable object of desire, Period is a breathtaking, mesmerizing final statement to the five-book cycle it completes. Cooper has taken his familiar themes -- strangely irresistible and interchangeable young men, passion that crosses into murder, the lure of drugs, the culpabilities of authorship, and the inexact, haunting communication of feeling-and melded them into a novel of flawless form and immense power. Set in a spare, smoke-and-mirror-filled world of secret Web sites, Goth bands, Satanism, pornography, and outsider art, Period is a literary disappearing act as mysterious as it is logical. Obsessive, beautiful, and darkly comic, Period is a stunning achievement from one of America's finest writers.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cooper's fans will not be surprised, but the uninitiated may balk at his new novel's macabre world of disaffected young men engaging in Satanic sacrifice, gang rape, cutting-edge pornography and nonchalant mutilation and murder. Undaunted readers will find a subversive brilliance and considerable wit behind this darkly comic ride through the looking glass of marginal youth culture. Cooper (Closer; Frisk; Try; Guide) imbues the fifth and final novel in his "Sex and Death" series with a mythic tone, centering the action in a remote, nondescript town and a mysterious house, all black on the inside except for a large mirror. Events take place on both sides of the mirror in two (or more) equally dangerous worlds that reflect and affect one another. But that is only the beginning of the mirror imagery. The main characters are a string of young men who eerily resemble each other, including voyeurs Leon and Nate, pothead Dagger, and Nate's boyfriend Bob, who's obsessed with dead-ex George. And there is a novel called Period within this novel, which a Satanic band called the Omen have popularized among their Goth followers. A cabal of pornographic Webmasters and their online audience likewise celebrate the inner novel, which also features a cast of interchangeable young men, a nondescript town and its mysterious house. As the two narratives, the characters and locations mirror each other, it eventually becomes clear that reality is only a series of endless reflections. Cooper plumbs themes of obsession, love, identity, authorial paradox and communication breakdown with virtuosic narrative technique. And he succeeds in wringing insight and even humor from abhorrent visions of sadism and blackness. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In the final volume of his five-book cycle Gain, Cooper not so much explores but repeats the obsessions of his other works: teenage white boys, sexual fetishism and violence, murder, drug abuse, and exploitation. Here, he adds these elements to the mix: Satanism; a maraudering Goth band; Dennis, a character who is - you've guessed it - just like the author and meant, no doubt, to raise lit-crit issues about authorial responsibility; and, finally, Internet chat, tiresome but certainly realistic. Although always lacking traditional narrative momentum, Cooper's earlier workds, especially Try, had unmistakable power and intensity. Not so here. There are too many characters, and the writing is too fractured and too self-conscious. If the point is that we don't care about these kids, it's swiftly made. Cooper has committed his last transgressive act: boring the readr to death. . A delight, no doubt, for Cooper's many fans; others should skip it.
Brian Kenney, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1741 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (December 1, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0097DHSTC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,579,753 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love and Dismemberment March 29, 2001
Few novelists pursue their chosen themes with such morbid enthusiasm as Dennis Cooper. For more than a decade his quintet of novels - Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide and now Period - have obsessed over sex, child pornography, drugs and dismemberment. Undeterred even by death threats, Cooper has played out his violent fantasies in these novels with a disturbing purity of vision. His new novel Period marks, as its title suggests, the end of the cycle. He's claimed that it's both a `disappearing act' and a `suicide note.' Considering the spectral and sparse quality of the book both comments seem particularly appropriate.
The quintet began back in 1989 with Closer. Yet it was Cooper's 1991 novel Frisk that really stirred controversy, deliberately blurring the line between fantasy and reality and securing its author a place at the cutting edge of contemporary American literature. Period draws out the same themes and concerns as the preceding novels, charting the bored angst of gay West Coast adolescents and their middle-aged paramours as they drift into experiments with drugs, Satanism, sex and ultimately murder. Like grim parodies of Enlightenment anatomists, Cooper's protagonists believe that dismembering the bodies of their lovers will reveal the truth of existence, bringing them closer to an absent God and saving them from the demystified consumer culture that surrounds them.
What has always been so impressive about Cooper's work is his dedication to narrative forms that replicate the violent content of the books. His prose has sought to cut into the flat surface of the conventional pornographic or horror text through the use of flashbacks, narratives-within-narratives, and stream of consciousness techniques.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The equal of 'Frisk' September 26, 2000
By A Customer
The photo of 'Walker Crane' (a take on Wes Craven, of 'Scream' fame??) at the back of the book looks like an uglier, more descript version of Tim Robbins, but maybe it's just the lighting. The character Henry is my favourite in this book. He's so obssessive that all of his victims begin to look the same and their continued existence comes to depend on a trivial yet all important event in his past. The idea that physical beauty helps us deny what we are is an important theme here. The surface is just gift wrapping, but even the 'deep, incontrovertible' truth of blood and sinew is mute and meaningless. This is the best book ever written on the pointlessness of desire. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary Cliff-Walking as Payoff March 12, 2000
By A Customer
Cooper's "Period" is a fitting finish to his cycle of novels which examine the extremities of human desire. It is a sparse, elegant, poetic mind game that references its 4 predecessors, while giving a final spin to Cooper's themes. Cooper has always taken great risks with his extreme subject matter, and that's no different here. "Period" might be graphic and disturbing, but the writing is so fine that the book cannot be dismissed as mere sexualized horror fiction. "George," the main character in the first novel of the cycle, re-emerges as a focal point; yet he and many of the other characters seem oddly one and the same. The book uses a doppelganger device, via a rather humorous introduction of teens dabbling in Satanism and also a sort of magic mirror, to allow characters' identities to swap back and forth. The author himself is present in the story, as in the previous novels, though not with the name "Dennis" this time. In fact, there are two artists/authors in the narrative, further exploring ideas of what makes up identity. Cooper has great fun with this idea, in his typically morbid fasion. Reality and fiction blur constantly, as the novel winds through its unnamed town where boys prey on each other, a goth-rock band gathers human victims for its "art," and the artist/author builds a spooky memorial for "George" in the form of a pitch black house haunted by memory, longing, and desire. Cooper is really writing about love in all its power, and he does this using things that usually conjure up the opposite of love. The fact that he accomplishes all this in just over 100 pages, with spare prose that evolves into poetry at unexptected times, makes this novel, and the entire cycle, an absolute classic. Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lifestyle choices? March 16, 2000
By A Customer
this one's even foggier, you just don't know what's going on, hardly any of the ultra detailed descriptions of, say, Guide, instead you're left with voices, diary entries and 'anonymous' internet chat, while the 'plot' just vanishes inside this multi mirrored projection hall. we're not really in the city anymore either, it's a small town, then a forest, then a house in a forest, and then someone gets lost in this house. Blair Witch? this is even scarier, I suppose, as we're left with traces, memories, voices and the usual all consuming dance of death and desire. Where next? we can't leave that house anymore, so we have to go back to 'Closer' and one of its characters, and we have to start a website with some strange photos of some distant looking boy, who we're slowly getting obsessed with...did i understand? are these still lifestyle choices? actually these are probably 5 stars, for at least 5 books. goodnight.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not read this book!
This book was awful. The story line was hard to follow, and the book didn't make sense at all, a waist of money.
Published on January 4, 2012 by Hatedthisbook
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary equivalent of a glorious night ride.
This was my first Dennis Cooper book. I have since read all of his books. And I must say that none of them can ever hold up to this, my first experience. Read more
Published on December 30, 2005 by Antonio A. Urdiales
2.0 out of 5 stars Morose Blathering
I purchased this book based on the review of Bret Easton Ellis which highly rates Cooper as "a brilliant, triumphantly lurid writer as well as a supremely elegant stylist, who... Read more
Published on September 3, 2005 by DONALD G. FOX
4.0 out of 5 stars A trippy, conufsing tale
I must say i was surprised to say the least when i read this book and got out of it nothing i would have expected. Read more
Published on September 1, 2004 by Jessicka
5.0 out of 5 stars horrified? heartbroken? confused?
'Period' by Dennis Cooper is at times horrifying, heartbreaking, or just confusing. Horrifying becauses of it's violent implications and stronghold to truth. Read more
Published on August 27, 2001 by erin a. caldwell
5.0 out of 5 stars horrified? heartbroken? confused?
'Period' by Dennis Cooper is at times horrifying, heartbreaking, or just confusing. Horrifying becauses of it's violent implications and stronghold to truth. Read more
Published on August 27, 2001 by erin a. caldwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficulty Defining and Destroying Desire
"Period" is likely to anger many Cooper fans due to its spare qualities in narrative, character, form. Read more
Published on July 14, 2001 by njr
5.0 out of 5 stars Odyssey
This is about the money to party, no date for the prom...crystal meth brewing in the bathroom, death metal on the stereo, raising demons in the woods... Read more
Published on June 3, 2000 by Qasim Ali
2.0 out of 5 stars Fizzle, fizzle
Dennis Cooper has named his latest book after a punctuation mark -- the most common, perfunctory punctuation mark (except for the lowly comma). Read more
Published on May 3, 2000 by Timothy Hulsey
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