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Shuck Paperback – April 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press; 1ST edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551522462
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551522463
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.3 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,005,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Shuck is fantastic fun to read. Assured and accomplished, Shuck is also chock-full of anarchic delights: loopy lists, acerbic asides, bursts of poetic description. And sex! It's so exciting to come across such a sensational book.
―Derek McCormack, author of The Haunted Hillbilly (Derek McCormack)

In his novel Shuck, Daniel Allen Cox gives us Jaeven Marshall, the bastard love-child of Dennis Cooper and Jim Carroll. He's a hustler, self-abuser, wannabe diarist, and aspirant to the dubious title of 'Boy New York'. You'll regret getting to know him, but you'll wish he were in your bed.
―Hal Niedzviecki, author of The Program and Hello, I'm Special (Hal Niedzviecki Hal Niedzviecki 2008-06-23)

Daniel Allen Cox writes truthfully and elegantly about a New York that I knew very well and that I miss very much. Set in the late 1990s, his novel Shuck describes with great clarity and verve the last gasp of a gritty Manhattan just before the war with the Eskimos, a bygone era that existed before wealth and privilege strangled the sweet life out of street life.
—Bruce LaBruce, director of Otto; or, Up with Dead People (Bruce LaBruce Bruce LaBruce 2008-07-01)

It’s an exhilarating read; Cox has managed to make the seediness and occasional brutality of this world downright glamorous, recreating the New York of this time with eerie precision.
Montreal Mirror (Montreal Mirror 2008-09-12)

A startling debut novel.... A distinctive coming-of-age story that poses thoughtful questions about the relationship between sex work and the creative process. A novel worth reading – for writers, whores, and everyone in between.
Quill and Quire (Quill and Quire 2008-09-29)

The character Jaeven is shrewd, calculating, and utterly captivating. Like a male Holly Golightly, he manages to twist everyone around his little finger with a wink and a smile—or maybe a smirk and a pout.... Shuck is definitely a page-turner, which will surely make it a popular hit.
Black Heart Magazine (Black Heart 2008-10-01)

In Shuck, these supposedly diametric opposites [of writer and whore] have met, made out and created a gay porn lovechild that references Dennis Cooper, JT LeRoy and the Marquis de Sade.
Hour Magazine (Montreal) (Hour 2008-10-01)

Cox is a brilliant storyteller. He’s able to reduce human emotion into hot shots of truth that singe the guts and set heads to shaking. Dirty and glorious, Shuck is definitely a fun read. (NewPages 2009-04-01)

Shuck is a novel that you think you're listening to with earbuds on a semi-long, semi-hard bus ride. You like to hear about dirty sex, especially from a stranger because deep down you like to think that we are all hilarious dirty strangers…. It is suddenly something you can't live without.
Broken Pencil (Broken Pencil 2008-10-29)

Cox deftly renders his non-traditional subject matter aesthetic and meaningful: porn shoots are predicated on relationships of power, bruises are beautiful, and discarded objects are emblems of cultural experience.... Shuck is a meditation on art and eroticism and commodity, and a document of sexual and psychological awakening.
Montreal Review of Books (Montreal Review of Books 2008-11-05)

An invigorating first novel….Cox's New York City has an off-hand, vibrant authenticity. It glitters and fumes.
The Globe and Mail (The Globe and Mail 2008-11-10)

Hustler novels aren’t as ubiquitous as coming out novels in the canon of young queer writers, but they are often just as indistinguishable one from another. Not so with Cox’s compact and bracingly original depiction of Jaeven Marshall, a charismatic boy for hire who can pirouette on a dime, or preferably a few hundred dollars, from pretty naif with a pout to jaded, do-it-all sex toy.
Book Marks (Book Marks 2009-03-09)

Cox’s tone, style and blunt depictions are similar to [Chuck] Palahniuk’s. This does not suggest Cox’s writing is derivative. Palahniuk – love him or hate him – is a contemporary force when it comes to brawling, bare-knuckled fiction these days. Cox, though, is a more compassionate writer – maybe it’s the Canadian in him.
The Danforth Review (Danforth Review 2009-03-09)

From violent johns to literary rejection letters, Shuck is unwavering in its portrayal of getting eaten slowly, but surely, by New York City’s Big Apple.... The diary entries are reminiscent of Jim Carroll’s Basketball Diaries. It explores addiction, sexuality, and the part of New York City that isn’t advertised.
EDGE Publications (Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, et al) (EDGE 2009-03-30)

Readers’ experiences of the book will match Jaeven’s experience of the world: fragmented, funny, harrowing, and humbling, with bursts of found poetry that transform the mundane world into a place of fleeting beauty.
Passport Magazine (Passport 2009-07-16)

The author himself is a former porn star who lets us peer deeply into a bizarre world--not through a clear lens, but through a kaleidoscope.... [Shuck] never fails to entertain.
Instinct magazine (Instinct 2009-04-30)

Its sex-worker authorship yields a work that is as exceptional as it is sensational. Shuck’s read is simple, yet compelling and provocative.
Pink (Chicago) (Pink 2009-05-02)

Cox is a very detailed writer, adding the most interesting nuances into his writing…. Shuck is a fantastic, quick-paced book that will have you laughing, cringing and hoping that something will happen for [main character] Jaeven.
Book Flapper blog (Book Flapper 2009-05-05)

Alternately brutal and witty, Shuck is an episodic book, en exhilarating ride in which the protagonist performs a kind of wistful eulogy for the seediness of the pre-Giuliani Manhattan…. As Shuck draws to a close, the author subtly points to a rethinking of our culture’s larger attitudes towards sex workers. That Cox manages to convey these larger ideas without heavy-handedness makes Shuck one of those rare books that has both ample brains and raunchy sex appeal.
Gay and Lesbian Review (Gay and Lesbian Review 2009-05-13)

Jaeven may prove a capricious, unreliable narrator, but he's also a one-man tour de force…. Cox has opted to give his hustler a heart beneath his gruff exterior; the cocky man becomes a quivering, broken boy in the space of a page…. Already shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award, Cox's novel is an astute examination of New York City's urban underbelly, as seen through the eyes of a fallen, wounded, but not flightless young bird of prey.
Bay Area Reporter (Bay Area Reporter 2009-05-15)

Cox takes narrative structure, smacks it around ... hogties it, pulls its pants down and spanks its tuchus until it’s as red as Rudolph’s nose.... Perhaps the only thing that can really be said about Shuck is, one can only hope Daniel Allen Cox ends up being a very prolific writer.
Gay People's Chronicle (Gay People's Chronicle 2009-06-05)

This is Breakfast at Tiffany’s if Chuck Palahniuk had written it…. Pornographers, players, artists, Duran Duran, Fiorucci, fuckups, and degenerates fill Shuck with a kinetic energy that tastes like sugar but burns like battery acid.
Nexus (Nexus 2009-06-01)

Shuck was deservingly nominated for a 2009 Lambda Literary Award and will transport you back to the peep show that used to be glorious New York.
—Richard Burnett, Hour (Montreal) and Current (Toronto) (Hour / Current 2009-06-18)

A great new voice to add to gay literature.
—InsightOut Book Club (InsightOut Book Club 2009-07-17)

Explores the disconnect between love and sex through the eyes of a young hustler... Shuck is sexy and sad, a fast read with a lingering aftertaste.
Uptown (Winnipeg) (Uptown 2010-01-15)

At once a love letter to chaos and a revelation of trauma − in short, resilience through language. I highly recommend.
Big Other (Chicago) (Big Other 2010-01-22)

About the Author

Daniel Allen Cox is a former Inches cover model, video porn star, and interviewer for the New York Waste. He is the author of the novella Tattoo This Madness In (Dusty Owl Press), and lives in Montreal, Canada.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bob Lind on March 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Shuck" is the hyperactive, A.D.D.-influenced-by-crystal-meth diary of Javeen Marshall, a gay man in his early 20's who is trading on his youth and sex appeal in the competitive world of New York City hustlers, models and wannabe porn stars. He considers himself a writer, and dreams of having a book published while collecting an increasingly-nasty series of rejection letters. He lives and sleeps in a shoe store stockroom, when he isn't able to work out a better place to live with any of a series of occasional benefactors interested in him for sex or just a welcome distraction. Among the latter is Derek, an artist whose creativity is enhanced by Javeen's presence, and he shares his loft with him. Javeen continues to seek out fame and recognition, as a model for gay magazines or "artistic" photo shoots, and becomes adept at getting what he wants by manipulating the individuals involved in the process. Any money in his pocket is quickly spent on crystal meth, which he justifies as necessary to offset his natural A.D.D. and keep him on path to his dreams as a writer. Time is not his ally here, and his popularity in "the scene" may be a vanishing commodity.

This is a short (151 page) book written primarily in stream-of-consciousness staccato fashion, occasionally providing intelligent insights into the dark side of the world of the alternative artist. While generally following his life in chronological order, it varies into frequent tangents and musings about other subjects in the narrator's past. Not an easy book to read, and not really that much to say, though it may be amusing on some level. I give it three stars out of five.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Finchy on April 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Daniel Allen Cox's debut novel, "Shuck," is a breath of fresh air. Jaeven Marshall stars in porn films, poses for nudie mags, and peddles his services to the desperate gays of New York as a hustler to pay for his two favorite vices: meth and fiction writing.

The closest we get to a traditional narrative are entries in Jaeven's journals. These document his rise from low budget prostitute to high end rentboy, a self-proclaimed "Boy New York." We also get a glimpse of an ongoing relationship with a man named Derek whom Jaeven sleeps in the same bed with nightly but does not consummate the relationship. We wonder throughout the book whether the relationship will ever come to fruition, and don't mind being distracted by Jaeven's melancholic digressions about what he finds in garbage cans, what the items say about New York in the 90's. We are also happily distracted by myriad lists and collections of objects Jaeven gives us in order for us to see the stunning, the sad, the gray puddle that is his life from which he is looking up from under.

These lists and collections of items supplement a fragmented narrative in a very clever way. This is one of the main reasons I believe "Shuck" to be as successful as it is. For the aspiring writers we have the collections of literary magazine rejections Jaeven receives for his short stories, from Tin House to The New York Times Magazine--many of them personalized rejections, which tend to be the most revealing. For the porn junkies we have collections of all the magazines that are out there: magazines for size queens, ethnic fetishes, twink love, any kind of porn novelty you can imagine. And there are those that you can't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Travel Notes on January 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Startling is the first word that comes to mind when describing Shuck. But startling in a brilliant and beautiful way. The subject matter almost frightened me away, which is probably what made it so compelling in the end. What a terrific read. Daniel Allen Cox can string words together with a joyful bounce. This book's reputation will certainly grow over time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Though SHUCK is not what anyone would expect as a 'novel', it is in fact a very well written collection of thoughts and experiences composed by Daniel Allen Cox in a quilt of easily readable portions that at the end of the book the reader realizes that the technique of writing does indeed make for a fine story. There are portions where Cox seems to intend to shock his readers with the true grit of the sleazier aspects of Manhattan's nightlife, these portions being delivered in the form of 'a hustler's week in New York City'. And in the category of shock value he at times outGide's Gide! But there are also the other aspects of being a loner on the streets of Manhattan, going from living in a laundry room to dwelling in upscale apartments. He manages to show the full spectrum of the life of a successful hustler, poser, movie 'star', wannabe writer, and at the same time draws vivid characterization of those who would take advantage of his talents. Throughout the book his main character interacts with the one person who offers him solid turf and understanding, and oddly enough that successful relationship is almost a platonic one!

Daniel Allen Cox understands how to spin humor from the most unlikely situations. He also has the good sense to keep his outlandish main character a lad about whom we care. It works and that is enough to encourage readers to give this little first book a try. Grady Harp, November 09
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