From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A return to form—in the sense of incorporating frank depictions of sexualized violence—Cooper's latest follows on the heels of God Jr.
(Reviews, May 16), which tells the story of a marriage's disintegration in the wake of an adolescent boy's death. This book, too, features a dead boy—or at least the fantasy of one. The title men are denizens of a Web chat site that reviews the performance of hustlers such as Brad, a blond who looks like an angelic teen but is probably older, and who may or may not have been killed, or snuffed, by a john. Time wobbles in the book. Brad's passivity drives a certain type of dominant to distraction, and Brad gets rave after rave review, rendered by Cooper with deadpan perfection. But as Brad peaks and then begins to decline, Cooper pieces together his Portland, Ore., backstory, and hardcore s&m moves to blood and mutilation. Brad is eventually pimped out by a man named Brian for "the ultimate" with a Web regular who may be a serial killer—one who first comes to an agreement with his victims on a price for killing them. The eerie matter-of-factness with which all of this is discussed is what makes this neo-epistolary novel fascinating, and certainly the best extant work on extreme queer s&m Internet culture in any genre. (Nov.)
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A dizzying pileup of bareback breeding, castration procedures, master-slave mind games, boyband necrophilia fantasies, and consensual snuff sex, The Sluts is this will sound strange the most enjoyable of Dennis Cooper's novels to date. It's a guilty pleasure, not in the middlebrow conception of the term, but in a radical, almost interactive sense: The reader, assuming the implicated vantage of the avid voyeur, cannot help suffering a twinge of complicity. --Dennis Lim, Village Voice
Cooper deserves reassessment, but until an Oprahesque crossover occurs, this compelling page turner ought to remind adventurous readers that important transgressive literature needn't be something only the French and the occasional perverted American can get behind. --Brandon Stosuy, L.A. Weekly
Not for the squeamish this sick, hilarious fictional excursion into the depths of hustler fantasy is for readers who appreciate Cooper s brilliant ability to dig truthfully into depravity. A paper edition was published in October by Carroll & Graf, but it's not as handsome as Void Books' original signed, limited edition. --Richard Labonte, San Francisco Bay Times
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