Tag Archives: Dennis Cooper

Review: Ugly Man

Ugly Man
By Dennis Cooper
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: May 2009
ISBN-13: 9780061715440

272pp

The blurb from Barnes and Noble:

Internationally acclaimed writer Dennis Cooper continues to study the material he’s always explored honestly, but does so now—in stories—with a sense of awareness and a satirical touch that exploits and winks at his mastery of this world. As it has done for decades, Cooper’s taut, controlled prose lays bare the compulsions and troubling emptiness of the human soul.

The Short of It:

WTF?

My Thoughts:

Ugly Man is a collection of short stories. When I say short, I mean short! Some are just a paragraph or two and most are just a few pages long. The stories center around these themes: sex, death and homosexuality…and then more sex and then more death and then toss in some gore for good measure and you’ve got an idea of what’s contained between the covers.

When I read the first story I was shocked! I gasped out loud. Then when I read the next story I shuddered and then slammed it closed. Then somewhere around the fourth I began to look forward to it and that is when I realized that I must be a twisted *uck because how could anyone in her right mind get into this??

These stories include such things as an abusive Santa, a line editor that is a bit anal-retentive (and I mean that in the truest sense of the word), cats being beaten to death and Cooper even includes a list of the worst Russian porn sites. How thoughtful!

If you can deal with the shock value, there is humor. Here is an sample from Santa Claus vs. Johnny Crawford:

“Johnny’s psychiatrist gives him troubling news: Generous, gift-giving Santa Claus is in fact his sexually abusive father. Wracked with disbelief, Johnny runs outside and has a nervous breakdown.”

I laughed my ass off at that.

There is quite a bit of foul language and crude humor. Definitely not a book for everyone but some may find it interesting. Next time you swing by a bookstore I dare you to give it a looksie.

This book was sent to me via Twitter by @HarperLibrary.

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