Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Frisk by Dennis Cooper

Title: Frisk
Author: Dennis Cooper
Publisher: Grove Press
Published: 1993
Pages: 144

Rating: 2 out of 10

I picked up this book at a library book-sale, intrigued by the vague description on the back cover.
When I read the Jean Genet quote that came before the book started, I knew that this was going to be a heavily sexual story - and it was. Depending on how they are written, books like this normally don't offend me.

However, this one really made me feel uncomfortable. I know that that was the author's aim, as his writing was pointedly shocking.

The book opens with a series of photographs being studied in detail. These photos are child pornography / bondage, and the reader is led to believe that the child in the photographs has been severely hurt at the very least.

Fortunately, there was not an emphasis or focus on child porn in the rest of the story, or else I probably would have put it down (something I normally refuse to do, no matter what!).
However, the rest of the hard-hitting sexuality in this book is certainly present in every sentence you read.
I got the feeling that it was very overdone - a dirty, merciless world of sex, drugs, alcohol, more sex, more sex (and, yes, more sex) - just seemed like the author was trying to squeeze in as many filthy, offensive, shocking things as possible in record-breaking time.

The result is a very scattered, messy little book. All of the endless fragments annoyed me, and rendered the flow of this book into a jerky, disconcerting style. I could never get into it, and all of the characters seemed to be exactly the same - dirty, more or less world-weary, shamelessly sexual.
This book tried too hard and accomplished nothing, in my opinion. Maybe you would have to read the rest of the books in the series - but that is definitely not something that I ever plan on doing.
This book was certainly not my type of reading.