“Written in Mr. Cooper’s taut, chillingly ironic prose. . . Try is about a world under severe emotional repressiona fascistic world of pure sadistic power. . . . As improbable as it may seem, Dennis Cooper has written a love story, all the more poignant because it is so brutally crushed.”The New York Times Book Review
978-0-8021-3338-0 • $13.00 • Paperback • Apr. 1995
Simultaneously deadpan and queasily raw, Try is the story of Ziggy, the adopted
teenaged son of two sexually abusive fathers whose failed experiment at
nuclear-family domesticity has left him stranded with one and increasingly
present in the fantasies of the other.
He turns from both of these men to his uncle, who sells pornographic
videos on the black market, and to his best friend, a junkie whose own
vulnerability inspires in Ziggy a fierce and awkward devotion.
Terminally insecure and yet inured to sexual brutality,
Ziggy questions his two fathers, his uncle, his drug dealer, his friends, and
himself in an attempt to isolate and define the vagaries and boundaries of
sexuality, attraction, and abuse, compiling their responses into a magazine
that he calls I Apologize.
In prose that is taut, rhythmic, charged, chillingly
precise, and beautifully controlled, Cooper examines his characters’
motivations not as the product of cultural coercion but as the emanations of
something hungry and amoral and essentially human. Try explores “that
buried need to go all the way and really possess someone,” that place where
desire disintegrates into the irrational. He illuminates with utter clarity the
need to claim the desirable, to possess wholly something that will fulfill the
profound emptiness of the human soul.
With Try, Cooper has produced a novel even more
complex than his previous books, dangerously innovative and with the startling
familiarity of truth in its examination of love, obsession, devotion, and the
depths of human need.