January 30, 2024



I'm so glad Choire Sicha has skewered the latest project from the sophomoric LeRoy.

In Leroy's bitty new novella, Harold's End, a wary, hopeless boy named Oliver is plucked from San Francisco's infamous Polk Street hustler huddle. Plumped up in the Castro district, in the home of an older man named Larry, he is given hamburgers, the best heroin available, and a pet snail named Harold. This arrangement goes sour after an evening of non-negotiated scatological play: "The fourth day after my enema, Larry wakes me up in the afternoon. 'I'm having some people over, and I, I need you to go out.' "

Oliver, with Harold, is returned to his dirty corner and reunited with his street friends, youngsters whose names -- Crayon, Gotti, Serenity -- wouldn't look out of place in an S.E. Hinton book. But Harold's thin shell, it turns out, isn't tough enough for street life. Oh golly: metaphor.

Yawn. Sound familiar? Does it remind you of anyone? MMMM, perhaps Dennis Cooper, another glib surface-skimmer?
Leroy's fear of public appearances, frequent use of disguises, and muteness in the face of questions about his history contrast with his bad habit of having his name appear in the press amid a protective flurry of names more boldface than his. The situation has provoked speculation about the authenticity of both his persona and his work. Those questions should be irrelevant. Drawn from life or not, Leroy's work is labeled fiction. But in light of all the victim-cum-celebrity hoopla, these books serve not as fiction but as creative memoirs, delivering catharsis for those who may have been similarly situated and who see themselves in Leroy's work.
There's rumours that JT LeRoy might be Cooper himself.

But even fake personas can't remain eighteen forever. What might be remarkable coming from an eighteen year old self-proclaimed street kid becomes banal and rather embarrassing when that kid turns into a twenty-something with (I assume) cushiony royalty checks and famous friends like Winona Ryder.

Posted by jason at January 30, 2024 04:05 PM

maybe jt elroy is the real mesouthern...

Posted by: christopher at January 31, 2024 03:06 PM

fuck. another too cool for the room website. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Posted by: a. hitler at March 15, 2024 03:15 PM

'a. hitler'? Nice. Fuck you asshole.

Posted by: jason at March 15, 2024 03:25 PM
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