French Tickler

Catherine Millet remembers yesterday's orgies; Dennis Cooper brutalizes today's teens

Without bric-a-brac and orienting clues, only raw action and psychological perforations remain. We've zoomed in so far that all we see are the individual pixels. Consider this passage, where Larry recalls a car-radio blare: "I have it set on a station I liked before Rand died. It plays loud punching songs that used to help me get angry when I couldn't." No band names, no lyrics, just a demi-urge.

Thread isn't really about kids or the Quake sand of modern adolescence as much as the general rage against one's own desires. The naked flipside of the well-decorated characters in Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums who wear their neuroses as clothing, Cooper's agents are moving bundles of miswired circuitry. And his purported stab at transcribing the isolation of kids like Kinkel and Klebold is best read as a dispatch spat from the killer inside.

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