The fact that it is told, mainly, from the perspective of those using this young man, who is looking for love and understanding after the death of his mother, makes every act of cruelty (the emotional even more so that the physical) stab at your heart so much more.
Dennis Cooper manages to infuse hope, love and compassion in with the loss, cruelty and sex. Making this a really brilliant work.
If you have a heart, read this book!
I think a lot of readers get it wrong when they say that Cooper's work is sado-homo-erotic. It's too human and emotional for such a narrow definition.
Dennis Cooper and his works are a perfect example of why I love to be a reader and wish I was a more eloquent reviewer.