Cooper’s Promise by Timothy Jay Smith
Reviewed by Stephen Boyce
ISBN 1462084087, 9781462084081
A very strange and enigmatic novel that has haunted me since I read it. His is not an easy read and from the outset the author makes the reader work hard. Initially the novel has no setting and very little characterisation. We jump about locations, are enveloped in a time/space continuum that is almost other worldly, there are no specifics as to time, place except that we are in a mining colony with a strange assortment of pimps and prostitutes who are all under the protection or ‘promise’ of the central character Cooper.
Cooper is every gay man’s fantasy action hero – and the sort of mate who you would want protecting you at school or on the street – and so he does with his ‘family’ of characters in this excellent novel.
This is a fine and unusual novel; not easy reading, as I said, since it pricks at your social conscience in a haunting way, but all the same well worth spending the time and energy it demands in reading from cover to cover.