Dennis Cooper's New Novel is Written in Animated GIF

Dennis Cooper 'Zac's Haunted House'

Dennis Cooper, author of the George Miles cycle and numerous other mind-bending works, has broken the cool people's internet. He has written a novel composed entirely of animated GIFs. Zac's Haunted House is available for free download and can be viewed online at It is weird and unsettling and highly imaginative. But don't take my word for it. Here's what had to say:

Dennis Cooper’s tenth novel bears all of the earmarks of his legendary and controversial work — intricate formal and stylistic play, disturbing content, an exploration of the borderline between fantasy and reality, concern for the emotions and dilemmas of youth, etc. — but it is both something unique in his body of writing and possibly something of a world’s first in the novel genre itself... "Zac’s Haunted House" is as fun and eerie to explore as its namesake attraction, and, the more closely one searches and decodes its carefully detailed sequences and construction, a deep and fraught fiction puzzle.

Go check it out and let us know what you think. Genius? Or tedium?

LitReactor interview with Dennis Cooper.

Image of Period
Author: Dennis Cooper
Price: $10.05
Publisher: Grove Press (2001)
Binding: Paperback, 128 pages
Jacey Cockrobin

News by Joshua Chaplinsky

Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of He has also written for the popular film site Screen Anarchy and for, the official website of 'Fight Club' author Chuck Palahniuk. He is the author of 'Kanye West—Reanimator.' His short fiction has appeared in Zetetic, Motherboard, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Dark Moon Digest, Pantheon Magazine, and multiple print anthologies. More info at

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jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like January 20, 2015 - 12:02pm

I "read" the first chapter. It sort of felt like tumblr.

Are the pancakes a reference to something?

Josh Zancan's picture
Josh Zancan from Crofton, MD is reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck January 20, 2015 - 1:19pm

He has written a novel composed entirely of animated GIFs.


Counterpoint: he hasn't written a damn thing.

Using GIFs from other things to "write" a story?  Neither genius nor tedium.  If he's trying to pass this off as an original work (and even more mind-boggling, a literary work), I consider that plageristic.  I understand LitReactor covering this, but the fact that it's being presented as something credible in a literary sense is a little aggrivating to me.  

Cooper could at least make his own images - or work with an illustrator to do so - and actually write a story, like a graphic novel in GIF form.  That would be fascinating.  I have to wonder if this isn't some social experiment/performance art attempt, just seeing how people respond to it.