The New York City of Daniel Allen Cox’s Shuck was lost on 9/11 and replaced by a police state apocalypse where only the elite survive. As filmmaker Bruce LaBruce says on the back cover of the book, “Daniel Allen Cox writes truthfully and elegantly about a New York that I knew very well and that I miss very much. Set in the late 1990s, his novel Shuck describes with great clarity and verve the last grasp of a gritty Manhattan just before the war with the Eskimos, a bygone era that existed before wealth and privilege strangled the sweet life out of street life."
The story is told through the diary entries of Jaeven, a cocky, insecure, hung Manhattan hustler and pornstar du jour whose eccentric and anarchist lifestyle includes living in the stock room of a shoe store, popping meth zits and whoring himself out while collecting magazine rejections for his short-story submissions. His writing may not be enticing the literary world, but it’s ignited the creative flame of a painter and client who uses his stories as inspiration for his work. Jaeven is taken in by the brooding artist, but when he starts to fall in love with him, he’s doomed to discover that for a Y2K rent boy, love isn’t surviving the millennium.