May 3, 2006
Prisoner of X
If you can look at that cover and still not want to read this book, then I don’t know what to tell you. What I would give to have a caricature of myself done by Dan Clowes. Actually, he sort of already did. It wouldn’t look much different than this:
I wrote an article for Hustler but I never met Allan MacDonell. I never even dealt with him. I got hired by the features editor. This is the best book about the porn industry I’ve read, and I’ve read a lot. All of my research for God’s Wife was in book form. I’ve never met a porn star in the flesh, never been to a porn set. I am sure I got a lot wrong. I was told that people in the porn industry were wondering who she was. So I got something right.
Great to read about the industry from the perspective of a writer. He sort of paints himself as a loser who the sex workers would mostly ignore. He was the editor of Hustler Magazine. Didn’t he have slutty, starry-eyed girls throwing themselves at him? Maybe this is my little boy fantasy of what it’s like to work at a magazine like Hustler. Mostly it’s a lot of hard work, like any magazine, with some very demented stuff thrown in, which is nothing like any magazine. Magazine Man should read this book. Can’t imagine he’s had the same experience.
He also paints the girls who pose as all depressed and soul-stripped. I have to imagine some of them were psyched to be in the magazine. Hustler is high end in a certain universe. I’ll take his word for it. He worked in the place for two decades, somehow. Larry Flynt seems like a terrifying nightmare. A hard-ass who gets delivered strawberry shortcake from a Beverly Hills bakery in bed. Amazing that A.M. was able to work under Flynt for five minutes, let alone 20 years. I would have folded early, like on sight.
My only criticism is that there are no paragraph breaks. A new subject will start and there’s no break in the action. Pretty minor. All in all, great to read about the sex industry from someone on the inside who’s not a sex-crazed lunatic.
Go to his Myspace page and make the book a friend. He’s also reading at Skylight Books in L.A. on May 12. I'll be there.
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