Book Review | American Gangbang: A Love Story by Sam Benjamin


This post originally ran back in 2011 and is by far the most “popular” review I’ve ever written. In the next few months I’ll be going back and reposting some of my best-of reviews from years and years ago. As you can likely imagine, almost all of my most viewed reviews are 1-star reviews.

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I’m pretty much the target audience for a book like American Gangbang, or so I thought. I have certainly watched my fair share of pornography (don’t tell my mother!) and this novelization of the author’s true experiences producing porn was definitely something that intrigued me. Sadly, this book was not only poorly executed, but portions of it were irredeemably vile.

It started off OK – the author graduated from an ivy league university, and after a few soul-searching sessions, he decides that his true calling is to produce ‘a different kind of porn.’ He felt (correctly) that most porn was cheesy, not particularly exciting and downright bad. He vowed to do something about it.

The first 1/3 or so was not great, but it wasn’t awful. This book just reeks of a first novel: clumsy wording, awkward dialog (there was a lot of people saying each other’s names all the time, which is a huge red flag to me that the author doesn’t know much about writing realistic dialog), and full of really obvious attempts to illicit feeling from the reader. Of course, an author should try to illicit feelings – but good writing requires these manipulations to be done subtly enough that the reader doesn’t notice.

Then the main character takes a fancy porn-producing job, moves into a mansion, basically loses his hold on reality – and the book takes off downhill at Mach10.

This new studio he’s working for focuses solely on interracial porn, and, more specifically, black men on white women. The author handled the situation somewhat awkwardly, and said things like:

“Lucky Starr came as promised: he was black, and yet he wasn’t threateningly black. In fact, he was basically harmless.”

How lucky for Sam, to come across one of those harmless black people! I certainly don’t have a problem with interracial porn, but holy shit there were many, many problematic issues like that.

Then we get into how the men treat these women. Again, I watch porn. I support sex workers. I also believe in fantasies, and I support other people’s kinks. Consenting adults, and all that. The problem was that much of the shit that went on at this place was less than consenting.

“Tony Eveready was not opposed to being a malevolent sadist, either, and so after he felt Juliana had taken enough gulletizing, he dragged her by the hair out the bay window and hurled her stringy body onto the lawn and dragged her slowly down the set of brick steps, one brick step, two brick step, three brick step four, down to the pool, and he shoved her head into the green waters. . . she sputtered, choking, and Tone dunked her once again, his hand never leaving the back of her head where he’d clamped a death grip over her hair and Billy Banks laughed his forced, sycophantic laugh – heh heh heh, that’s a white girl for you. I huffed with a pro’s impatience and shouldered past all of them to get a great shot that would lure subscribers to spend another month’s membership. . . the fat man danced, turning from one outturned instep to the other, snapping off a roll of photos . . . popping flashbulbs in Juliana’s soaked, ruined, and crying face.

Stick that big ole dick up in her grill dog . . . came the chorus. . . I’m going to Rodney King her! . . . Yeah . . . beat that dick on her head like a baton!”

Of course eventually the author has this girl start laughing, because apparently this is just extremely hilarious! Later in the book, his girlfriend leaves him because he decides to just slap the hell out of her while she’s giving him a blowjob. That is his kink, and I don’t begrudge him that kink. There are girls that like to be hit while they’re giving you blowjobs, but god damn you do NOT get to just haul off and slap someone in the face without having a god damn sober conversation about it!

By the end of the book, Sam does decide to leave the porn business, and he does feel sorry…sorry that he had to deal with consequences, that is. At no point does he appear to actually understand what he’s been doing is wrong. He only understands that it had a negative impact on his life. Though, not nearly negative enough, from where I’m standing.

Overall, the first 1/3 of this book I would rate 2 1/2 stars. Interesting material, clumsily written. I almost felt bad for the guy. The last 2/3 gets 0 stars – unless you enjoy reading graphic details of a man participating in sexual assaults – both passively and actively.

p.s. It is my duty to inform you that I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher. I have a feeling that won’t happen again.

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