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American Gangbang

A Love Story

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Hardcover published by Gallery Books (Gallery Books)

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About This Book
A thoughtful, hilarious, and compulsively readable memoir by an Ivy League graduate-turned-pornographer who sets out to bring sophistication and equality to sexual cinema—only to find that he can’t change porn, but porn can certainly change him.

American Gangbang heralds the arrival of a profound and gifted new voice in narrative nonfiction. In 1999, after four years of studying at Brown University, Sam Benjamin heads to California in a twenty-year-old Volvo, dead set on turning himself into an artist, despite his complete lack of talent. There, stoned, he has an epiphany—he will make progressive porn. And so begins his turbulent journey. . . .

In whip-smart, lyrical prose, Benjamin traces his three-year immersion into the world of Hollywood’s bleak, screen glow–lit doppelganger: the southern California sex industry. His rapid ascent from the dingy storefront rental of a starving artist to the multimillion-dollar Malibu villa of a full-fledged porn producer confronts him with the uncomfortably alluring realities of America's strangest industry: gun-toting actors, high on terrible, drug-induced potency; giggling actresses battling internal demons in wobbly heels and pink fishnets; the insatiable consumer demands to sink ever lower, more exploitative, nastier. The result is the titillating, dramatic chronicle of a young man who invites the deepest, most troubling parts of himself to rise to the surface in order to get a good look at them—only to find that what he sees makes his world seem suddenly very small.

A provocative, universal coming-of-age story, American Gangbang explores with unflinching honesty the darkly rich junction of sex and self-discovery.
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A thoughtful, hilarious, and compulsively readable memoir by an Ivy League graduate-turned-pornographer who sets out to bring sophistication and equality to sexual cinema—only to find that he can’t change porn, but porn can certainly change him.

American Gangbang heralds the arrival of a profound and gifted new voice in narrative nonfiction. In 1999, after four years of studying at Brown University, Sam Benjamin heads to California in a twenty-year-old Volvo, dead set on turning himself into an artist, despite his complete lack of talent. There, stoned, he has an epiphany—he will make progressive porn. And so begins his turbulent journey. . . .

In whip-smart, lyrical prose, Benjamin traces his three-year immersion into the world of Hollywood’s bleak, screen glow–lit doppelganger: the southern California sex industry. His rapid ascent from the dingy storefront rental of a starving artist to the multimillion-dollar Malibu villa of a full-fledged porn producer confronts him with the uncomfortably alluring realities of America's strangest industry: gun-toting actors, high on terrible, drug-induced potency; giggling actresses battling internal demons in wobbly heels and pink fishnets; the insatiable consumer demands to sink ever lower, more exploitative, nastier. The result is the titillating, dramatic chronicle of a young man who invites the deepest, most troubling parts of himself to rise to the surface in order to get a good look at them—only to find that what he sees makes his world seem suddenly very small.

A provocative, universal coming-of-age story, American Gangbang explores with unflinching honesty the darkly rich junction of sex and self-discovery.
Product Details
Hardcover (320 pages)
Published: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Gallery Books
Imprint: Gallery Books
ISBN: 9781451627787
Other books bySam Benjamin
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    Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll
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    Women. Spandex. Drugs. Hair spray. . . . Welcome to heavy metal rock ’n’ roll, circa 1980, when all you needed was the right look, burning ambition, and a chance. Stephen Pearcy and supergroup Ratt hit the bull’s-eye. What they did with their fame and fortune is a riotous tale of . . . SEX, DRUGS, RATT & ROLL Pearcy was a scrawny, horny, thrill-seeking teenager with an electric guitar who had graduated from backyard parties in San Diego to half-empty dives in Los Angeles before he and his band broke through at Whiskey a Go Go. Cranking out metal just as metal got hot, Ratt was the perfect band at the perfect time, and their hit single “Round and Round” became a top-selling anthem. The bigger Ratt got, the more excessive Pearcy and his “pussy pirates” became. There was nothing these guys wouldn’t snort, drink, bed, or break. And the fans were just as bad, as husbands and mothers offered up nubile wives and daughters as tribute to their rock ’n’ roll idols. On a journey that could happen only in America, Pearcy met everyone from Michael Jackson to Drew Barrymore (at age twelve, at a New York nightclub, at 2 a.m.) to Rodney Dangerfield. His infamous partner-in-crime, Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby, a blond Viking with an unsurpassed appetite for drugs and women, cuts a towering and tragic figure throughout. As Ratt scrambled up a wall of fame and wealth, so they experienced the gut-wrenching free fall, after too many hours in buses, planes, and limos; too many women; too many drugs; and all the personality clashes and ego trips that marked the beginning of the end. Pearcy offers a stunningly honest selfportrait of a man running on the fumes of ambition and loneliness as the party crashed. His rock ’n’ roll confessional, by turns incredible, hilarious, and lyrical, is a story of survival—and a search for the things that matter most.

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