American Gangbang (Paperback)
Gallery Books, 9781476787978, 320pp.
Publication Date: April 12, 2014
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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.