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Mr. Benson: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

John Preston
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $16.95 What's this?
Print List Price: $16.95
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Book Description

Mr. Benson is the compelling story of a young man’s quest for the perfect master. In a West Village leather bar, he finds wealthy, sophisticated, exacting Aristotle Benson, who leads him down the path of erotic enlightenment, teaching him to accept cruelty as love, anguish as affection, and ultimately, Mr. Benson as his master.

If John Preston, the masterly, handsome author of more than 30 books, was himself a gay icon, his character Mr. Benson defined the culture of gay sex for an entire generation. When Mr. Benson appeared in the pre-AIDS early 1980s, its unabashed celebration of male sexuality made it a cult favorite among gay men, many of whom wore T-shirts declaring that they were "looking for Mr. Benson." The novel's fresh voice and insights into identity, desire, power, and love influenced a generation of writers and editors, including Anne Rice, Samuel Delany, Michael Lowenthal, Laura Antoniou, Joan Nestle, Michael Rowe, and Cecilia Tan. Mr. Benson was Preston's first novel and was followed by many more books from the proud, self-styled "pornographer."


Editorial Reviews

Review

"A classic underground novel." -- Village Voice

"One of the top ten S/M novels ever written." -- Penthouse

From the Publisher

Preston's knockout novel, first serialized in Drummer, returns to claim= the territory it mapped out years ago. Jamie is an aimless young man lucky enough to encounter Mr. Benson. He is soon led down the path of erotic enlightenment, learning to accept cruelty as love, anguish as affection, and this man as his master.

Product Details

  • File Size: 290 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1573441945
  • Publisher: Cleis Press; New edition edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009HUOJVA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,727 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book moved me... September 13, 2007
Format:Paperback
As a young gay man within the leather and bdsm community, this book moved me. The emotions, the story, the setting and the description, it feels as almost of the reader is there with our aspiring slaveboy Jamie. But this isnt some trashy domestroe paperback novel, no, it is a love story of the deepest kind. It reveals that even within a Master/slave relationship, the need to for intimicy is still ever present and needed by the parties involved. S&M is just a paler form of true intimicy, the level of whcih we all seek and need some time in our lives.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iconic for a good reason April 6, 2010
Format:Paperback
Mr. Benson is without question an iconic work of fiction. I've seen the book reviewed as a must have for anyone interested in BDSM and as the blurb mentions, has become a cultural symbol. The paperback is on many, many keeper shelves and remains a classic, much discussed story. What's interesting is that Mr. Benson doesn't actually try to be a story based in reality or a how to for BDSM fans. Instead the story delves into the ultimate fantasy and the psychological impact of heavy slavery and sadomasochism. The writing is raunchy, raw and delights in being stroke fiction while also offering a pretty cheesy and flat out bad mystery. Yet none of that matters for those that read this because the intimate look at the emotional, physical and mental desires of hard core BDSM participants remains fascinating. You don't read this for a well crafted story per se - you read this for the glimpse into the heads of those who desire, crave, and fantasize about BDSM. Some may recognize their own desires within while others may understand the subculture better.

Jamie is a cute twink cruising gay bars looking for the perfect Master even though he doesn't realize that's what he's after. He encounters the near silent Mr. Benson in a leather bar and goes back to his wealthy penthouse within minutes of meeting. Soon Jamie has pledged to be Mr. Benson's slave and gives up his life entirely to be at the whim of his Master. What follows is Jamie's sexual journey as a slave with a side trip into a bad mystery before a happy ending and tacked on epilogue. Of course Jamie wasn't called a twink back then but he also makes some incredibly bad decisions that likely would have left him dead, maimed, or diseased if the setting was more modern. So right away the story is over the top in many ways and a fantasy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is always MISTER Benson, my master.. February 26, 2008
By Jane
Format:Paperback
Taken from the cover this best sums up this great story of bdsm, master/slave, love and the dynamics of it all.
"Nowadays I laugh when I think of the guys in the bars who used to complain about their lovers. They talked about what a hard time they had on a weekend when their man was in a bad mood or about what marks were left once a month when they got the workout they'd been seeking for four weeks.They didn't know about masters.When I first came out I thought Butch was an insurance salesman in a flannel shirt...Mister Benson changed all that.
They never met Aristotle Benson. He is my master and I am his slave."
A good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A long time ago September 20, 2012
By Danny
Format:Paperback
I read this book a long time ago. Yes, the story takes place during the so-called sexual revolution. And yes, this was in the blessed time before AIDS. Everything seemed possible and we could dream of a seductive rich hunk like Mr Benson. Most of the book is about Jamie's journey into becoming Mr. Benson's slave, his exploration of the mindset involved and the various nasty things that occur to him.
I think this was the first BDSM book I read. And I found it very very hot! Lately, I looked in boxes and boxes to find the book to read it again. I found it, and it was still hot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why is this a classic? January 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I purchased this novel because it is touted as a classic by the leather community. I spent most of my time reading it wondering why this is so. I understand that the main character Jamie is supposed to be a sort of Everyman than the reader can pour himself into, so I can forgive his flimsy characterization. All the other characters are just as badly written, however. They are stereotypical cardboard cut outs. Maybe this is the book that started it all and created these stereotypes; I don’t know. Maybe it is an accurate representation of the leather community at that time. Some things seem accurate, from what I have read and heard, but the plot itself is larger than life in a way that made me laugh out loud several times, involving twists that would do a soap opera proud. The BDSM is much the same, leaving out the sane and consensual on a regular basis. Of course, this book is about “real” slavery so dubious sexual consent is must, I suppose. This book demanded I suspend my disbelief too far for me to truly get I to it. The only part where I emotionally connected was in the section Mr. Benson himself wrote. That alone felt real.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone's, er, taste April 8, 2009
By Ron
Format:Paperback
Deinitely a propduct of its time (pre-AIDs), it's a quick read, but sort of off-putting even for a non-judgemental, non-prudish gay reader who isn't into the scene the narrator is. Lots of sex, with more emphasis on pain and humiliation than sex since it is a first-peson account by a slave who seems to have found the perfect master. The end wound up in an unconvincing white-slave-market plot that really showed some poor writing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great novel for anyone interested in BDSM
Enjoyed the situations that Mr. Benson created, and the interaction among the characters. Made me envision some things for my own enjoyment as well.
Published 7 months ago by S. Kistler
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Very interesting and clear portrayal of a dominant submissive relationship. Told from the point of view of the slave. Concluded by the masters side. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Craig
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Great Books of our time, a Classic
OMG< I wish I could find my own Mr. Benson. I love this book and wish I would have read it 30 years ago, if it had been written then; LOL it could have really helped me focus... Read more
Published 10 months ago by M.U.T.Lee Bayer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic of Gay Men's BDSM/Leather Literature
I re-read this classic novel recently and it holds up over time. It is indeed a fictionalized snapshot of an era when the New York gay men's leather and BDSM scene was in its most... Read more
Published 14 months ago by R. Bannon
5.0 out of 5 stars The "Incredible" Mr. Benson
A definitive master piece of a novel. This journey into an alternative lifestyle will have you on the edge of your seat almost completely identifying with the antagonist. Read more
Published 14 months ago by C. Hoskins Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexy, fun, easy read
I love that Mr Benson stands the test of time. It has well written sexy play scenes and a fun, easy storyline. Read more
Published 14 months ago by chromatic
4.0 out of 5 stars HOT SM guide to serviice
AT FIRST I WAS THINKING THIS IS NOT WORTH THE TIME BUT LIKE JAMIE I FOUND THAT THERE IS MORE TO MR BENSON
Published 21 months ago by DADDY'S BOY RICK
4.0 out of 5 stars fun book
I enjoyed reading this book. I liked the way Preston recaptured the boy's journey.
I liked it so much, I bought this book for a friend.
Published 22 months ago by dennis
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally Challenging, Iconic Gay Erotic Fiction
The reader is transported back in time to a pre-AIDS fantasy that covers multiple fetishes, including taboo topics. Read more
Published on February 26, 2012 by Charlie
4.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Benson
I really enjoyed this book except for the ending mystery story (those who read it will know what I mean.)I found that kind of lame but otherwise it was a book I could not put down. Read more
Published on January 15, 2012 by HolmesBoy
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