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The Real Thing Paperback – July 1, 1995


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Editorial Reviews

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I have always thought it nothing less than brilliant to base a novel a bout sadism on Laclos'Dangerous Acquaintances. And how it paid off! -- Thom Gunn

This brief, elegant psychological novel is what might be imagined if Andre Gide and Marguerite Yourcenar had decided to collaborate on the ultimate S/M double-whammy. From a cool, cool beginning it rises to a truly astonishing pitch of excitement. By the end it's equally astonishing how much we know about these people, considering how artfully little we've been told. -- Samuel R. Delany

From the Publisher

With a new introduction by Michael Bronski.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Masquerade Books (July 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563332809
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563332807
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,463,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "englishvice" on May 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Carney's "The Real Thing" is a short but effective look at the mindset of a (rather fanatical) gay leatherman in the 1970s (roughly). The entire book is composed of letters from an unnamed leatherman to his nephew, who has demonstrated an interest in the leather lifestyle. The nephew's letters are never shown, but are described by reference and inference. The writing style of the letters is highly formal, but that fits the character who is the author of them. This book is actually a mystery novel of sorts, and has a great twist ending.
"The Real Thing" is a classic of leather literature, and should prove fascinating to most leather/BDSM/S&M/D&S/etc. practitioners. It's far more interesting than the more-popular "Murder at Roissy." "The Real Thing" and "Mr. Benson" are two leather classics that should be required reading for all people in the lifestyle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edward C. Wilson on July 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Real Thing is a literary novel first published by a mainstream publisher. It was widely received as a masterpiece of the epistolary style. It was PRE-STONEWALL, giving lie to the post-Stonewall hype that no novel with a gay theme had been published by any American mainstream publisher. The second edition (after the author's death) was published without his permission in a pornography series. Gay historians note: Stonewall, though important, did not extend to literature with the exception of helping create a sub-literary genus, gay literature. Unfortunate because this movement DECREASED the readership of gay-themed novels and shunted them to a sidetrack to be read only by gay readers. What would Proust say? Gide? What does Vidal say? EVERYBODY read Myra Breckenridge. Time for re-evaluations??? Yes, please.
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By M.U.T.Lee Bayer on December 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is a very interesting book, and one I would recommend. the ending is a bit sad and sorrowful, also it was written by a very educated man, sounds like he was probably the college professor in reality as the main character in the book was. I had to look up several terms and references but all with a fascination for the man and his background in the classics. A good and fast paced read, and I have given several copies to friends of mine as well. I felt it was a good introduction into the world of gay sadomasochism; I liked it and am keeping my copy for future reference. Also as a medical doctor I felt the cautions included were well written and applicable today as they were in the 1970s
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