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Prisoner of X: 20 Years in the Hole at Hustler Magazine [Paperback]

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Item description for Prisoner of X: 20 Years in the Hole at Hustler Magazine by Allan Macdonell...

Prisoner of X: 20 Years in the Hole at Hustler Magazine is a savagely funny odyssey through the bizarro world of Larry Flynt’s cracker-rich X-rated empire.

During his tenure in the Hustler trenches, punk-rock dropout Allan MacDonell ascends from entry-level comma-catcher to editorial overlord of the unseemly offerings at Larry Flynt Publications. Here’s the inside story of running America’s most influential porn domain.

A professional career of evaluating countless skin photos, taking XXX field trips, mastering “fully erect” film criticism and enduring creepy interoffice schemers suddenly launches MacDonell into national politics when Larry Flynt opens his wallet to impact the impeachment proceedings against President William Jefferson Clinton. MacDonell reveals the backside of his prominent role in tricking right-wing Speaker-elect Bob Livingston into resigning from Congress.

Prisoner of X is a wildly entertaining memoir about life climbing the bent and fearsome masthead of an infamous magazine, and the bittersweet reward of publicly crossing its hillbilly Caesar.

Aside from being the most prolific writer in the history of Larry Flynt Publications, Allan MacDonell contributed to the archetypal punk magazine Slash and the underground anthology Apocalypse Culture. Freelance pieces have appeared in venues as diverse as Gambling Times magazine, and the L.A. Weekly. Mr. MacDonell lives in California's Hollywood Hills with two dogs, his wife Theresa, and a clear conscience.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   311
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.5" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2006
Publisher   Feral House
ISBN  1932595139  
ISBN13  9781932595130  

Availability  0 units.

More About Allan Macdonell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Allan MacDonell is the author of Prisoner of X: 20 Years in the Hole at Hustler Magazine and was a defining voice of the groundbreaking punk periodical Slash magazine. While writing for Slash, he also co-invented slam-dancing. MacDonell lives in Los Angeles.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Memoirs
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Journalists
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Media Studies
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Popular Culture
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Pornography
7Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Prisoner of X: 20 Years in the Hole at Hustler Magazine?

Down the Dirt Hole  Jun 8, 2008
I met Larry Flynt once. It left an impression on me. It wasn't good. The man just seemed to have sleeze permeate out of his pores. And he seemed all spaced out, like way too many drugs had interacted with way too much debauchery, intermixing in a personality that was pretty degraded right from the get-go. What must it be like to work for such a man?

Allan MacDonell knows, and he tells all the dirt in PRISONER OF X. An inside story of the man who rose to top of the pond scum at Larry Flynt Publications, it is a story well worth reading, boys and girls. Well worth reading.

For some quirk of personality that would require years of therapy to explain, MacDonell had always wanted to work for a smut mag when he finally landed the job at Hustler. What he found was a work environment that was akin to a school of piranhas, with each fish trying its hardest to eat the flesh off of anyone higher up the ladder. And with Larry himself often enjoying the spectacle, like a Roman emperor enjoying the modern day gladiators of smut trying to take one another down. Amazingly, the dude lasted 19 years.

During that time, MacDonell met his share of pornstars, celebrities, and, of course, downright degenerates, many of whom were on the payroll. But many were more famous, and no details are spared. Even if you are familiar with the Godfather of Soul's reputation with the ladies, you wil still be really, really alarmed at what you read here. MacDonell also was there for some of the high times, like when Hustler took down Congressman Livingston, who was set to become Speaker of the House, or the offer to Jenna Bush to pose naked for a cool $10 million.

Often hilarious, often mermerizing, PRISONER OF X also often leaves you with the same feeling as you have after looking at porn. You known, all empty inside and a bit embarassed. But for some reason, you keep going back, don't you? Yeah, you know you do. And you want to check out this book, too. Don't you? Well, do it. It won't leave any permanent damage.

Interesting Book From A Real Insider  May 27, 2008
This is an interesting book by a writer who worked his way up the ranks at Hustler magazine for twenty years. He's brutally honest about the inner workings of the magazine including his descriptions of the pedophile Dwaine Tinsley and the sociopathic Larry Flynt, as well as about his own moral and social failings. This is good reading for anyone interested in the history of the magazine or in learning about what it was like working inside the porn magazine industry during the latter part of the Twentieth Century. As to be expected it's sexually explicit so if that bothers you, you might want to skip this one. The sexual descriptions were not gratuitous and I felt they were necessary for the honest story-telling this book provides.
Hey, I really did buy it for the articles!!!  Feb 5, 2007
Is it possible to write a book where the main character is yourself and you are the hero only because everyone else is insane, a sleazebag or just generally unpleasant? The author, MacDonell, at least, proves that you can. I kept thinking, "Boy, this guy's a jerk," at the same time I feverishly sped through his 20 year memoir of working at Hustler magazine. The stories he tells are at times shocking, sad, hilarious, occasionally boring (but these bits pass quickly), titillating and raucous (hey, kind of like Hustler magazine itself!). One can't help but feel for the guy at the same time one might not want anything to do with him.

The first half of the book is probably the toughest on his character (and interestingly he doesn't spare himself much). He was abusing drugs, women and himself, paranoid that he would be fired on a daily basis, and basically existing hand to mouth on his low wages (dating a girl at one time because she owned a VCR!). At a certain point time (after a particularly scaring DUI incident) he gets cleaned up and doesn't even drink. It's somewhat downplayed, but his success at the magazine soars at this point.

While he bashes almost everyone, (name dropping Dennis Hopper, Frank Zappa, who at times were friends of Flynt or connected to the magazine, and he cares for neither), he is particularly nasty to his fellow inmates at the asylum and of course hardest on his pyscho boss, Larry Flynt. (Once again these people probably deserve even worse criticism), but it would be nice to hear a more good tales (he admits at one point that his staff - when he rises to power - was actually a good one).

Comparison's have been made to Hunter S. Thompson, and while I think these are somewhat accurate as far as characters and subject matter, that should not indicate that the writing (and or editing) is nearly in that league. The book feels a little flabby (and repetitive near the end), and probably could have been 50 pages shorter.

Another complaint is no photos - it would be nice to know what some of these people looked like. The great cover art is by Daniel Clowes but there are no further illustrations (that would have been better than photos!)

Besides all the juicy gossip about the mag there is also some poltical stuff that is very fascinating (as they destroy one Republican senator's career, defend Clinton and try to trash Bush (Jr.). If you've ever read the magazine this book will be of interest to you. Even better on the porn industry itself is "The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral Histroy of the Porn Film Industry" by Legs McNeil (also reviewed by yours truly).
Hilarious, Crazy Book!!  Dec 23, 2006
Although the prose is a little self consciously rich at times, this is the most laugh out loud funny book I have read since Howard Stern's Private Parts memoir.The most inside look at not only Flynt and Hustler but the entire porn scene from the 80's and 90's. His description of porn legend Tori Welles on page 118 is uncanny-"Complexion the color of cinnamon or bourbon, brunette mane of body and bounce, flaunting the defiant cheekbones and chin of an urchin empress, the sublime Ms. Welles stepped with the self-assurance of the lifelong stone fox." (See what I mean about the prose?) When he's done describing her, you will know exactly what she looked like and what her sexual magnetism was all about even if you have never seen her. Hilarious, insightful, sarcastic. Would make a great movie.
Even if you haven't been let go from Hustler, you will love this book!  Nov 14, 2006
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish that once in a while you had actually read some of the articles. This book is as hilarious as Hustler often was during Allan's tenure. A common misconception about this book is that it is about Larry Flynt. This book is not about Larry Flynt--it is about Allan MacDonell. If you want to learn more about Larry Flynt, you should probably visit his website. If you want to learn more about what it is REALLY like to oversee the day-to-day operations of America's most notorious stroke rag--penile scabs and all--then this is the book for you! My only complaint about Prisoner of X is that Allan has not yet recorded an audio-book version, but that's coming up next, right Mr. MacDonell?

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