The Sporadic Beaver

Top 5 Blurbs of the Beaver Street Autumn Offensive

December 21, 2012

Tags: reviews, Little Shoppe of Horrors, Bloodsprayer, Shu-Izmz, Neil A. Chesanow, Review 31

Just in case the world ends today, on this first day of winter in the northern hemisphere, I'm going out with the "Top 5 Blurbs of the Beaver Street Autumn Offensive."

In the event that the world doesn't end today, the Autumn Offensive will be followed by the Winter Assault and Spring Siege, the latter climaxing, of course, with the Second Annual Bloomsday on Beaver Street. (Make your plans today!)

Optimist that I am, I'm planning on taking off for St. Louis for the holidays, which is where the Beaver Street Spring Offensive of 2012 began in April. So, this will probably be my last posting of the year (if not forever). Here's wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hope to see you in 2013!

And here are my fave blurbs and the reasons I chose them:

5. “Rosen excluded female pornographers entirely from his history. I suspect he was too caught up in his own juvenile dabbling to notice their existence.” —Kate Gould, Review 31
What does a review look like when it’s written by a reviewer who’s made up her mind that she’s going to trash a book before reading the first word? It looks like this. I include this classic hatchet job because of the backlash it inspired, which ended up bringing more attention to Beaver Street than if the reviewer had read the entire book and written an honest critique.

4. “Tender and tawdry all at once.” —Neil A. Chesanow, Review 31
This eloquent point-by-point takedown of the above hatchet job does what Gould’s review should have done in the first place: It provides an accurate and insightful picture of what Beaver Street is about.

3. “A fascinating peek inside a world of sex, indulgence, and exhibitionism.” —Shu-Izmz
Horror mags love Beaver Street, and Shu-Izmz, a site overseen by Bryan Schuessler, is one of three such sites that gave the book a rave review. Schuessler writes from the perspective of a regular guy whose mind is in the gutter; he loves porn, death metal, and gore. Also, this review led to a very cool interview on Core of Destruction Radio.

2. “Incredibly thoughtful, engaging and entertaining.” —The Bloodsprayer
Written by a chubby chaser who also happens to be a trained historian, the critic “J. D. Malinger” (as he calls himself) offers an intellectual lowbrow take on Beaver Street. The review resulted in an epic two-part interview, which allowed me to elaborate on a number of themes I touched upon in the book, such as the contempt with which many porn publishers treat their employees.

1. “A gem of a read… You will find yourself fascinated by the cast of characters.” — Richard Klemensen, Little Shoppe of Horrors
Even if LSoH editor and publisher Richard Klemensen hadn’t said in a comment on this blog that Beaver Street was one of his “favorite reads,” I’d still have chosen the above blurb as my favorite of the Autumn Offensive. Klemensen, who’s celebrating the 40th anniversary of his venerable publication, gets to the heart of the matter in his critique, which serves as yet another direct repudiation of the Review 31 hatchet job. Beaver Street is indeed a character-driven page-turner, whose vibrant cast will defy your expectations of what kind of people work behind the scenes in pornography. Since LSoH is only available in a print edition, if you’d like to read the entire review (and a whole bunch of stories about Dr. Phibes), you’ll have to buy a copy. Happy anniversary, Richard, and here’s to many more!

Autumn Offensive: A Look Back

October 15, 2012

Tags: Bloodsprayer, Shu-Izmz, Rew & Who?, banned books, Bookgasm, Marv Montag, Book House, Louie Free, Indies Unlimited

As the summer was winding down, I announced the launch of a Beaver Street Autumn Offensive—a rebooting of my publicity campaign following an absurd and exhausting (though ultimately successful) struggle with a certain mega-corporation that had refused to make available to the reading public the print edition of Beaver Street. With mid-October upon us, and the Autumn Offensive in full swing, I’m going to take a moment to recap the blizzard of rave reviews, interviews, blog postings, and assorted articles, that have recently sprung up on the Internet, not only about Beaver Street, but also my John Lennon biography Nowhere Man, which has been reaping the whirlwind of the Autumn Offensive, as well.

The Bloodsprayer: This webmag, which covers horror films and all kinds of pulp media, took a liking to Beaver Street and posted a review and a two-part interview. Here’s Part 1 and here’s Part 2.

Shu-Izmz: Like The Bloodsprayer, this webmag also revels in gore and pulp and they loved Beaver Street. Here’s Bryan “Shu” Schuessler’s rave review, and here’s his interview with me on Core of Destruction Radio.

ReW & WhO?: My return appearance to this TV show, broadcast live on the Internet, was a blast. I talked about Beaver Street as much as I talked about Nowhere Man. You can watch the “15 minutes of fame” interview here.

Banned Books Week: I was delighted to participate in this event and read from one of my favorite banned books, The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger. You can read all about it here.

Bookgasm: This Oklahoma City-based website, dedicated to “reading material to get excited about,” shows that Middle America has a passion for Beaver second to none.

Marv Montag’s Magnificent Echo Chamber: A review site dedicated to the adult industry discovers Beaver Street and pronounces it “excellent.”

Louie b. Free Radio Show: Louie Free has not yet archived my October 9 appearance on his show, celebrating the life of John Lennon, but you can listen to Louie live here.

Metroland: The local alt-weekly in the Albany, NY, area provided some nice coverage of my appearance at the Book House.

Indies Unlimited: They’ve posted an essay I wrote titled “How Nowhere Man Became a Bestseller,” and a Book Brief about the book.

Miscellaneous: Finally, here are five more assorted links from a variety of book-oriented sites: Pulp Informer; Celebrating Authors; Pat Bertram Introduces; Benjamin Wallace Books; and Talk Story TV.

Banned Books and Bloodsprayer

October 4, 2012

Tags: banned books, Bloodsprayer, Adult Video News, Beaver Street, The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger, Fifty Shades of Grey

October has always been a good month for me, publicity-wise. It was in October, 13 years ago, that the first item about my John Lennon bio, Nowhere Man, appeared in Entertainment Weekly magazine, and ignited a firestorm of publicity that put the book on best-seller lists in five countries.

Judging by what happened yesterday, this October appears to be keeping true to form. The day began with an excellent piece in Adult Video News about banned books in general and the Banned Book Week event I'll be participating in tonight, at 8:00, in New York City, at 2A in the East Village. I've never before taken part in a group reading with a porn star, so this should be both interesting and raucous. The porn star, Lisa Ann, best known for playing "Serra Paylin" in the Hustler video series, will be reading from Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James. I'll be reading from The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger. And it's FREE. See the full lineup here.

Then the day ended with The Bloodsprayer posting part 2 of my epic Beaver Street interview. If you’re undecided about whether or not to come tonight, allow me, as I did with part 1, to boil down part 2 to the top 5 pull quotes.

“In the 60-odd pages Traci Lords devotes to porn in her book, in virtually every case she leaves out the Five Ws—who, what, where, when, and why—saying she was drunk and stoned the whole time and forgot everything that happened.”

“A normal company would have put Mario Puzo’s and Stan Lee’s typewriters in a glass case and employees would have been required to genuflect every time they walked by. But at Swank, it appeared as if the Goodman family didn’t want Martin Goodman’s sacred name sullied by the stench of his son’s smut.”

“The amateur exhibitionists are putting the professional studs and starlets out of business.”

“I say in the Beaver Street prologue that I wrote the book ‘to understand the cumulative psychic effect of having spent 192 months immersed in XXX and wondering if I’d ever get out alive.’ So, yes, writing it was cathartic.”

With any luck at all, I’ll be equally provocative tonight. Hope to see you at 2A.

Being Bobby Paradise

October 2, 2012

Tags: Bloodsprayer, Bobby Paradise

Allow me boil down part 1 of my epic Bloodsprayer interview to the top five pull quotes. If this doesn't make you want read the entire interview or maybe even read Beaver Street, I don't know what will. Maybe part 2, which will be posted soon.

"The difference between working on the City College student newspaper OP and working on a porn magazine is the difference between being in a punk band like the Sex Pistols and working on an assembly line in a Chinese dildo factory."

“Porn was transformative, too. I went from being Bob Rosen, starving freelance writer, to being Bobby Paradise, crown prince of the D-Cup boob fiefdom.”

“Canadian censorship laws create a situation where a customs official looks at a photo of a woman jacking off a man with her armpit, labels it ‘degrading,’ and issues a ban on armpit fucking.”

“There will always be people arrested on obscenity charges, be it publishers like Al Goldstein, who were literally asking for it, or some poor schmuck who runs a convenience store in the Bible Belt and sells an especially noxious copy of Hustler to an undercover cop.”

“The contempt with which porn publishers treat their employees is especially pronounced, because in adult entertainment it’s so much easier to see human beings as pieces of meat—it doesn’t matter if they’re editors or porn stars.”

And don’t forget: Group reading celebrating Banned Book Week, featuring authors and porn stars, Thursday, October 4, at 8 P.M. in the upstairs lounge at 2A (25 Avenue A on the corner of Avenue A and East Second Street, in NYC, phone 212-505-2466). And it’s free! More info here.

A Really Big Show

October 1, 2012

Tags: banned books, The Catcher in the Rye, Vicious Circus, Bloodsprayer

Just a reminder that in celebration of Banned Book Week, I, along with eight other authors and one porn star (you can see the full lineup here) will be reading from banned books on Thursday, October 4, at 8 P.M. in the upstairs lounge at 2A (25 Avenue A on the corner of Avenue A and East Second Street, phone 212-505-2466). And it's free!

As far as literary events go, I suspect this Vicious Circus production is going to be unusually interesting. Never before have I received pre-show instructions telling me that because performances are going to be projected, 30-feet high, on the building across the street, I am not permitted to take off my clothes (not that I was planning on doing that) or wear a T-shirt with an obscenity on it (not that I was planning on doing that, either).

The 90-minute show will be videotaped, and if there’s time, we will take questions at the end. I’m on fourth and will be reading from J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Please arrive early. It’s going to be packed.

In the meantime you can read Part 1 of my interview with The Bloodsprayer. I’ll have more to say about this tomorrow.