Nicola's Reviews > Secrets Of A Gay Marine Porn Star

Secrets Of A Gay Marine Porn Star by Rich Merritt
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Jul 14, 2009

bookshelves: lgbt, memoir-and-autobiography, non-fiction, military, unfinished

Secrets Of A Gay Marine Porn Star is winner of the Best Book Title Ever award – an award bestowed by, um, me. The title is probably what got Rich Merritt his book deal. It’s probably the reason the book continues to sell. It’s certainly the reason I bought mooched it.

Unfortunately, the book itself is very, very dull. With no eye to judicious editing, Merritt’s story begins at birth. Yep, it’s a long slog to reach the point where he becomes a Marine – let alone a Marine/Porn Star. There are a few interesting morsels to be found as Merritt attends the fundamentalist-Christian Bob Jones Elementary School (and Bob Jones Academy and BJU), but mostly it’s just a bunch of vaguely-traumatic childhood anecdotes. These anecdotes are the type of thing you’d tell a therapist. They do not make good material for a memoir.

Even once Merritt joins the military and ‘comes out’ (as much as one can, under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell), the pace remains tediously slow. I kept waiting for it to get better… waiting… and waiting. I figured that once Merritt started doing porn, the pace would pick up. It didn’t. Even the descriptions of the gay porn industry were dull.

I can only chalk this up to Merritt’s writing, which is perfectly serviceable, but lacking in any panache. He doesn’t evoke anything that happens; his descriptions are so 2-dimensional that it’s hard to care about the characters or situations. Even when love of his life, Brandon, shows up, there’s no emotion to be found on the page. It makes for some very dry reading. Plus, did I mention it’s really, really long?

If Secrets were half as long, I might have finished it.

If Secrets were co-written with a ghostwriter, I might even have enjoyed it.

As it is, I ditched it at page 267. Sometimes you just have to call it quits on a book – not because it’s spectacularly bad, just because you’re not getting anything out of it.
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