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

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  21 reviews
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
Paperback, 360 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Feral House
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Allan MacDonell
Jun 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote this wickedly manipulative book, and was there for much of the action described; so don't expect impartiality from me.

Many people who are experts in such things have praised Prisoner of X.

Some people who know me and like me couldn't stomach this book, despite it being all about me and by me.

The fact that they freely told me so somehow makes me even happier that I wrote the thing!

But I don't need to hear any more of that.

If you read Prisoner of X, I hope you have some laughs, and don't wo
An enjoyable read that actually left me wanting more (I will be reading his other book at some point). He is an excellent writer, with an easy style that accommodates humorous observation, wry introspection, and well-curated wonder at what he experienced and did.

I'm not familiar enough with the porn industry universe to be able to decode some of the pseudonyms he gave some of the people he wanted to filet (and a few he wanted to protect), but the anecdotes are no less entertaining (or appalling
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was great. I like books about the burgeoning LA punk scene back in the day, I like drug memoirs, and I like porn tell-alls. PRISONER OF X appealed to all of those proclivities and more. Humorous, honest, and humble in tone.
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
Although not to all tastes due to the subject matter, this is a brilliantly written and compulsively readable gonzo-autobiography.
John Arnold
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read it and laugh. This is a fascinating behind the scenes account of working on the staff of a major and controversial men's magazine. Personalities upon personalities here. Larry, Althea (wife), porn performers, all of Allan's co-workers throughout his long tenure, Stories about human inter-relations insightful, in detail. Heavy big-time office politics.You will respect Allan MacDonell when you read this. He was in the thick of it, And he's a heck of a snazzy dresser. The rise and rise of Alla ...more
Joe Kosarek
The book was an interesting read, but the author liked to show off his vocabulary skills and, as I find common in autobiographies, makes everything he says and does sound like he is superior to those in his orbit
Elizabeth Moeller
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Prior to read Prisoner of X by Allan MacDonell, my only exposure to Hustler magazine and Larry Flynt was through the Milos Forman movie People vs. Larry Flynt. I sort of knew that it was at the lower rungs of taste as far as porn goes, but until reading this book, I never realized the depths to which the magazine would go to attempt to titillate men. MacDonell discusses the graphic photo shoots and the far over the edge cartoons, as well as the apparently groundbreaking "cum shot".
However, asid
Eric Althoff
Jan 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
It took me a while to work up the stomach to tackle "Prisoner of X," chiefly as my own stretch as a Hustler employer left some rather hefty emotional scars. Thus, it's hard to review this book objectively, but MacDonell can, and does, tell you way more than I ever could about his two decades working for Larry Flynt, from fledgling copy editor (my old job) and moving all the way up the ranks to running Flynt's flagship magazine. The writing, to my tastes, is a bit sloppy and slovenly, but, having ...more
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2013
Well written and full of self-loathing (along with loathing for everyone who employed the author), this could have been entertaining, but just ran on too long. Maybe if I were interested in pornography or porn stars it would have kept my attention more, but really I just wanted to hear bizarre tales about working someplace insane. It became a chore to keep returning to it and finally I gave up on it entirely.
Mar 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: biography-memoir
Really cruised through this, skimming most of it. It's repetitive and mostly sad. Flynt was clearly insane and most of the staff wandered through the day in a drug-induced haze. I was hoping to find more information on the Larry Flynt/Jerry Falwell libel case that set some new standards for First Amendment issues. Very disappointing and really rates a negative star. It didn't even appeal to my prurient side. ...more
Dec 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Exactly the sort of degenerate fluff I'm not supposed to be reading anymore but it was a Christmas present from a friend. Surprisingly well-written although the topic is pretty void of relevance or interest. Its pretty much an account of the office politics of a magazine -- just a very sleazy one. ...more
Nov 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
not really as sordid as I was hoping
May 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was surprised that the business of pornography was so...regular. Not mundane, but regular.
Jan 12, 2011 rated it liked it
it was ok. as i currently work at Hustler Magazine, it was an illuminating read. not sure that it would hold up for people unfamiliar with the working environment there. a quick read.
Aug 03, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: dirty whores
This book appealed to all my inner dirty thoughts. I learned more about Hustler and the porn industry than I ever thought I would know.
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
PORN PORN PORN!!!!!!! It ain't the "dream job" that you think it is... ...more
Sep 09, 2009 rated it liked it
A funny story of the behind the scenes view of Larry Flynt's sleaze empire. ...more
Geoffrey Kleinman
Apr 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books ever written about adult entertainment. An absolute must read!
Dan Port
Aug 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Good account of the inner workings of Hustler magazine, including some details that one would be surprised by.
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Michael Simborg
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Dec 17, 2012
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Mar 20, 2008
Jason Sheats
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Apr 03, 2014
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Sun Prasad
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May 02, 2013
rated it it was ok
Nov 09, 2011
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“To peruse Larry Flynt's flagship is to encounter laughable facets of necrophilia, dildo-strapped nuns, ambulatory turds, walking anuses, the perceived discrepancy in penis size between black and white males, vaginas large enough to envelop an entire man, physical intimacies with anthropomorphic pets, lesbian love rituals, the ills and quirks of male homosexuality, the corrosive effect of vaginal discharge upon automobile upholstery, the danger that freshly licked African-american lips will accidentally adhere to some glasslike surface, bar sluts, gang-bangs, wastebasket fetuses, flatulence anal and vaginal, the handicapped, Ku Klux Klansmen, lynching, anal sex, prison romance, naked females whose faces are covered by paper bags, sex crimes of the rich and famous, sex in full-body traction, retards as playthings, practical jokes committed by Saint Peter, suicide, consanguinity, animal husbandry in the connubial sense, erectile dysfunction, voyeurs, panty-sniffewrs, menstruation, STDs and philosopher houseflies delivering piquant sophistries while nibbling on corn-studded nuggets of shit.” 0 likes
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