by Jim Drew
Originally published in the Seattle
Men in Leather newsletter (September 2003)
Author: Jack Dickson (2002)
Publisher: Zipper Books / $13.95
Gavin Shaw is a horndog. A reporter for
the Financial Times, he’ll do anything for a story,
including a quick fuck. And he’ll do anything for
a quick fuck, including putting off a story or risking his relationship
with his latest boyfriend.
When his editor, James Delany, assigns Gavin to
do an in-depth investigation into industrialist Derek Masters,
Gavin finds a trail leading around the world: Iceland, Amsterdam,
Maryland, the Mediterranean, and so forth. And in every
port, another sexual adventure. Sex in an airplane toilet.
Bondage and jacking off in a limo. Illegal arms deals.
Teenage Dutch rent boys. Lebanese cab drivers with flowing
robes. Mysteriously killed former business partners.
Goth underground parties. Kidnapped men forced to have sex
at gunpoint while watched by a crowd.
I had a debate once with a friend as to whether
porn movies could have a good plot. His take wasn’t
so much that they couldn’t as that they shouldn’t.
He didn’t want to be bothered with a plot; just get on with
the fucking, thanks, that’s what we’re here for.
Me, I said that I would like to see someone try (and succeed,
of course) to transcend the superficiality of porn videos and
make something to feed the mind as well as the dick.
Admittedly, movies and books are different beasts.
But we’ve probably all read the typical porn novel: a dozen
or so chapters, each with a teeny plot of its own and a big sex
scene. The chapters each feel little different from the
one-handed stuff in Bear or Manscape, but while
it builds to a big (ahem) climax (double ahem), as a whole, most
such novels are forgettable. Lots of meat, but no meat.
Not so with The Masters File. Jack
Dickson (Jack–Dick–Son: a porn name if I ever heard
one!) weaves his story tightly, alternating between the plot and
the sex, with one usually feeding into the other. In a couple
cases, Dickson even cuts a sex scene off before its conclusion,
leaving us to fill in the rest ourselves. And as Gavin Shaw
trails Derek Masters and his assistant Milo around the globe,
experiencing hot sex (and some BDSM) at all turns, he is also
being fed information about Masters’ past which has every
bit as much allure for Shaw as chasing ass does.
In the end, The Masters File is probably
the most satisfying piece of erotic fiction I have read in a long
time. I pretended it was fine material for the plane and
the bus, but I kept getting a hard-on every couple dozen pages.