Reviews of "More and Harder" by Morgan

Guize Magazine

Projet X Agenda

Checkmate incorporating DungeonMaster

Time Out

 Correspondence from readers

 BP (London) Newsletter

 Amazon.co.uk

Guize Magazine #27, Manchester, England autumn 1999

Book review: More and Harder by Morgan

(published by Idol - an imprint of Virgin Publishing Ltd)

The style of this book is hard and explicit, and will have like-minded guys reaching for their groins in short time. The story is told through a series of letter and diary entries, all forming the story of Mark's journey through his SM world. Each piece is short and easy to read; averaging three pages for the ninety-odd separate contributions, and the neat idea is that the pieces stand up on their own, as well as forming the larger story - read this by flicking around from chapter to chapter, or read it from start to finish: it works either way, and it works well, largely because you KNOW that this really is autobiographical. The enthusiasm and excitement is relayed to the reader. The writer has experienced these things, and enjoyed them all....well, most of them, anyway The writing style is that of someone who has done it and enjoyed it: there is little embellishment, little space left for emotion or analysis: this is a man experiencing, discovering, enduring; loving it all and telling you all about.

It delves into the world of army training and punishment, of skinheads and bikers, of masters, slaves, floggers and receivers. It instructs you and it reveals, and takes you into its confidence: dropping a verbal note about this, a revelation about that. You'll be turned on by the incidents, you'll be instructed by the fact, but you'll learn very little about the participants. There's little to be given away about the emotions that drive these characters on. Everything is done at a fairly superficial level with regard to personality, and yet that's why it all works: that's why it turns you on, and keeps you turned on. To know much about the characters would be to show interest in them in order to warrant your own feelings about this sort of hard, uncompromising, dressed-up, horny, unforgiving SM and CP action.

Instead, what you have is a series of adventures of the hard skinhead, leather boy, SM kind, and they bristle with excitement, and you feel like a voyeur looking in on a life of debauched pleasure.

This is well-written and well presented, a read that will turn you on from the start, and a book you'll want to dip into time and again, and long after Mark's last bout in the slave cage, and after the last stroke of the tawse has left Mark's body.

This book is available from gay bookstores, including Prowler, Clone Zone, etc., and also from the gay section of a lot of High Street bookshops.

Guize magazine. New Horizons, P.O. Box 54, Manchester M60 7AB

E-Mail: 101360.3116@compuserve.com

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Projet X - Agenda October 1999, Paris, France

More and Harder; by Morgan

The end of August saw a mini-event in the UK with the release in bookshops of Morgan's More and Harder (whose investigation into Horse Training you'll have read in Projet X nį43). He is a regular contributor to the very technical US SM magazine Checkmate.

Not only does the book openly discuss hard sex sessions and SM in the country that saw Operation Spanner, but the publishing house behind Idol Publishing is none other than Virgin (which just goes to show once again that they are a company that has balls); The book is thus guaranteed widespread distribution in book shops, train stations and other large retailers all over the country.

The text is presented as being a work of fiction for legal reasons (might a "true" story bring about another Operation Spanner?), although no serious practitioner will be taken in by this! The initiation that takes us through Hell's Angels, gay skinheads, paramilitary SM and Internet sessions stinks to high heaven of fact, great experience and sure mastery of the activities described - which makes the work highly recommendable as much for the fantasies evoked as for the technical details furnished.

More and Harder

Morgan

Idol / Virgin Publishing

£7.99 / $10.95

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Checkmate incorporating DungeonMaster #28, Pennsylvania, USA August 1999

More and Harder; by Morgan

The Autobiography of an English sadomasochist

Reviewed by Harold E. Cox

I almost decided not to review this book because of the long-term relationship between the author Morgan and the reviewer. Readers of Checkmate will quickly recognise the name Morgan since he has written an article for every issue of this magazine since number 3, a period of over six years without missing a deadline. Most readers may not be aware that he also wrote articles for Dungeon-Master in the late 1980s during the period when I was editor, including "Mark Goes to Jail", a pioneer article on institutional confinement scenes.

The picture of Morgan on the front cover of More and Harder was taken several years ago on the side porch of the building which houses Checkmate's offices.

All of that having been considered, I decided that it was still appropriate to call the book to our readers' attention. As one of our community's most prolific writers, he can be insatiably curious, opinionated, entertaining and infuriating. These are the marks of a good author. While you may not always agree with his views, they cannot be ignored.

Morgan has a wide range of SM interests, and an equally wide range of experiences, as his articles and the book demonstrates. While Checkmate readers have become accustomed to his topical essays, More and Harder contains only six of these which relate directly to his personal adventures. Most of the book contains stories of adventures in England, the United States, and Europe. Some are quite short, one being less than a page, but collectively they paint a picture of a person searching for his identity within the context of a culture which to many is still the last taboo, nowhere more so than in England.

For Checkmate readers who hang onto every word that Morgan doles out in our pages, this book is a must for your Morgan collection. For people more reserved in their feelings, the book should be considered an important document relating to our culture at a time when such documentation is sorely lacking. Strongly recommended for students of our collective history.

More and Harder; 280 pages, paperback, retail price $10.95, currently offered by amazon.com for $8.76. To be published in the United States as an Idol paperback in September by Virgin Publishing. Pre-publication orders are already being accepted by amazon.com

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Time Out London August 25 1999

More and Harder

Morgan; Idol, £7.99 pb

The emergence of the epistolary novel in the 17th century synthesised exploration of the subjective experience with social dilemmas enacted in the moral universe, constructed around the ostensible narrator. Surprisingly none of those early texts dealt with the etiquette of being stripped naked in a blacked out van, gagged with duct tape, suffocated with a plastic bag and then threatened with a gun muzzle - for fun. Different strokes for different folks, although in this case they do tend to be lashes.

This is an apparently lightly fictionalised autobiography of Mark who metamorphoses over 20 spanking years from long-haired biker's moll to skinhead, ending up locked in a cage in Eindhoven behind the sign 'Slave Owned By Mr J Of Copenhagen: Seek Permission Before Use'. Not quite 'Please Look After This Bear'

If the idea of playing soldiers in the woods with Germans makes you want to rub your penis until the sticky stuff spurts, questions of prose style are probably irrelevant. If anything, this is not badly written enough, its Famous Five prose endearingly anxious to please. But then what can you expect from a slave?

(Caution: this book is unsuitable for people who eat Matleesers. If you ever intend to put one of those little brown spheres in your mouth again, do not read this book! Certain passages may distress you.) Carl Miller

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Amazon UK

Jim Stewart from London , 4 August, 1999

Real information for men who like hard-nut sex games.

MORE AND HARDER by ĎMorganí

This book will delight men who are turned on by self-testing, physical challenge and rough-and-tough army games. Man-to-man sex is very much part of the authorís Ďbagí but Gay is a word some people would find hard to associate with the seriously heavy action enthusiastically described. From fledgling straight Hellís Angel (soon sussed as being "queer" but still accepted), through a phase as Gay Biker and Skinhead to an army game-playing hard-nut eager to test and be tested, itís action all the way. Essentially self-imposed, players of these intense scenarios take mutual consent for granted. However tough and seemingly violent, mutual respect shines through in every encounter described. Whether a blow by blow account of a professionally organised Escape and Evasion, capture and interrogation field exercise or a letter written to a prospective opponent / training partner, the author brings the experience alive. This allows the reader access to a sub-culture where men train hard to be fit enough to survive, submit and be forced (having previously agreed that force will be met with determined resistance) to obey. Rough sex or "A good kicking" may be either punishment or reward but, again, mutually agreed parameters ensure that the action is acceptable to everybody involved. This is no sad specimen writing about impractical fantasies. Well educated and articulate, the author knows how to describe a plausible situation however extreme while at the same time exploring the instincts that make a certain type of man welcome challenge, discomfort and risk taking. Many a super-straight, macho male could benefit by stumbling across this book in an airport or the local Smiths. And thatís the great part - MORE AND HARDER is published by a company that has mainstream distribution, so the information which some people would like to suppress is out there. Men actually do the things described and get off on it. It will widen a few horizons and fill in a few gaps in general perceptions of sado-masochism and gay-ness. The action so vividly described in the book is out there. Responsible, intelligent men get to do these things.

Which brings me to my only complaint: the publishing imprint IDOL specialise in Gay Fiction and to get his story published the Author agreed to present it as fiction. Even the handcuffs in the front cover photo had to be air-brushed out before it was thought safe to allow it into British bookshops! Iím delighted that a major force like Virgin is behind publishing what many people judge to be dangerous information. Virginís legal advisors are painfully aware that although times are aíchanging, British laws related to sado-masochistic activities between mutually consenting adults remain totally fucked-up because of the infamous ĎSpannerí trial. The Law Reform Society has spent several years trying to untangle the mess that bad bad judgement left, but the legal precedent is on the Statute Books and no Politician is going to risk his career trying to get the judgement reversed. So although none of the activities reported in the book are in fact criminal in intent, truth must masquerade as fiction. We must all pretend that intelligent, responsible, skilled, professional men donít do the things described in author Morganís deliciously raunchy tale of hard men being tough on one another for their mutual fulfilment.

The games described are not everybodyís cup of tea - but this book will not corrupt the reader. If you donít like the sound of such activities you will naturally steer clear of trying them. Even if you enjoy reading about them, men who envy the action described and accept that all involved have chosen to be involved and agreed the rules, will find the detail fascinating. Is it corruption or liberation the mind? - to allow people to know that people actually do these things?. Men who have grown up trying to repress persistent control-and-counter-control fantasies will learn just what some men organise for themselves and for other people.

If your instincts lead you in that direction - read it - enjoy the Ďfictioní - but take it from me - there's a breed of Ďblokes and matesí out there actually getting it. Jim Stewart - August í99.

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Body Positive (London) Newsletter 238

Long-time Body Positive reader Morgan writes about his book 'More and Harder' which was published last month under Virgin's gay erotica imprint, Idol:

'More and Harder' is a fictionalised chronicle of his erotic adventures which include steamy skinhead and biker parties in the 1980's and squaddie type discipline and training in the 1990's.

The book includes Morgan's tribute to his lover Paul Wilkinson, previously published in the BP Newsletter: Paul was heavily involved in the production of the Newsletter for a year at the end of the 1980s.

Current readers to the Newsletter will be 'interested and probably aroused' by Morgan's historical descriptions of pre-AIDS aware gay London and subsequently by his personal reaction to the necessity of restricting to safer sex. Although the author never explicitly mentions the subject, it is clear that his reaction to his lover's illnesses was to redouble his own efforts at physical fitness and to move away from fluid exchange sex. He details 'a fascinating series of fantasy scenarios involving various combinations of physical challenge and discipline regimes: some gym and some military inspired'.

The author hopes his book will assist in stimulating the awakening of a larger pool of safe sex fantasies for his readers.

More and Harder by Morgan, published August 19th 1999 by Idol (Virgin publishing). £7.99. 280 pages ISBN 0352-334-37 1

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Correspondence about "More and Harder" by Morgan

Subj: Book
Date: 03/09/99 15:15:56 GMT

Dashed off an email to you and forgot to say that i loved your book. Now either you have the most detailed diaries lying around, or the most fantastic memory, or a novelist's imagination! The 'reality' of your writing was extraordinary - i know these were real experiences but the imaginative recreation of them was really impressive. Very well done - hope it sells loads.

Best,
david

 

Subj: Congratulation
Date: 26/08/99 19:02:44 GMT
I have ordered your book to amazon as you suggested me, and received it tonight. I have read some pages just to taste it and felt delighted.

BRAVO!

I am waiting for reading it now. I think I will have a good time.

Yours
Pierre

Subj: Saturday
Date: 19/08/99 19:53:48 GMT
Hi John,
Got copy of your book from Smiths Waterloo Station and took liberty of leaving the other copies of your book at front of shelf. Fun read so far dipping in and out - reminded me of that long period in sphere and Stepsbridge. Hope it does well for you and that you see some more after the advance is cleared. Hope that Ursus isn't upset by his lack of anonymity and he clearly needs right of reply to the heinous accusation of the closet chocolate habit.

cheers
Richard

Subj: RE : fame before the 19th........
Date: 17/08/99 23:03:13 GMT

Hi John

I thought you moght be interested in the em I have received about the book.......I was going to em you for good lluck for the launch on the 19th but I am too late...

Hi David,
When we spoke the other week, you said to look out for More and Harder by Morgan.
Well, I bought it today at Borders, but only after spotting the picture on the front cover. It looks very much like someone who owns a site I often visit. It is an interesting read, so much so, I was reading it on the train home.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Alan


I hope the sales go well........

David

Subj: Re: Book
Date: 16/08/99 18:31:53

Hi john,

Well, i got a surprise today in a bookshop when i was stopped in my tracks by a well known picture of you! So now i have your autobiography to hand and have just read the first chapter - the contents page alone is a turn on.
Congratulations! i am really looking forward to reading the rest.

Hope to see you sometime soon.

Cheers,

david

Subj: RE: More and Harder
Date: 13/08/99 01:16:44 GMT

Hi there,

I'm enjoying your book very much and read one chapter at a time instead of just rushing thru it all at once.

Apart from that "Mr. J" was here in the beginning of this week looking after my nipples and tounge, giving them the neccesary training they so much need.

Hope all is OK and that they book sells as much as it ought to, because as ever with your Morgan writing there're not the same to be found elsewhere on this planet !

Cheers

Magnus

Subj: Re: For the attention of Harry
Date: 04/08/99 12:30:00 GMT

Hi John,

Yes I'll recieved the book and think it's very interesting,(did not had the time yet to read it all) I showed it to some visitors and friends and they could not stop reading.

All the best

Harry

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Last revised May 2002