CORPORAL IN CHARGE OF TAKING CARE OF CAPTAIN O'MALLEY and OTHER STORIES
by
JACK FRITSCHER
FULL TEXT REVIEWS

DUNGEON MASTER, February 1987
THE ADVOCATE, May 14, 1985
IN TOUCH FOR MEN
#100
Anniversay Issue, February 1985
DRUMMER #81, February 1985
THE BODY POLITIC
, January 1985
PHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS
, December 20, 1984
NO BAD NEWS, Vol. 5, #11, November 1984

DRUMMER LEATHER FRATERNITY #9, Newsletter, October 1984
TORSO, April 2001




Corporal at Amazon.comDRUMMER LEATHER FRATERNITY #9, Newsletter, October 1984
San Francisco, USA
By John Rowberry

HEADLINE: Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley

"a wealth of new...material"
"Amid the graphic descriptions...there are actually ideas here"
"a very particular style and rhythm"
"Fritscher's imagination...is without remorse"

A San Franciscan with a specific point of view about leather-sexuality is former Drummer editor Jack Fritscher, whose long-awaited anthology of semi-fictions and observations, Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley (Gay Sunshine Press) has finally hit the bookstores. While a few of the individual pieces (including the title story) have appeared in Drummer, Skin, Just Men and In Touch, for the most part they have been reworked for this book, and a wealth of new, unpublished material fills these covers. Fritscher has a very particular style and rhythm to his writing that you either sink into or you don't. Not as avant garde as it might sound, but not at all like reading the New York Times, perhaps, or the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. The subject matter is a varied as Fritscher's imagination, which seems endless and totally without remorse. What may really surprise you is that amid the graphic descriptions of every act known to man, there are actually ideas here. The book is illustrated with photos by Old Reliable and drawings by the legendary Rex.

Also mentioned in the same review: Geoff Mains, Daniel Curzon, and Boyd McDonald.

©John Rowberry

Corporal at Amazon.com

NO BAD NEWS, Vol. 5, #11, November 1984
St. Louis MO, United States
No By-Line

HEADLINE: CORPORAL IN CHARGE OF TAKING CARE OF CAPTAIN O'MALLEY AND OTHER STORIES

"A LOT TO LIKE...IT'S literate, funky, honest, and even funny by intent"

CORPORAL IN CHARGE OF TAKING CARE OF CAPTAIN O'MALLEY AND OTHER STORIES, henceforth referred to as "Corp," a collection of S&M-oriented short stories, essays, the title play, and other assorted whack-offeries from the pen of Drummer's daddy, Jack Fritscher. Devotees of the darker side of the subculture will find a lot to like about the book. It's literate, funky, honest, and even funny by intent. Fritscher explores pecs, golden showers, cops, self-sucking, blonds, and most other varieties of the mansex experience. "Corp" won't appear soon in the public library, but if you like free-wheeling print and have a short attention span, it's a good read.

Additional reviews contained in the same article: True Homosexcual Experiences edited by Boyd McDonald, and The Jack Wrangler Story by Paul Cadmus. On the cover of this issue of NBN, St., Louis, is "David Hockney With Self-Portrait."

Copyright: NO BAD NEWS


Corporal at Amazon.comPHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS,
December 20, 1984
Philadelphia PA, United States
By Q

HEADLINE: Man's Most Accessible Sex Organ Is Not What You Think It Is

When Jack Fritscher's Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley was recently published by Gay Sunshine Press, I think my eight-inch cock got a little rawer cause of the number of times I've been beating off to this book (the only other porno title that affects me this severely is Mason Powell's The Brig, a sexsational study of gay S&M in a military prison setting).

Fritscher is a master of gay prose pornography, a rarity in our 1984 video-oriented culture. Not only does San Francisco writer Jack Fritscher know how to write, but he understands very well how a pornographer plays with the brain, man's most accessible and effectively reached sexual organ. As I've told innumerable slaves I've fucked over the years, if you don't have good head space, man, forget it. Words, after all, are the mechanisms that separate the human male from the rest of the animal kingdom. Sensitively used, artfully poised words, sentences and verbal-based images are what make for the hottest of sexual interactions among men.

So you want proof? Then I heartily recommend this volume to gay readers who enjoy well-written pornography. Even the S&M sexuality in this volume will not lose most vanilla readers or even alienate them, as it's lovingly and artfully rendered throughout.

The best piece in the collection is undoubtedly the title one, which originally appeared in what are now collector's editions of Drummer (numbers 22 and 23). The plotting is plain: a new Marine Corps recruit is reminiscing about various flavorful Marine's he's been sucking off in the latrine, when who should pop into his barracks cell but Captain O'Malley, a wonderfully severe and sadistic Irishman who knows exactly what he wants to obtain from Marine Corps cocksuckers. The dialogue of the interaction completely and sensually sets the scene; the piece is written in the form of a porno screenplay. Fritscher goes to pains to thank Mr. David Hurles, otherwise known as the photography purveyor "Old Reliable," for the original idea for this piece.

The "Corporal" piece works so effectively because it takes commonplace dialogue you will find in pornography and sets old cliches in the space of language exchanged by the two participants: the Captain, an aggressive, buttfucking sadist, and Powell, an asshole who knows exactly what the score is when it comes to ingesting the big Marine's cock. Sound hot? It is! You can read this work over and over and over again as a masterpiece of written cinema verite, verbal abuse festival par excellence, realistic and erotic pornography charged with an electric abandon. This work is indeed worth the price of the entire book; buy it just to experience this section.

But don't let me slight other delectable chapters. "A Sucker for Uncut Dick" is so erotic I almost feel like making an appointment with the doctor to learn how I can reverse the process of circumcision. It's heady, ribald, deliciously obscene. Indeed, Fritscher excels at the art of erotic description, so is it any wonder that works like "Teenage Circle Jerk: Anticipation," "Self-sucker," "The List," "Nooner Sex: Humping Straight Daddies," and "The Best Dirty-Blond Carpenter in Texas" are so terribly annihilating in their lustful evocation of their subjects?

Fritscher is also a genius at producing credible S&M pornography. His "Officer Mike: San Francisco's Finest" reminded me of my own wonderful, five-year affair with a humpy policeman--there's just something terribly strange, grand and wonderful about cops--their attitudes, their habits, their hangups, their sexy/aggressive/domineering fuckworthy existence--that drive me crazy with desire. (The policeman I did have an affair with just loved to be fucked, and fucked senselessly and incessantly--there just was and is no definitive way I've discovered to deliver my cock up his ass!)

There are other treasures in this volume as well: "Black-and-White Doublefuck" is the kind of erotic tale which, were it read aloud at a BWMT meeting, might make for riotous fucking in the aisles! This story constitutes just the most intense, concise celebration of black/white gay male sexuality I have ever had the pleasure of working my way through. The manner in which Fritscher manipulates language, sensuality, feeling, nuance, style, atmosphere, even one's visual sense in this piece is enough to guarantee this book sensational status for many, many years.

I could go on and on for a long while about the many erotic pleasures that burst from this volume. But I won't.

Jack Fritscher is a great god of gay writing who I would get on my knees to suck up to in gratitude for his achingly, excruciatingly, desperately satisfying erotica. If you're gonna buy any gay porno this year, make this the book!

© Q (Philadelphia Gay News)

Corporal at Amazon.comTHE BODY POLITIC, January 1985
Toronto, Canada
By Ian Young

HEADLINE:
Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley and Other Stories

"Fritscher loves words as well as what they describe"
"Fritscher's gift for language made me think of the poet Dennis Cooper"

Jack Fritscher's Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley (Gay Sunshine Press, $10) is a collection of erotic stories and fantasies that first appeared in magazines like Drummer, Skin and MAN2MAN. These are not just your off-hand pulp porn, though. They are true fantasies in more than one sense of the word. The title story reproduces wonderfully the almost litany-like dirty talk of a hot scene between two gay men. And "Young Deputy: K-9 Dog Dik" straddles (and screws) the borderline between inventive eroticism and the phantasmagoric.

Fritscher's gift for language made me think of the poet Dennis Cooper, and as in Cooper's work, there is a strong element of romanticism here. The sentimental codas to some of the stories could have been cut, but this is easily over-looked. Unlike most writers of dirty stories, Fritscher loves words as well as what they describe -- which makes this one of the hottest books in a long while. Much of it is S/M-oriented, so it may not be for those who like it lite'n'easy.

Also reviewed in the same article: Hallelujah Now by Terrence Davies, Maiden Voyage and Through a Cloud by Denton Welch, The Cripple Liberation Front Marching Band Blues by Lorenzo Wilson Milam, and My First Year Out by John Ketzer.

Copyright: Ian Young


Corporal at Amazon.comDRUMMER #81, February 1985
By Aaron Travis
Editor's Note: Writing in apprenticeship to John Embry

HEADLINE: Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley
and Other Stories
plus Leather Blues

Jack Fritscher and his high-brow, gutter-level runimations on "pex" and sex, slapcaptains and selfsuckers, have finally arrived between the covers of a book. No longer need readers thumb through dog-eared back issues of Skin or Drummer (of which Fritscher was once editor) or the short-lived MAN2MAN (which Fritscher created after his Drummer stint) to catch privileged glimpses of that unique cock-stiffening domain of which Fritscher is sole demiurge. It's all there--or most of it, anyway--in a long overdue anthology called Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley (Gay Sunshine Press, $10).

As a writer, Fritscher is hard to categorize. His subject is sex (or mansex, as he'd put it); his speciality is good ol' boy raunch, Man Stuff. He's a jittery stylist with a kinetic verbal sense, heavy into subjectivity. Wary of other people's cliches, he mints his own. I call them Fritscherisms -- hybrid words, funky misspellings, tough/tacky alliterations and offbeat rhythms. In Fritscher's world, titclamps "chow down" into nipples, and "titsports are a hot man's offramp to Alpha Centauri." Hot numbers speak from the crotch ("I figured a big, booming, deep-sex voice would spout basso out of his nuts") and, in a sadly dated ode to "homosensuality," we're told that "a kiss down the throat can be quite continental, but rimming is a guy's best trend."

Most of the pieces in Corporal are essays, not fiction--diatribes and incantations to the erotic power of nipples, cops, spit, military men, blue collar sweat, tattoos, straight men, jocks, and "pex." Here the Fritscherisms run wild--oddly potent the first time around, beginning to cloy on a second reading.

But when Fritscher's odd-ball writing works, it works spectacularly. The title story of this anthology, which first appeared in Drummer, is classic j/o material, a two-man dialogue that captures in stiffening detail the consequences of being caught open-mouthed in the company latrine by a Captain who likes to slap and knows how to plough. It puts every ersatz "hot talk" tape on the market to shame. A sequel, "USMC Slapcaptain," is almost a match, and a portrait of "Officer Mike: San Francisco's Finest" does a public and private image turn-around on your standard brutal cop fantasy. "Men found it easy to honor Mike in straight bars and to worship him in private bedrooms. He was a naturally strong center, careful never to diminish any man. He put no man down. He made no man feel small. He was no need to make a man bottom out in order to get down to the uplift worship of the Great God Cock."

You could say that Fritscher is a hardhat-chaser--"Real Men" are his game (or as Fritscher says, the kind of men who say "Yo"). He celebrates unself-conscious working class men--or at least hay fantasies of working class men. Then, out of the blue, he'll show another color. In a story called "Silver Screen Castro Blues," these's enough ghettoized angst to keep the Manhattan gay literati wired for months, peppered with dialogue like this: "Every faggot wants to be Judy-Judy-Judy. Uppers in the morning. Downers at night. And fucked senseless by rough trade till dawn."

There's a dichotomy here that runs through a lot of gay erotica; the worship of Regular Guys--trade, jocks, construction workers, military men--as some sort of redeeming fountainhead, versus an image of openly gay life as bleak, frustrated, too sophisticated for its own good. Regular Guys are somehow more "authentic" for being status quo and unaware of the ironies of sex. Sex with them is the Real Thing.

Fritscher says: "None of this means that Genuine Straight is any better than Genuine Homosexual, just that to gay men used to gay men's sex styles, Straight Daddies are refreshingly different.... When you fuck with him, you put your arms around the firm, hard bulk of all that was ever Daddygood and Daddyhot in the Basic American Dream." Is this just a phase that we're going through?

Leather Blues at Amazon.comAlong with Corporal, Gay Sunshine has also published Leather Blues (92 pp., $5.95), a short novelette about a young leatherman's rites of passage--so short, and ultimately insubstantial, that it might have been better if Gay Sunshine had included it in the Corporal anthology instead of making it stand on its own. The first third of Leather Blues appeared several years ago as "The Adventures of Denny Sargent" in a Son of Drummer special; what follows and completes this novelette is a falling-off, a disjointed patchwork that really doesn't deliver a finished product. Here the Fritscherisms and the inane good ol' boy dialogue win out, and what might have been a major work of leather fiction turns out to be pedestrian streetwear, purchased off the rack.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Aaron Travis, working as writer-for-hire to Publisher John Embry for whom Fritscher created the San Francisco DRUMMER that has long been DRUMMER's "Gold Standard," mis-speaks here in a seeming act of ventriloquism characteristic of Embry employees. The first chapter of LEATHER BLUES (i.e. 8 pages out of 103 pages) appeared in SON OF DRUMMER a special magazine edited by Jack Fritscher, and mostly written by him. At the time, John Embry promised to publish LEATHER BLUES in its entirety as a book through Alternate Publishing. When Fritscher left DRUMMER, because of pay Embry owed him, he took his leather novel with him, thus leaving Embry to turn to the novelization of MR. BENSON which Fritscher had edited for serial publication in DRUMMER. LEATHER BLUES immediately appeared in 1980 as a serial-novel in MAN2MAN Magazine. Aaron Travis, after his stint under Embry, went on to write his entertaining B-movie gladiator stories that mix the novel QUO VADIS with Steve Reeves' HERCULES.

©Aaron Travis

IN TOUCH FOR MEN #100 Anniversary Issue, February 1985
United States
By Richard Labonté

HEADLINE:
Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley and Other Stories

"Rough-and-Tumble orgies of the mind"
"stark, subtle, smooth and suggestive, richly erotic"

A superior erotic offering is Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley (Gay Sunshine Press, $10 paper) a collection of twenty-one assertively sexual and imaginatively arousing pieces. Not stories, though some are rough-and tumble orgies of the mind, the title tale is actually a twenty-page torrent of S&M wordplay. Author Jack Fritscher's prose is everything John Coriolan's is not: stark, subtle, smooth and suggestive, richly erotic because it leads the way into a fantasy world rather than presenting one that the writer works too hard at making super-real. Best of the good bunch: ruminations on hustler bars, and "Earthorse: Harvest," a stunning political sex fable about an S&M future.

©Richard Labonté

Corporal at Amazon.comThe Advocate, May 14, 1985
Los Angeles CA, United States
By Geoff Mains

HEADLINE: Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley and
Leather Blues

These are wonderful books, full of careful writing and a fine sense of words. Full of compassion and humor. And full of hot, horny fantasies that make good one-handed reading. But these are also works that surge into lyricism and insight.

In these two simultaneously published books Jack Fritscher celebrates that mythos of male-bonding which is so central to our society but which drives so many men ape-shit. In these stories, however, men who are mostly, but not always, gay bond with a frankness that refreshes.

Corporal in Charge brings together works from Fritscher's generous pen over the past 10 or so years. The tales fall mainly into two groups.

In the first, Fritscher delivers adolescent throbbings--those desires so intense they almost surprise. "The summer between junior high and senior high, Engine remembered, he had beat off 358 times for an average of nearly four loads a day." How small details preoccupied us then, and still do, becoming part of our ongoing sexuality. Fritscher creates his texts from those morsels that so transfixed: images, memories and fantasies; shed pubic hair collecting in urinals; abandoned and redolent jockstraps. His writing becomes a frieze, a fine caring, lovingly crafted.

Fritscher's largest category of tales embraces that joy shared between men in living their sexuality. Here are many facets of leather sex. Here is a man as brother and daddy ("And deep down you're glad...you can...let him feel some comfort and fun...that Daddies need Daddies too"). Here is man as tester and prover. Here is man as erotic dreamer, as self-lover and shaman, as animal (the brilliant ironic nuances of "Young Deputy: K-9 Dog Dik"). Here are men who cross old barriers and old prejudices ("Hustler Bars"). Here is mansex as ritual and initiation ("Captain O'Malley" and "USMC Slapcaptain"). Here are watersports, titsports, dominance, submission and fisting.

In the midst of this strongly erotic writing are some quite different tales with unexpected twists. "Caro Ricardo" is a tender, surreal story of a desperate search for personal meaning, of being together and alone in the frenetic glitz of New York obsessions. "Silver Screen Castro Blues" traces these same universal themes in a different but no less ironic way. And in "Earthorse: Harvest" Fritscher work these same themes into a bleak future that reaches back to threaten up today.

Leather Blues at Amazon.comThe fable Leather Blues, though not even a hundred pages long, packs a world of insight into its metaphors: growing up in America; the crazy, even cruel contradictions of straight sexual expectation; the myths of proving oneself. Denny Sargent sets out to take on the world with his cock but ends up learning some very different things. That a man can indeed be top and bottom, that a good top does a scene not for his own ego but for his love of the bottom's trips and needs. And he learns that there can indeed be sharing and respect between men who have sustained this rite of passage in giving themselves.

The themes of Leather Blues elaborate on those in Corporal in Charge. Fritscher talks of a world in which men can care and share. And of men who are not trying to flaunt a supposed superiority. These are men who know the joy of being themselves. Because once a man has embraced and accepted the reality of himself and the complex range of instincts and emotions that must be lived with, the deceits of ego-inflation become superfluous. Ending one of the hottest stories I his collection, Fritscher writes: "San Francisco, in my book, is the place where, when you go there, you get to be your true self. The Slot...is the place most likely to see or help a dedicated self-sucker doing himself, because he knows in such a special City that nobody does it like he does it when he does it to himself." Amen.

Editor's Note: This issue of The Advocate, May 14, 1985, reviewed Quentin Crisps Manners From Heaven alongside Jack Fritscher's two works of Fiction. The photograph of Quentin Crisp was by New Orleans photographer, George Dureau, who was interviewed in Jack Fritscher's Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera and was the subject of a Palm Drive Video documentary Dureau Verite show at the Maison Europeenne de La Photographie Ville de Paris. Also included were Joseph Hansen's Brandstetter and Others: Five Fictions and Samuel R. Delany's Stars in My Pockets like Grains of Sand.

©Geoff Mains

Corporal at Amazon.comDUNGEON MASTER, February 1987
San Francisco CA, United States
By Victor Terry

HEADLINE: Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley

There is one Old Reliable audio tape that is fully scripted and rehearsed and acted out. It is the best OR tape I've heard and one of the best audio cassette tapes I've heard from any source. It is "Corporal in Charge" and is Jack Fritscher's script "Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley" which appeared in Drummer #s 22 and 23 and in 1984 in Fritscher's book with the same title. The audio actors make some changes in Fritscher's script with minor omissions and additions, and for some reason the climax of the final episode at the end of part one on side one is cut off and omitted. There are a few minutes of blank tape at the beginnings and ends of each side, so there certainly was room on the tape for the omitted part one climactic climax. That omission is probably just an editing error; I can't imagine the actors just stopped in the middle of the fucking climax and went out for a beer. Old Reliable should re-edit this tape to include the fucking climax to make this superior tape even better. (Editor's Note: To solve this dilemma.)

Fritscher's script is written in two parts with a three-month hiatus between the two parts' between the parts is where the cassette is flipped to play the second side.

The actors in "Corporal" are very good, especially the corporal who rings more changes on "Yes, Sir" than I expected. The sound effects are good. And there is a plot which is organized to rise from one climax to a higher one to yet a higher one and so on. For those who don't know the story: in brief: a marine corporal has been reported sucking cock in the latrine; in the corporal's barracks room, Captain O'Malley blackmails Corporal Powell into being his personal fuckhole for his "donkey dick," a role the corporal is reluctant to assume ("Oh, Sir, please don't, please don't fuck me, please don't, Sir,") but rank has its privileges and the corporal wants to stay in the honor guard and in the marine corps ("I love the Marine Corps, Sir"), and so...Recommended tape, especially for those into marines, submission, obedience to a uniform. A superior tape.

©Victor Terry

Corporal at Amazon.comTORSO, April 2001
no by line

Purple Prose with a Purpose

In Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O’Malley and other Canonical Stories, Jack Fritscher writes funny, descriptive and on-target essays about topics ranging from “Beefy College Jocks,” to “L.A. Hustler Bars” and “A Sucker for Uncut Dick” to “Titsports.” One story, “Caro Ricardo,” is of particular interest because it’s a memoir of the author’s bicoastal relationship with the later, controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Don’t miss the graphic account of the sleazy backroom glory days of New York’s long-gone Mineshaft in “Wet Dreams, Golden Showers”–complete with a raunchy remembrance of that nightspot’s infamous “bathtub piss orgies.” 𠇎verybody look better hosed down with gallons of shiny piss,” Fritscher writes, and who are we to disagree? Whether he’s writing about autofellationists or the importance of male pecs, Fritscher is positively riveting in these 21 stories. These explicit tales, many of which deal with the romanticism of raunch, bring humor, insight and understanding to the darker fringes of human sexuality.

Copyright 2007 by Jack Fritscher, Ph.D. & Mark Hemry - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED