Okay, this book isn't perfect. I have yet to read one that is. There are a few typos, but not enough to detract from the overall effect, which is what I base my ratings on.I'd heard so much about this cult classic, and the way it has been a forerunner for the genre, pre-empting many of the latter BDSM slave/master books. I didn't expect to find anything new, assuming most that have been written since to be derivatives of this.And when I say I was surprised, I'm not talking here about the plot twist which the author used to make a couple of statements about different kinds of kink.What I hadn't expected were two beautifully expressed aspects of the whole BDSM psychology.Firstly from Jamie in that vivid scene where he goes back to the Mineshaft in his leathers and enters the room with the sling and just watches the men circling who want to be placed in it and the hawks against the wall: "Mr. Benson had taken away my pride, but then he had replaced it with a new kind - the pride of belonging.But now I was like the rest of them: in such great need that anyone who would pay attention would be the man for tonight. There was no emotional bond to be considered." This whole scene and the ones following it, resonated with me more than any others in the rest of the book. Not so much Jamie's involvement in them, but because of all the other people depicted. I could imagine the desperation and the boredom so easily. This disconnectedness and sheer want is very obvious to the onlooker, albeit on a less intense scale, at events like the Mardi Gras party. There are a lot of lonely guys out there.Then later, in the section from Mr Benson's POV, another epiphany came when he says:But no one ever writes about the cumulative effect of SM. How every time becomes another building block in your respect for a bottom...... Every time I'd present him with a test or an obstacle and he'd get through it, the emotion of my pride would build. It was the constant willingness on his part to work at being worthy of me that created the ever-increasing respect I had for him.The rest of the scenes in the book fell into line with others that have been written since, but for me, those two sections captured the essence of that need and what people really into BDSM get out of the experience.For Jamie, it was having an emotional bond and belonging to not just any top, but to Mr. Benson and for Aristotle, it was having someone who trusted him enough to allow himself to be molded to what he wanted him to be.I'm not saying other BDSM writers don't get this angle. Some do, brilliantly, but I did like the way John Preston presented it all so simply.The book is not for the squeamish, but after reading "Carried Away" by David Stein, short stories by Barry Lowe and true life accounts by Dirk Vanden, the more intense gritty scenes were not unexpected.It's a shame the book isn't available as an ebook, and I do thank Kate for the gift.