2009 Reader Views Literary Awards, Gay Fiction Category








2009 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Awards







Benediction is a darkly humorous tale of a middle-aged gay man’s journey through prostate cancer. Title character Ben Schmidt’s having an affair with the sexy artist upstairs, has another guy on the side, and he’s also just directed a movie, something he’s always wanted to do.

At work, his nemesis is hell-bent on getting him fired. Despite all this, Ben’s got a darkly skewed sense of humor, and learns to navigate the strange reality of Cancerworld just as his movie begins its festival tour and the situation at work gets worse. 

The happy outcome of any of these situations being far from certain, Ben struggles to figure out what love and friendship really mean, as he fights for his literal survival – at the same time dealing with those who want to give advice, including dead friends – who can’t resist popping back in as ghosts with words of questionable wisdom.



“Benediction” review by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views Magazine, link here.

Arnold, Jim. “Benediction”, Eureka Street Press, 2009.

Moving Through Life

Amos Lassen

It is not often that I pick up a book and find myself not wanting to close it until I finish.  REVIEW

“Mr. Arnold understands that a novel like Benediction lives or dies on how much sympathy the reader has for the narrator.  The book takes the reader to some fairly dark places and then makes a few jokes about the trip.  If we don’t like the narrator, we’re not going to see the trip through to its end.  I liked Ben Schmidt.  His life is messy.  The way he treats his cancer is messy.  His illness doesn’t lead to an epiphany; it just makes everything worse.  But Ben’s sense of humor, which was there all along, sees the reader through to the end of the book.”

C.B. James,

See entire review here.


At home, Ben Schmidt has mice in his walls. At work, office politics

threaten his dot-com job. In life, he’s cheating on his boyfriend,

he’s frantic to finish his first film – and he has prostate cancer.

Arnold navigates contemporary queer midlife angst with sizzle and

flair, witty writing and intricate plotting, and multidimensional

characters with emotional depth. This is a dandy debut.

Richard Labonte, Book Marks, Q Syndicate


“When Ben had everything, he didn’t know what he really wanted, now that he is on the edge to loose everything, he will have the chance to understand what is really important for him. In a way tragedy helps Ben, freeing him from all the unnecessary things, he will have an enough clear view to see what it really matters.” 

Elisa Rolle, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings

“Arnold’s writing style is straightforward with occasional bursts of dry wit, through post-operative appointments with a hunky doctor whom he eventually beds, and even when Ben ends up locked in a cell post-blackout at a police station. His various encounters with backstabbing coworkers, flirtatious festival presenters, and perhaps the novel’s largest symbolic object, his bulging apartment wall, gradually build to a breaking point.”

Jim Provenzano, Bay Area Reporter

See entire review here.

“All of which is to say, this is a really a fine book, and Jim Arnold is obviously a writer of considerable talent and a welcome addition to the glbt genre. Highly recommended…”

Victor Banis,

“With “Benediction,” author Jim Arnold has given readers an honest insight into the life of gay men, relationships and having cancer.  The characters, such as Ben are so well developed and described you will feel you are living the journey with them…” 

Carol Hoyer, PhD, ReaderViews

See entire review here.

“Let me start by stating that this book is very well written – fast paced, snappy dialog, excellent plot points, often lyrical descriptions San Francisco, gritty New York club scenes, sex dens in Sydney, the corporate scene…”

Alan Chin, Rainbow Reviews.

See entire review here.



Reading at A Different Light, San Francisco, November, 2009.


Reading at Faubourg Marigny Art & Books (FAB) New Orleans, October, 2009.


Outing Prostate Cancer/Benediction Reading at LA LGBT Center, July 22, 2010.


Benediction reading at homo-centric, Stories Bookstore, Los Angeles, April 2010.


Benediction is available at online bookstores in either paperback or ebook form.