Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry by Legs McNeil and Jennifer Osborne, is a fairly astonishing book. This doesn't cover gay porn (McNeil says that's its own book), but covers every little corner of the filmed porn biz, starting with the "nudie cuties" in the 1950s (Bettie Page, this introduction's for you) and going up to the cusp of the 21st century. John Holmes is here, as are Marilyn Chambers, Seka, Harry Reems, Savannah, Ron Jeremy, and a myriad of others. And it's not just porn stars, either, as you can't tell the story of porn without talking extensively of organized crime. Or of copious amounts of illegal drugs - as one section is titled, in the late '70s and early '80s many felt that "Porn Goes Better With Coke." The research and interviews required for a book of this nature and size (590 pages) are truly awesome, as is the finished product. It's not the faint of heart, but if you can handle the subject matter and have an interest in it, The Other Hollywood should be at the top of your must-read list. A

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