Monday, February 09, 2009

More naughty

As I mentioned earlier, the Other Hollywood is a heck of a read. The book is an oral history, so it consists entirely of interview transcripts from key players in the world of adult film, including the actors, directors, the mob financiers, the FBI team that chased the mob, the girlfriends and the occasional tangential player like John Waters. On the face of it, this sounds like the authors didn't do much work, but the organization and selection of the interviews is excellent. You get a story from many angles and directly from the participants.

Many of the stories are quite amusing, many are more than a little shocking and quite a few are just tragic. The story of the famously well endowed John Holmes is a thread for much of the book. The character of Dirk Diggler in Boogies Night is at least partially modeled on that of Holmes. While Diggler experienece a rise and fall followed by a partial rise, Holmes's fall was uninterrupted. The robbery scene from Boogies Nights is based on a real robbery that ended in murder and questions remain about the role Holmes played. The Wonderland killings saw four people die as a result of being brutally beaten. Holmes certainly led the killers to the apartment, but may have even been one of the killers.

Then there is the story of Shannon Wisley who killed herself after she was injured in a drunk driving crash. The belief is that the suicide rose from her belief that her injuries would preclude her from working again. Okervil River wrote two songs about her, one from her father's perspective and one from her own. They are both great songs are terribly sad as you might imagine.

Savannah Smiles

Shannon Wisley on the Starry Stairs


Jennifer said...

I read this a few years ago and thought it was damn good. I've found Leggs McNeil's stuff a bit hit-or-miss in the past, but this was definitely a hit.

Tripp said...

I've not read his Punk rock book, do you think it is any good?

Citizen Reader said...

Well, Tripp, I got this book from the library...but perhaps having it around at the same time as Chuck Palahniuk's novel "Snuff" worked against me. For one week, anyway. I'll have to get this one back sometime.

Tripp said...

Wow you managed Snuff, I am scared of that book. Yes, the McNeill book can get a bit grimy can't it? You might want to get it again for the Wonderland saga, given your true crime inclination.

Citizen Reader said...

Uh, yeah, "Snuff." Not quite sure what the point of that was. I wouldn't bother, if I were you. Palahniuk basically coasted on his "shocking" subject matter, which, in my opinion, makes him no better (for this novel anyway) than Jodi Picoult. I wish I'd skipped it and read more of the McNeill book instead!

Tripp said...

From what I heard, Snuff sounded truly horrid, which I like to avoid. I am more than a little squeamish, which is odd given my reading taste.