By:Chris Wyatt
Review Date: Monday, September 08, 2003

Despite many, many years in the legitimate entertainment industry, the name Traci Lords is still practically synonymous with pornography. Given the potentially suggestive title, readers might expect Lord's new autobiography, UNDERNEATH IT ALL, to be a celebration of life in the skin-flick fast lane... but it's not. It's a chilling, heartfelt, and often disturbing memoir of a girl who wound up on the streets and in trouble.

Lord's doesn't pull punches in this book as she recounts the mistakes in her life. Both the mistakes make by the adults around her, and the mistakes she herself made. Few people might realize how young she was (only 15) when her stepfather pushed her into using a fake ID to take her first nude modeling job. Or the how the FBI treated her when they forcibly detained her as part of a child pornography sting operation.

Lord's childhood wasn't an easy one. The honesty, and personal detail that she uses to recount her history of victimization by adults, strikes a heartfelt cord. Thankfully, the book also chronicles Lord's emotional and career growth as she battled to rise above her child porn image.

The book is filled with touching moments. Like when Traci, who had had sex with scores of men on porn film sets before leaving the industry, get nervous around a boy she likes because she's had so few actual romantic relationships.

Film fans will also be pleased with Traci's behind the scenes accounts of genre entertainment like NOT OF THIS EARTH and the Sci-Fi Channel's FIRST WAVE.

UNDERNEATH comes highly recommended.

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Mania Grade: A-
Author: Traci Elizabeth Lords
Publisher: Harper Entertianment
Pages: 304
Price: $23.95