Monday, August 8, 2011

Review - Soho By Spotlight review

5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, accurate and HOT!, August 8, 2011
By Mellon Collie "Dalek Lover" (New Haven, CT) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Soho By Spotlight (Paperback)

Books about the old time UK porn industry are rare, especially ones that go beyond the world inhabited by the stars of Simon Sheridan's masterful Keeping The British End Up and Come Play With Me. Soho By Spotlight fills that void. It is the tale of Elizabeth Clark, a waitress at a Soho cafe who finds herself drawn almost inadvertently into the universe of mucky movies - but NOT on the side of the camera you're expecting. For a little over a year in the late 1960s, she schemed the action and worked the camera on countless 10 minute stag films, and this is the story of that year.

The book is unput-down-able. Chapters are short but they hit home hard. Characters come hurtling into life, scenarios are documented with vivid detail, and more than any other book I've read, we get a genuine taste for the streets of Soho - the corruption that was a daily backdrop and the criminality that was a necessary part of her profession, of course, but also the friendships, loves and pride in a job well done that were equally vital ingredients.

XXX films demand a XXX story and no punches are pulled here as movie shoots are documented in fabulous detail... making the reader wish the book was illustrated, simply so we can see the faces and bodies that are described with such passion. But Soho By Spotlight is so much more than the usual adult read. It is also a historical document, preserving a world that is not only long gone but is almost unimaginable today. Hardcore erotica hasn't always been available at the click of a mouse, you know. Once, you could almost go to jail for even thinking about it.

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