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Traci Lords: Underneath It All [Paperback]

Traci Lords
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Feb 2005

The moving, gripping, and tell–all autobiography of Traci Elizabeth Lords, a former child porn queen, electronica maven, and cult movie and TV star.

At 14, Nora Kuzma ran away from home and ended up on the dirty streets of Hollywood. She fell in with a fast crowd, and her dreams of modelling soon landed her a spectacular centrefold in Penthouse Magazine, where at 15 she became internationally known as TRACI LORDS. From there she appeared in numerous adult films and magazines, denying her past and battling a deep addiction to cocaine and men. Three years later she got out. This is her memoir–a tale of loss, redemption, and ultimate survival as Traci Elizabeth Lords takes you into her secretive past, faces her demons, and shares her extraordinary journey of personal growth.

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Traci Lords: Underneath It All + How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; New edition edition (1 Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060508213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060508210
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 16 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 500,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Traci Lords: Underneath It All is the autobiography of the infamous porn starlet. Nora Kuzma was a troubled teenager from Steubenville, Ohio; Traci Lords was the underage glamour mag/porn queen who became the centerpiece of the adult-video industry's greatest scandal. In reality, they were one and the same, the subject of this slick, if thin autobiography. But what's striking here is not the familiar story line--confused, sexually abused teen falls in with drugs and the wrong Southern California crowd, forges fake IDs to become Penthouse Pet of the Month at 16 and the 80s hottest adult star, then arrested as focus of the Reagan administration's crackdown on porn, only to become reborn as cleaned-up, psychoanalysed/rehabed purveyor of legitimate film, TV and music career. Rather, what's striking is Lords' capacity for denial, compartmentalisation and myopia when it serves her own ends.

Her scandalous tenure in the porn trade--undeniably the sole basis for her infamy and subsequent legitimate career--is glossed over here in a few dozen pages, with more attention paid to the heavy-metal musicians that dotted her life than the motivations and machinations of the Feds who literally changed her life; Slash's snake gets more ink here than Attorney General Ed Meese. Quick to ladle generous sympathy on her own plight, she heaps little but scorn upon those from the seedy past of her porn-star alter-ego, yet seems to have had few qualms about formally adopting that moniker as her legal name.

Many of her former cohorts in the adult industry (some of whom were jailed as targets of Federal law enforcement and tax probes related to her case) have long claimed that Lords was little more than a scheming careerist, and a careful reading of her own words does little to undermine their case. There are indeed many insights to Lords's troubled life here, with more than a few lurking between the lines. --Jerry McCulley, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Frank, opinionated, intelligent, drenched in emotion….Will have readers cheering Lords on as they speed through its gritty, big-souled pages.” (Publishers Weekly)

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I grew up in a dirty little steel town called Steubenville, in eastern Ohio. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wheres the beef? 18 Nov 2003
By A Customer
An autobiography that attempts to write a book about her life while trying to avoid the parts that everybody wants to hear about. Lets all be dead honest here, if you know Traci Lords then you are probably looking to hear about the story that made news in the 80's regarding an underage pornography scandal, and you are only mildly (if at all) interested in her 1990's B-grade movie and music credits. It is thus unfortunate that the entire purpose of this book seems to be to rid herself (and resultantly us) of her past while trying to divert our focus onto the present and future. I found about 1/2 of this book truely interesting, certainly well written, and even inspirational at times. I persisted on with the 'work' that involved finishing the book and hearing about her shallow experience in movies and music, unfortunately combined with a distinctly righteous attitude towards the adult industry in general. We (and she) need to realise that there are literally tens of thousands of people with the shallow movie industry experience that Mrs Lords has, and the random ramblings of Traci doesnt add much value to us, nor generate much interest for your average reader.
Despite my reservations about the 2nd half of the book, I was glad that I made the purchase and believe that the 1st half makes for interesting reading and warrants the price tag. If you can pull yourself to stop reading and not feel 'guilty' for putting the book back on the shelf at the halfway point, then this book might be for you. If your like me and need to finish a book once its started, then be prepared for a couple of hundred pages of work to get you through to the end.
Generally enjoyable, but be prepared to work for it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars still know very little about traci!! 7 July 2010
By Lisa M
i read this autobiography in the hope of finding out about the real traci and what really happened in the 80s but instead she tries desperately to paint an image of an abused angel who could do no wrong. i dont believe she is as naive or innnocent as she claims in her one sided biased book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Days of Traci's Lives 16 Jan 2013
The early years of Traci's life outshine most of what is written in this autobiography, detailing her abusive father who in a jealous rage hit her mother and caused severe injuries. She claimed she was raped by a teenage boy when she was ten years old, if that's possible. The three years of porn are covered a bit too briefly where she has an abortion and a fake ID from Lynn, a girlfriend of her stepfather, to make it easier for her to find a job. She's arrested by the FBI for appearing in child pornography, but no one explains who tipped the FBI that she was using a false name and driver's license. The second half, her "after porn" life seems to dissolve our sympathies as it plows on. An agent produces a legal adult film and bails her out of her financial troubles. He lives together with her and wants to marry her. She moves out and marries a prop man from a John Waters film instead. Here, she believes unproven rumors he is having an affair with an actress while she goes out and dates her hairstylist, even buying sex toys together. But she expects him to be faithful while she travels on location, flirting with the leading man on every film. This is supposed to be grounds for divorce for her and Brook who she said she was very much in love with. The easiest route for failure in a film career is to form relationships with a man who is evaluated in terms of promoting your own status and advancement, and measuring everything and everyone else in the same way, otherwise known as "screwing your way to the top." Even today, some still believe Traci's underage porn films were part of a secret scheme she had to bankrupt and ruin those who produced them. A footnote: Children of the Night, a group protecting runaway children, had a profit sharing agreement with publishers of this book. This might account for the fact that mostly just negative experiences in Traci's porn film career were included.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An old sob story...yuck! 6 Oct 2003
By Sharon
If you want to read a contradicting sob story with explicit pictures, go a head purchase this one. If you want to read a real story what goes on in the industry of today by "Cut Throat Business, I am having the last word". It is a real story written by a editor who use to work in the industry of today and not 10 years ago. It is a straight in your face experience of the porn industry. She turned on the industry by revealing her story and inside information about the industry, things no one else has dared to until now. Traci's doped up Hollywood scripted story with pictures is a contradiction; on moment there were no drugs, alcohol; no there were all of the above. This is her last moment of fame she is trying to cash in on. Horrible to think that taking a day job like everybody else to make ends meet is not good enough for Ms Lord, she still have to expose her self to make the money so she can support her lifestyle and here by writing this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good communication despite long turnaround 6 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Coming from the US this took the best part of 3 weeks to turn up and there was no tracking info but the seller kept me updated and their service was good. Book arrived in perfect condition.
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