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The Pornographer's Daughter: A Memoir of Childhood, My Dad, and Deep Throat

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More than forty years after "Deep Throat" arrived on the cultural scene and inspired a sexual revolution, questions about the ethics of pornography and its impact on society are still being asked today and remain as controversial as ever. Kristin Battista-Frazee was only four years old in 1974 when her father, Anthony Battista, was indicted by the federal government for di More than forty years after "Deep Throat" arrived on the cultural scene and inspired a sexual revolution, questions about the ethics of pornography and its impact on society are still being asked today and remain as controversial as ever. Kristin Battista-Frazee was only four years old in 1974 when her father, Anthony Battista, was indicted by the federal government for distributing the now famous porn film "Deep Throat." As her father unexpectedly became an early pioneer in the emerging porn industry and transformed himself from Philadelphia stockbroker to porn broker, this indictment threatened his family's stability. The stress drove Kristin's mother, Frances Battista, to worry endlessly if her husband would be put in jail. She became so depressed that she attempted suicide. Kristin survived this family trauma to live a surprisingly normal life. But instead of leaving the past behind her, she developed a burning curiosity to understand her family's history. Why did the federal government so vehemently prosecute this case? And why did her father get involved in distributing this notorious porn film in the first place? Did the influence of pornography in fact make Kristin a better person? Answering these questions and reconciling her dramatic family history with her life as a wife and mother became her mission. "The Pornographer's Daughter" is an insider's glimpse into the events that made "Deep Throat" and pornography so popular, as well as what it was like to come of age against the backdrop of the pornography business.


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More than forty years after "Deep Throat" arrived on the cultural scene and inspired a sexual revolution, questions about the ethics of pornography and its impact on society are still being asked today and remain as controversial as ever. Kristin Battista-Frazee was only four years old in 1974 when her father, Anthony Battista, was indicted by the federal government for di More than forty years after "Deep Throat" arrived on the cultural scene and inspired a sexual revolution, questions about the ethics of pornography and its impact on society are still being asked today and remain as controversial as ever. Kristin Battista-Frazee was only four years old in 1974 when her father, Anthony Battista, was indicted by the federal government for distributing the now famous porn film "Deep Throat." As her father unexpectedly became an early pioneer in the emerging porn industry and transformed himself from Philadelphia stockbroker to porn broker, this indictment threatened his family's stability. The stress drove Kristin's mother, Frances Battista, to worry endlessly if her husband would be put in jail. She became so depressed that she attempted suicide. Kristin survived this family trauma to live a surprisingly normal life. But instead of leaving the past behind her, she developed a burning curiosity to understand her family's history. Why did the federal government so vehemently prosecute this case? And why did her father get involved in distributing this notorious porn film in the first place? Did the influence of pornography in fact make Kristin a better person? Answering these questions and reconciling her dramatic family history with her life as a wife and mother became her mission. "The Pornographer's Daughter" is an insider's glimpse into the events that made "Deep Throat" and pornography so popular, as well as what it was like to come of age against the backdrop of the pornography business.

30 review for The Pornographer's Daughter: A Memoir of Childhood, My Dad, and Deep Throat

  1. 4 out of 5

    Morris

    Every single person who wants to write a funny, readable, and memorable memoir needs to read “The Pornographer’s Daughter” before they write a single word. It is everything anyone could ask of a book, whether it be fiction or non-fiction. As the title suggests, Kristin Battista-Frazee’s father worked as a distributor of porn, specifically the ever-famous “Deep Throat” starring Linda Lovelace. The entire story of “Deep Throat” is a fascinating one in and of itself. Add in the mob, the feds, the mo Every single person who wants to write a funny, readable, and memorable memoir needs to read “The Pornographer’s Daughter” before they write a single word. It is everything anyone could ask of a book, whether it be fiction or non-fiction. As the title suggests, Kristin Battista-Frazee’s father worked as a distributor of porn, specifically the ever-famous “Deep Throat” starring Linda Lovelace. The entire story of “Deep Throat” is a fascinating one in and of itself. Add in the mob, the feds, the morality wars of the times, an extended Italian family, and a cast of characters that includes at least seven variations of “Anthony” and “Tony”, and you have a story that is beyond improbable. Yet, it is. Along with all of the above, “The Pornographer’s Daughter” is a beautiful homage to the author’s unusual family and childhood. None of it is sugar-coated: she puts it all out there, flaws and all. The love is obvious, even in the context of such a unconventional childhood. In short, I laughed, I cried from laughing, I cried from beautiful passages, and then I wished I knew most of the eccentric characters in my own life. I am extremely excited to see the television show that is being developed! This review is based upon a copy from the Goodreads First Reads program given in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    "What's your hottest selling product?" I asked my father. "That's easy," he said. "It's the pocket rocket." ... "Clever," I said realising I was having perhaps the strangest conversation that any daughter has ever had with her father. Structured as a recount, this memoir follows a young Kristen from age fourteen as she learns of her fathers involvement in the adult industry. This was such an interesting read; I loved the connection between father and daughter albeit an odd one, I loved how at the "What's your hottest selling product?" I asked my father. "That's easy," he said. "It's the pocket rocket." ... "Clever," I said realising I was having perhaps the strangest conversation that any daughter has ever had with her father. Structured as a recount, this memoir follows a young Kristen from age fourteen as she learns of her fathers involvement in the adult industry. This was such an interesting read; I loved the connection between father and daughter albeit an odd one, I loved how at the end she states that despite all that had happened she knew he just wanted her to be the best. A witty yet truthful account of the stigma concurrent with associating with the adult industry. It was a fresh perspective written in an intriguing way that had me questioning along with the author of the morals behind the industry and individuals reactions to the industry. The teddy bear shutting his eyes was an interesting and accurate depiction of the content. Overall a 4.75 stars I received this book through Goodreads Firstreads :)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    I received a copy of this book as part of the First Reads program. It's not a bad book, but it's not earth-shattering, and the overall story falls flat as the author wanders away from the Deep Throat affair and delves into personal history that is somewhat unremarkable, which I guess is the point? That she turned out so normal despite her father's controversial career as a "pornographer"? I find the label dubious given that the author's father was a distributor and owner of adult facilities, but I received a copy of this book as part of the First Reads program. It's not a bad book, but it's not earth-shattering, and the overall story falls flat as the author wanders away from the Deep Throat affair and delves into personal history that is somewhat unremarkable, which I guess is the point? That she turned out so normal despite her father's controversial career as a "pornographer"? I find the label dubious given that the author's father was a distributor and owner of adult facilities, but that wouldn't make for much of an interesting title. It's a quick read and has some colorful side stories, but the main narrative is pretty tangential, which also makes sense given that the author's family was more on the outside of the situation. This book is an interesting addition to the Deep Throat legacy, especially providing perspective from a "normal" person who was not directly involved with the movie but whose life was still affected by it nonetheless.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jacinda

    I really enjoy reading memoirs as they let you walk a mile in someone else's shoes. This memoir was no exception. It follows Kristin's family through a difficult time in their life as her father gets arrested for his interaction with distributing the pornographic movie "deep throat". I would have preferred some more detail throughout the book and it left me at times wanting so much more detail. I received a copy of this book through good reads first reads. I really enjoy reading memoirs as they let you walk a mile in someone else's shoes. This memoir was no exception. It follows Kristin's family through a difficult time in their life as her father gets arrested for his interaction with distributing the pornographic movie "deep throat". I would have preferred some more detail throughout the book and it left me at times wanting so much more detail. I received a copy of this book through good reads first reads.

  5. 5 out of 5

    AmyNoncsi

    I got this copy of the book for an exchange of a honest review. First of all I had to wait for weeks and I mean weeks to receive this book. the state I have received the book was well lets say not the best and I don't think its the bad of the author or who knows but it doesn't look very pretty, a tear here a tear there..... you got my point. Expect these I did really enjoy reading this book. I found it really interesting however I found the ending slow going. All Together I liked the book and enjo I got this copy of the book for an exchange of a honest review. First of all I had to wait for weeks and I mean weeks to receive this book. the state I have received the book was well lets say not the best and I don't think its the bad of the author or who knows but it doesn't look very pretty, a tear here a tear there..... you got my point. Expect these I did really enjoy reading this book. I found it really interesting however I found the ending slow going. All Together I liked the book and enjoyed it. :) thank you for giving it to me :) I already advised others to read this book. hope it helpss

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paula Martin

    Eh, I think the title is a little misleading here. Her father was a distributor for deep throat. While some might find that to be repulsive, calling him a pornographer is a bit of a stretch. That storyline wasn't really enough to be the whole book, so the book is just about her somewhat odd childhood and the cast of characters. Which was interesting! And it was a quick read, and the author has a sense of humor, which really helped. I guess the bottom line is, it's just not that remarkable, thoug Eh, I think the title is a little misleading here. Her father was a distributor for deep throat. While some might find that to be repulsive, calling him a pornographer is a bit of a stretch. That storyline wasn't really enough to be the whole book, so the book is just about her somewhat odd childhood and the cast of characters. Which was interesting! And it was a quick read, and the author has a sense of humor, which really helped. I guess the bottom line is, it's just not that remarkable, though it is an interesting read that I did enjoy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Linda Grobman

    I have posted a review of this book at http://www.socialworker.com/feature-a... I have posted a review of this book at http://www.socialworker.com/feature-a...

  8. 5 out of 5

    SHUiZMZ

    Please read my entire review of it here: http://www.shuizmz.com/?p=4746 Please read my entire review of it here: http://www.shuizmz.com/?p=4746

  9. 4 out of 5

    Beetqueen

    I picked up this book as part of my on going search to find interesting non-fiction that might engage my students. Granted, I was pretty sure that a memoir with a title like: "The Pornographer's Daughter," was probably not one I was going to be able to take into my classroom, but it definitely had a catching title that I know my students would think twice about reading. Although I was not alive when "Deep Throat" was released, I have seen "Lovelace" and have done a bit of reading about the origi I picked up this book as part of my on going search to find interesting non-fiction that might engage my students. Granted, I was pretty sure that a memoir with a title like: "The Pornographer's Daughter," was probably not one I was going to be able to take into my classroom, but it definitely had a catching title that I know my students would think twice about reading. Although I was not alive when "Deep Throat" was released, I have seen "Lovelace" and have done a bit of reading about the original movie. It peaked my interest when I learned about the Watergate connection while studying journalism in college. I have never actually seen the movie itself, not because I have objections to pornography, but more because it was so before my time and no one I know has ever had a copy of it. I'm not opposed to pornography on any moral level, but I'm also not much of a consumer of it either. I know a bit about the adult entertainment business, and I thought this book might give me a bit more insight into it. What I didn't realize when I picked up this book was that Battista-Frazee's father was not directly involved with the making of the movie. When she called herself the pornographer's daughter, I thought her father might have been one of the director's or producers of the movie. I thought her dad was going to be a big name in the industry. I had no idea he was simply a stockbroker who wanted to make a bit of extra money by distributing the movie to theaters around the country. I also had no idea the scandal that distribution caused. Battista-Frazee's book is an interesting look at the obscenity case that surrounded the movie. While I know a variety of pornography has come under fire over the years for being obscene (as have a variety of art forms that are not categorized as porn), I did not realize that for merely getting a copy of a movie to a theater that wanted to show it, anyone would be followed by the FBI, arrested and indicted. I guess I understand how taking illegal materials over state lines is an issue for the FBI, it just seems so strange to me that taking a pornographic movie to a theater where consenting adults viewed it quite publicly would be viewed as illegal. Battista-Frazee does a good job of recreating her family's struggle as her father got entwined not only in the "Deep Throat" court cases, but through the loss of his stockbroker's license and his acquisition of further porn businesses. She gives a pretty straightforward account of the pain it caused her mother when her father opened strip clubs and then later pornography shops. She also details some of the additional legal battles he had as a result of becoming a full-time club, video store and sex toy warehouse owner. Although she had very limited exposure to any of his legal battles or his actual business dealings until after completing her masters' degree, it is interesting to see how she pieced together information from family interviews and old newspaper and magazine articles about the case. She makes it very clear that she was never in one of his clubs and never even visited one of his adult stores until she was well into her 20's. Never once does she stray from painting the relationship she had with her dad as perfectly loving and healthy. Her parental relationship issues came from her mother, who was struggling with depression. This was an interesting read. It's not a book I will end up taking into my classroom, more to avoid any potential parental complaints than because of any actual lewd or obscene content. I would have no problem telling my students I read the book, but don't think I need to actually promote it to them. They can discover books like this one when they go to college.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shelby

    I’m disappointed in this book. My favorite genre is memoir; specifically memoirs about traumatic childhoods, sex, drugs, anything sort of controversial. So in theory this book should have been perfect for me. I had never heard of it but the title enticed me when I saw it on the shelf...... the title is incredibly misleading. Her father distributed porn and then owned some sex shops..... Not only was he not as involved in porn as the title would make you believe but the way in which she tells the I’m disappointed in this book. My favorite genre is memoir; specifically memoirs about traumatic childhoods, sex, drugs, anything sort of controversial. So in theory this book should have been perfect for me. I had never heard of it but the title enticed me when I saw it on the shelf...... the title is incredibly misleading. Her father distributed porn and then owned some sex shops..... Not only was he not as involved in porn as the title would make you believe but the way in which she tells the story implies that other than her telling people what her father did his career didn’t really impact her life. Sure he went to jail and his work influenced the divorce of her parents. But she was young during this time. She didn’t even know what was happening. The book was sort of bland. More so about her father and less about her life. She also exhibits immense privilege- apparently the porn business was very lucrative for him as he paid her tuition at Columbia for her out of pocket.... The author was not relatable at all and her story was boring. I do not recommend.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Given the author’s background and the legal challenges her father faced, I expected the book to have more depth to it. The descriptions of her mother’s struggle to maintain her mental health in the face of her father’s suspected infidelity was compelling and as a reader you can really feel for her, especially as she’s being gaslighted into thinking she’s crazy when she’s anything but. Her mother’s portion of the story was the most engaging of the book, everything else was just sort of middle of Given the author’s background and the legal challenges her father faced, I expected the book to have more depth to it. The descriptions of her mother’s struggle to maintain her mental health in the face of her father’s suspected infidelity was compelling and as a reader you can really feel for her, especially as she’s being gaslighted into thinking she’s crazy when she’s anything but. Her mother’s portion of the story was the most engaging of the book, everything else was just sort of middle of the road. While Battista-Frazee’s experience must have had much in common with her peers during her teen years, it seemed like the writing could’ve been better to highlight how she was just another kid but also how different her upbringing was from your “average American teenager” during this period. Overall, I struggled to stay engaged evenly throughout the book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karen Zgoda

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved this book, great Summer beach read! The author's warm, inviting writing style allowed me to escape from my world and dive into hers. I especially loved one of her messages at the end that really resonated with me: "We all carry our family's history with us." How will you unpack your own, unique history, and what will that mean to you? I loved this book, great Summer beach read! The author's warm, inviting writing style allowed me to escape from my world and dive into hers. I especially loved one of her messages at the end that really resonated with me: "We all carry our family's history with us." How will you unpack your own, unique history, and what will that mean to you?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hope

    It takes most of her life for the author to come to terms with her father's past. A very intriguing memoir. It takes most of her life for the author to come to terms with her father's past. A very intriguing memoir.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jos

    Nice

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maurya

    Interesting book. I finished it, so that means it was ok. I learned a bit about the law and the governing of pornography in the early 70's. I can see the challenges she had trying to tell people what her dad did for a living (ran the theatres and porn stores). I kind of thought from the title that her dad was going to have been one of the actors in the porn video - but he was not. Interesting book. I finished it, so that means it was ok. I learned a bit about the law and the governing of pornography in the early 70's. I can see the challenges she had trying to tell people what her dad did for a living (ran the theatres and porn stores). I kind of thought from the title that her dad was going to have been one of the actors in the porn video - but he was not.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin Keller

    While the actual experience of being the daughter of someone heavily involved in the distribution of pornography and other adult content, this book fell incredibly short of my expectations. The controversy around the adult film Deep Throat was huge in the 1970s and opened the discussion on pornography laws in general during a time of rapid changes within media production, distribution, and consumption. The premise is intriguing and I was interested to see how something like this would affect the While the actual experience of being the daughter of someone heavily involved in the distribution of pornography and other adult content, this book fell incredibly short of my expectations. The controversy around the adult film Deep Throat was huge in the 1970s and opened the discussion on pornography laws in general during a time of rapid changes within media production, distribution, and consumption. The premise is intriguing and I was interested to see how something like this would affect the family life and the child's future. However, Battista-Frazee's recount of her family's involvement was sloppy and even preachy at points. Much of this book is written as a memoir, yet Battista-Frazee was a young child (ages 4-7) for most of the time discussed. She quotes conversations as a way of telling the story, which is obviously horribly inaccurate given her age. Even if people relayed the stories, there's no way she'd have intricate knowledge of how most of these conversations played out word-for-word. In many spots, we as readers are exposed to conversations that Battista-Frazee wasn't even present for. She talks about what was on various people's minds within situations deeply as though she experienced them herself. All of it just seemed to push for more dramatics, rather than giving a realistic recount of the situation. Obviously I don't expect her, as a young child, to understand the brevity of the situation that her family was enduring. It's clear that much of her knowledge of the time comes from anecdotes shared with her by her maternal grandmother over a decade later, when she's a teenager. A lot seems to be lost in translation and Battista-Frazee decided to fill the gaps with seemingly imaginative retellings of her young childhood that are way too mature for a 4-7 year old child.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. This book is an easy read and quite an interesting account of family life with a father who distributes porn and how it affects everyone's lives. It's not a book of scandal and smut and there's no earth shattering drama and everyone's lives are relatively 'normal' but I guess that's a good thing, that the daughter didn't end up mentally scarred or affect the rest of her life in some adverse way. A pleasant and enjoyable I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. This book is an easy read and quite an interesting account of family life with a father who distributes porn and how it affects everyone's lives. It's not a book of scandal and smut and there's no earth shattering drama and everyone's lives are relatively 'normal' but I guess that's a good thing, that the daughter didn't end up mentally scarred or affect the rest of her life in some adverse way. A pleasant and enjoyable read gratefully received.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Really interesting story about the author's father and how deciding to distribute the movie Deep Throat affected his home life and his professional life. The story didn't go where I thought that it would but it was very compelling. It's not a salacious read, surprisingly enough. I appreciate the research that Battista-Frazee did with her family's history. Really interesting story about the author's father and how deciding to distribute the movie Deep Throat affected his home life and his professional life. The story didn't go where I thought that it would but it was very compelling. It's not a salacious read, surprisingly enough. I appreciate the research that Battista-Frazee did with her family's history.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pandora Lapin

    Disappointingly dry. Pun definitely intended.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Louise

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

  22. 4 out of 5

    Faithe

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  24. 4 out of 5

    Charles R. Goodwin

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  26. 5 out of 5

    On the Verge

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  28. 5 out of 5

    Becka Desjardins

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

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