The Sporadic Beaver

Like Stepping into a Literary Salon of Yesteryear

September 19, 2014

Tags: Strand, Kristin Battista-Frazee, The Pornographer’s Daughter, Deep Throat

My panel discussion on Deep Throat, porn, and pop culture, at the Strand, on Friday, September 26, 7-8 PM--a launch event for The Pornographer’s Daughter by Kristin Battista-Frazee--will be held in the store's Rare Book Room. Below is the Strand's description of that room--a description that I think would entice any book lover to want to spend time amidst the priceless volumes and listen to four provocative authors talk about how, with a little help from Richard Nixon, a dirty movie changed America.

Stepping into the Strand's Rare Book Room is like stepping into a literary salon of yesteryear; leather-bound classics line the walls from floor to ceiling and natural light inundates from all angles. A charming and airy loft-like space with original floors from 1901, the historic room is home to an array of one-of-a-kind treasures--from proofs and first editions, to signed and inscribed books and papers. One day you may find The World as I See It, inscribed by Einstein, and the next a Christie's catalogue on Princess Diana's dress collection, signed by Diana herself. The collection is ever-changing--in quantity, style and subject--in the spirit of the dynamic and diverse nature of the Strand.

Hope to see you there.

Even Nobel Honorees Do It

September 10, 2014

Tags: Kristin Battista-Frazee, The Pornographer’s Daughter, Deep Throat, David Koechner, Strand, Eric Danville, Beaver Street, Linda Lovelace, Paul Slimak, Erich von Pauli, Agnes Herrmann, Mary Lyn Maiscott, book promotion


Ever since YouTube achieved global dominance, book trailers have become de rigueur for every author, from Nobel laureates, like Mario Vargas Llosa, to self-published scribblers who give away their e-books on Amazon.

A well-done trailer can create awareness that a book exists and can attract media attention, which can lead to… more media attention, which can be helpful if you've written a book that's worth reading.

The Pornographer’s Daughter, by Kristin Battista-Frazee, is a memoir that vividly depicts the trauma and chaos of growing up with a father who was a sex-club owner and a major distributor of Deep Throat, the fellatio flick that changed everything.

To promote The Pornographer’s Daughter—and her September 26 panel discussion about pornography’s impact on pop culture (in which I’ll be participating), at the Strand, in New York City—Kristin has released the above trailer, starring David Koechner, best known as Todd Packer on The Office and Champ Kind in Anchorman and Anchorman 2.

Koechner plays two roles in the trailer: himself and a character named Gerald “T-Bones” Tibbons, an obnoxious reporter who interviews Kristen about The Pornographer’s Daughter even though he hasn’t read it and thinks it’s a filthy book, like Fifty Shades of Grey.

Kristin holds her own against both incarnations of this bona fide comic heavyweight. And maybe the trailer will persuade you to venture out to the Strand to see our porn panel, which also includes Eric Danville, author of The Complete Linda Lovelace, and will be moderated by Dr. Belisa Vranich, author of the self-help book Get a Grip.

In the meantime, for your edification, please contrast and compare The Pornographer’s Daughter trailer with my own trailer, below, Erich von Pauli on Beaver Street: Episode 1—there are four episodes altogether—starring Paul Slimak as renegade Nazi Erich von Pauli. Shot on a budget of approximately £1, a few months before Beaver Street was published in the U.K., the video features Agnes Herrmann’s voiceover and Mary Lyn Maiscott’s performance of the Beaver Street theme song (with apologies to Ray Davies and the Kinks).

Gerald Tibbons, meet Erich von Pauli. Long may you run.


Delighted to Be Invited or: Deep Throat + 42 Years

September 3, 2014

Tags: Deep Throat, Kristin Battista-Frazee, The Pornographer’s Daughter, Strand, Eric Danville, Beaver Street, Linda Lovelace, Patti Smith

The Strand might be the best bookstore in New York City, if not in the entire country. It's been around for 87 years, the last 57 at its current location, at 828 Broadway, on the corner of 12th Street.

Despite the digital upheaval now roiling the book world, the store continues to flourish and remains the go-to performance space for such literary luminaries as Patti Smith and Junot Diaz.

I've spent many entertaining hours browsing the Strand's aisles, in search of reasonably priced out-of-print books. And whenever the pile of books on my coffee table gets out of control, the Strand is where I go to convert them to pocket change.

These are among the reasons why I’m delighted to have been invited to participate, on Friday, September 26, from 7-8 PM, in a launch event at the Strand for The Pornographer’s Daughter, a memoir by Kristin Battista-Frazee, whose father achieved notoriety in the 1970s when he went from being a respectable Philadelphia stockbroker to a major distributor of Deep Throat, the dirty movie that changed everything.

Here’s my mini-review of Kristin’s book:

An honest and unadorned depiction of what it’s like to grow up in a house where hardcore pornography and live sex shows pay the bills. Set in a twilight zone somewhere between All in the Family and The Sopranos, the cast features a father facing federal obscenity charges in Memphis, a mother washing down Nembutal with shots of Wild Turkey, and a daughter taking it all in with the eye of a budding journalist. It’s miraculous that Battista-Frazee was able to persuade her family to tell her in such unsparing detail what went down when she was a child. The most surprising plot twist, however, is that Battista-Frazee emerged from the chaos and trauma to lead a shockingly normal, middle-class life.

Deep Throat expert Eric Danville, author of The Complete Linda Lovelace, will join us for a free-wheeling panel discussion about porn’s impact on American pop culture, moderated by Dr. Belisa Vranich, author of Get a Grip.

If you’d like to attend the event in the third floor Rare Book Room, please buy The Pornographer’s Daughter or a $15 Strand gift card, which is good toward the purchase of Beaver Street or any other book in the store.

There will be wine.